Introducing our PCA 3Core Connections® Embodied Perspective Videos
It's such a pleasure to share with you my 3Core Connections® Embodied Perspective,
a body of work that has grown me for 40 years.
I intentionally speak of this body of work as a "perspective," rather than a paradigm or model, because, at its heart, it is an "inquiry," rather than being based on a belief system. It is a dynamic framework that provides a rich context within which to critically, yet non-judgmentally, explore and inquire, from a perspective of "what's working" and "what's missing," as contrasted to "what's right" or "what's wrong." We engage ourselves in a "conversation WITH the body," rather than "doing something TO the body." Through this unique perspective, we participate in a process that cultivates a non-judgmental presence in our understanding and, ultimately, in our teaching. This, in turn, allows and empowers exploration, rather than pressure to be "perfect"—the killer of all creativity and self-actualization.
I'd like to take a moment to share with you a little about my journey, and how this body of work came about.
When I came to Pilates in the early '90's, I had the fortunate opportunity to study with first-generation teacher Romana Kryzanowska at The Pilates Center in Boulder, in one of their first teacher training programs. Prior to entering the program, I was a longtime holistic coach and yoga teacher. However, for the duration of my program, I decided to suspend my yoga practice and devote my undivided attention to Pilates. This was a very exciting time. Pilates had just started emerging, but for the most part, was unknown to the general population. In fact, those few who were teaching it around the country guesstimated there were no more than 250-300 Pilates teachers nationwide.
While I was attaining my certification, my husband, Michael, and I moved to Austin and established The Pilates Center of Austin—the first Pilates studio in the capital city. In those first couple of years, I came to see just how profound this work was. I could see just how much my clients loved it, and how much they benefited from incorporating it into their lives. And yet, at the same time, I began to notice how very "held" I felt in my "core." I didn't have words for that feeling at the time, but it led me to inquire into a seminal question that was to form the heart of the inquiry that was to become the 3Core Connections® Perspective: Rather than a "concept of core," what is "core from the body's experience"?
This exploration took me to study with great somatic teachers and pioneers in the fields of whole body/mind movement, neuroscience and energy medicine—exploring practices such as Body Mind Centering, Continuum, Alexander, Aston Patterning, Structural Integration—with expanded focuses on understanding the profound and inextricably connected relationships between brain, body, mind and perception.
As I studied, I began to see that "core from the body's perspective" begins with vestibular awareness, and how profoundly fundamental our perceived, functional and experiential relationship with gravity is. After years of searching for a dynamic way to articulate the distinctions of the 3Core Connections® Perspective that were crystallizing in my experience, I discovered the most wonderful black-and- white anatomical illustrations by the 18th-century anatomist Albinus. His images contrast sharply with today's static anatomical depictions. They illustrate our experience as "movers." His figures are engaged, gesturing, connected—very different from the static depiction of muscles and bones in contemporary dissective anatomy. These brilliant images proved to be the perfect "living landscape" upon which to superimpose the energetic "connections" ("Down the Back and Up the Front"), "Domes, Arcs and Spirals" of my emerging 3Core Connections® Perspective.
I could see that as I "mapped" these "connections," through the 3 "cores," onto my own experiential engagement with the effect of gravity on my body, my awareness of how I moved "within" my body came alive. My perception of anatomy suddenly became a very personal experience—a living anatomy, rather than a removed, static, non-experiential analysis of anatomy, as a collection of parts and pieces.
I want to re-emphasize that the 3Core Connections® Perspective is not a belief system—there aren't " 3 Cores" in the body, anymore than there are Anatomy Trains "lines" in the body. There is, however, a vital interrelationship between every part of the body and how it relates with every other part, within the gravitational field. What the 3Core Connections® Perspective does is give us a deeply accessible way of wrapping our heads around the "gravity centers" of the body—and how they all intrinsically relate to one another.
When we discover these "core connections" within, a transformative shift occurs. We begin to experience "Core as Relationship—with gravity, ourselves, one another, and our environment"—in a deeply, undeniably, interconnected way. When we look from the perspective of "tensegrity," we see/experience that "everything is connected to everything else"; we create a space of honor, respect, non-judgment, playfulness and challenge that is empowering. In contrast, when we become fixated on an "answer" as to which is most important, "muscle," "bone," " fascia," "brain," "psoas," we miss the dance of relationships that is the body's experience. In my experience, inquiring from "the body's perspective," true vitality occurs when there is motility within the deep components of our human organism.
We are then able to give up the fight—and "gravity becomes a partner." We learn how to "yield" into gravity's support; we discover a more fluid way of being with ourselves and one another. Our bones are more balanced in functional alignment, WE FEEL LESS TENSION. We give up the struggle—we discover "effort with ease" in our movement, our practice, our daily life.
This was the epiphany that came out of my inquiry into why I was feeling so "held" in my Pilates practice. I could now see how much tension I was carrying by "over-stabilizing". Once I saw how much I was trying to do something with/to my abdominals, rather than letting go into the innate intelligence of my body's fluid interconnectedness, I let go. I released the "parking brake." It became clear to me that the body doesn't care whether we call it Pilates, yoga, Alexander, Feldenkrais, Nia, Continuum—or, for that matter, washing the dishes. It just doesn't care. What it does care about is: Are we moving with awareness?
With this awareness, we become so much more present, and gain access to an innate creativity with the universal principles that underlie all of the great body/mind movement systems, rather than differentiate them from one another. There is also a completely renewable sense that we have of being in our bodies. Within this "inquiry" lives a huge opportunity that we have to powerfully explore how we communicate with ourselves, our clients and one another as deeply intelligent and intuitive human beings, rather than objects to be trained or fixed.
I have spent the last 20 years bringing to life this "conversation with the body" that has birthed the 3Core Connections® Perspective from my direct experience. It is now my heart's desire to share this work with those of you who are wanting to "dive deep," in a powerful way that opens, nurtures and empowers you in your own heartfelt visions.
The 3Core Connections® Perspective is an inquiry, and an amazing journey—and the focus is YOU, rather than me. YOU as the expert—YOUR BODY as the expert. It is an inquiry that provides a profound opportunity to be with one another in a way that opens us up to a fascination with who we are, and how we can share this fascination, teaching from a place of "embodiment." It is an inquiry in which we learn how to pay attention—how to cultivate a deep listening within ourselves and for one another, and especially those we teach. And ultimately, it is an inquiry into how we become deeply re-connected and self-healing.
I invite you to come study with me, whether that be in my year-long Passing the Torch Mentoring Program, or a 2-5 day Personal Intensive designed just for you.
Thank you so much—I look forward to sharing this amazing journey with you.
With deep respect and love,