April 2017 Feelings Shared with Liz Burke

Me:  So what impassions me? What makes me feel alive? Fresh air, ocean waves, deep conversation, uninterrupted focus on my body through yoga, Pilates or meditation. Art feels like a distant past but it certainly enlivened me when I was immersed. I love plays but haven't seen one in years. I like things that take me out of my head and into feeling. Reading a provocative book. Then there's what gives me joy even if it depletes my energy - a cocktail on the patio on a beautiful sunny night. The random night my mom takes the kids overnight so Kirk and I can go out, stay in, do whatever. I actually get energy from organizing my space, my house, creating order from chaos. My job makes me feel alive, gives me energy. I have great focus there and I love helping people find peace and mindfulness and a bit of functional health along the way. 

Sadly though most of those things feel unattainable with kids. I haven't figured out the balance yet. I have work. I have my kids. I don't have a relationship with Kirk. I don't have active friendships. I don't have art. It takes me months to read a 200 page book. I have yoga periodically. I've been practicing meditation for the past couple of weeks which has been great. But it's tough when I'm waiting for kids to barge in at any moment. Kirk and I aren't really the great partners we thought we could be. We both try hard and put in a lot of effort. It just doesn't seem to be enough, or the right kind. I'm working on figuring that piece out. I want to get out of my head. I want to be somewhere else if only for a moment. But that's the point, right? Be in it. Be present for whatever comes. Don't get attached to any of it because it's all fleeting.

Liz: I understand that feeling of wanting to be somewhere else, even for a brief time. I don't think there's anything wrong with doing exactly that--taking a break, stepping back for a moment. I also don't think that to take a break means not being present in the moment. It might just mean that you are present enough to recognize that you need a pause. For yourself. For your sanity. For your wellbeing. I know what I'm about to suggest will probably seem totally not doable and ridiculous, but here goes: what about doing a silent meditation retreat, say for just a weekend, or even one day. An hour or two of silent contemplation, near the ocean maybe?

You wrote that you have no active friendships. What do you mean by that? I'm thinking our friendship is active, but I'm thousands of miles away, I know. Do you have a community of friends that you can reach out to for some support? I also understand that it's probably difficult to find time to spend with friends too...

On wanting to do Yin Training

Since having my second baby, my body craves the deep internal focus of Yin. Our world - my world - continues to grow more full and thus more chaotic and noisy. Yin shines Light on the underlying stillness present in all Life. My teaching has been trending to speak more to the presence of Energy and Breath as driving forces. Your talk last week about nourishing and hydrating connective tissue; water molecules attracting water molecules....I’m curious. I want to know more. I hope there’s a chance for me to study with you if not in May than another time soon. Thank you, Sagel, for your thoughtful encouragement and gentle offerings.
— Me 3/3/15

Mary Roy Testimonial

Dear Jen
Each week I leave your class and thing to myself, “How did Jen know to do that ?” You have a knack of addressing a certain area of the body that, for me at least, is exactly what needs attention. Today, while we were massaging our TMJ’s I thought the same thing. Mine dislocated slightly this week. I’ve never had problems with it before. How did you know??
— xoxo Mary Roy
About your web site: It is very beautiful and creatively done. You have accomplished so much in your lifetime and it seems have been guided toward the integration of body mind and spirit. Thank you for sharing all your have learned and believe in with us.

Tim Platt Website Feedback


I love the synthesis you have imagined to weave these threads together: they help expose the beauty of your many pieces. Thanks for sharing.

Much food for thought, including:

Creating and recognizing order is, however, an elemental human need, since the eye is an order-loving organ. Record the patterns and order you find in your [life].

To which I would add,
and be ‘awed and inspired by nature’s disorder.

Moving from surface to just underneath to buried deep within. Never lost. Always present.

to which I would add,
”and resurfacing again”

And to the topics of Layered Lives I would add attributes and interests, and not limit the layers to roles and stati.

Keep up the great work!

Proud of you.


What students say about Pilates

I’ve been thinking on this for awhile, that maybe I really should do the teacher training eventually. I’m such a feeler, and so intense, and sooooo in my head all the time, Pilates is almost the ONLY place where I am free. Obviously the long term goal is to actually get that peace into the rest of my life. But it just had me thinking that maybe that is a sign for me. Like “hey sister, you need to really be in your body and here’s a path. 9/14/16
— Alexis Sullivan

Dave Reese Testimonial

Awwwwwww! jen you know i totally am committed to your pilates experiences! i find you to be the most well rounded of all of the springboard instructors...........because you think out of the pilates routine......in using your own creative movement experiences to blend your ideas of harmonic movement with those of your client/teachers.....how cool!......i am there for you....as you are there for me..........who cares about fridays ...if you wannna get together to discuss exercise plans ....treatment options etc. talk to me on what might be possible on days, evenings, weekends.......... so you might find time in your very busy life to take time...........let me know.....in advance..... and i am there......for you....talk to me email or 2074158442.............peaceout......luvya....davereeese!

Swan Theraband Arm Routine

Stand erect, feet hips distance apart (about 6 inches), parallel and toes pointing straight ahead. Lift the knee caps up to firm the thighs. Tone and lift the abdominals upwards towards the ribcage. Though the shoulders and shoulder blades will be moving throughout the exercises, attempt to maintain an easy feeling around the top of the shoulders, neck, jaw and facial muscles. Keep the head on top of the spine, gazing steadily at the horizon, perhaps at a beautiful sunrise or sunset.

  1. Set-up: Hands wide on the band. Arms stay straight throughout. Arms start in front of the body, chest height and slightly below the shoulders.

    Action and breath: Inhale the arms above the head. Exhale the arms behind the body in a circular motion. Maintain tension on the band at all times. Inhale the band back above the head. Exhale to return the band to the starting position. 

    Repetitions: 10-20
  2. Set-up: Hands hold the band behind the body with a narrow grip and rest at the top of the pelvic rim. Elbows are bent and gently drawn in towards each other.

    Action and breath: Inhale to float the arms off of the body, feeling the ribcage expand behind you. Exhale to float the arms back to the starting position. 

    Repetitions: 5-10
  3. Set-up: Hands hold the band wide above the head with tension. Arms stay straight throughout.

    Action and breath: Inhale to pull the right arm against the right ear as the left arm stretches back behind you in a wide circular motion. Exhale to steady the body and set the arms in their new position. Both palms face the body. Stay for a few breaths as you fully engage both arms without twisting or side bending the torso.

    Repetitions: 3 sets holding each for 3-5 breaths. Or flow between sides 5-10 times.
  4. Set-up: Hands hold the band behind the body with a narrow grip and rest at the top of the pelvic rim. Elbows are bent and drawn in towards each other. 

    Action and breath: Inhale to elevate the arms backwards and upwards, both pressing out on the band with the hands and squeezing the elbows towards each other. Hold the contraction while breathing steadily. Exhale to return the hands to the starting position. Rest.

    Repetitions: Hold the contraction for 10 seconds. Rest the arms for 10 seconds. Repeat 5-10 times.
  5. Set-up: Fold the band in half. Hold the band above the head shoulder distance apart.

    Action and breath: Inhale and strongly pull the band apart, bending the elbows widely. pulling the band down behind the head to the nape of the neck. Exhale as you return the band to the starting position while continuing to strongly pull the band apart. Ok to bring band in front of head if shoulders feel too restricted.

    Repetitions: 5-10
  6. Set-up: Fold the band in half. Hold the band behind your body with a narrow grip.

    Action and breath: With the left hand, pull the right hand and lower arm across the lower back towards the top of the hip until you feel a stretch. Breathe deeply and fully focusing on opening the front of the shoulder, chest and arm. Do not collapse in the spine or twist the torso. Keep the back of the ribs open and expanding behind you. Repeat with the left arm.

    Repetitions: 1 on each side holding 5-10 breaths
  7. Set-up: (No band) Raise right arm straight by your ear. Bend the elbow.

    Action and breath: Use the opposite arm to gently bring the right arm closer to the ear, rotate the upper arm internally and lift the elbow upwards towards the sky. Breathe fully and deeply throughout. Repeat on the other side.

    Repetitions: 3 on each side holding 5-10 breaths
  8. Set-up: (No band) Cross the right arm deeply over the left. Bend the elbows at the elbow crease. Twist the arms like ropes until the backs of the hands or palms are facing each other. Modification is crossing elbows and giving yourself a big hug around the upper back, or placing your hands on top of your shoulders.

    Action and Breath: Lift the elbows up in line with shoulders while keeping the shoulder blades descending down the back. Press hands away from you. Breathe fully and deeply.

    Repetitions: 3 on each side holding 5-10 breaths
  9. Set-up: Hold band behind the back shoulder distance apart. Keep a soft bend in the elbows. Stand with feel wider apart still in parallel. 

    Action and breath: Inhale to lift arms away from the body. Exhale to round the spine forward towards the floor. Bend the knees to protect the hamstrings and back. Use abdominal power to support the movement throughout. Continue to inhale to inflate the lungs and free restriction in the legs, pelvis, spine, shoulders and neck. Exhale to bring the arms further up and over the head, deepening the shoulder stretch.

    To come up, release the strap to the floor and let the arms dangle like noodles towards the floor in front of you. Stand strongly into the feet. lift the abdominals in and up, and roll the spine up one bone at a time until you are once again standing erect. The head is the last thing to come up. 

    Repetitions: 1 time. Hold as long as you like. 

Do the full sequence or a portion of the sequence. If you find one or two that really work do them a couple of times throughout the day. My teachers always said, do these exercises 3 times 3 times daily and you will see a dramatic difference. Most of all have fun and feel good!

Stay tuned for more routines for the rest of the body. Be well!


July 2, 2016

When am I being humble and when am I being greedy or too big for my britches?

Why am I so hostile? Why is my default reaction hostility? What am I reacting to? When does it happen? When my beliefs are questioned. When I am confused. When my head feels cloudy. What am I resisting? Resistance creates hostility. 

Things are most cloudy and lack clarity when I am tired. I lose hope. I lose reason. I feel angry. Things feel overwhelming. Everything feels hard, challenging, heavy, too thick to move through.

Fall Schedule (Proposed)

Weekly Privates
Pat Taub x2
Jacque Lusardi
Patty Howells?
Polly Pierce x2
Alexis Sullivan
Steve Jenks?
Ann Willauer (Tues/Fri) x2
Swan Duet or Trio (Thurs 9am)
Sullivan, Momborquette, Tracy, Kreutzberger Quad or Quint (Tues Noon)
Sullivan, Momborquette, Willauer Trio or Quad (Fri Noon)

Week to Week
Anne LaFond
Mary McCann
Connie Batson
Richard Bilodeau
Anne Verrill
Hollye Seddon
Steve Jenks?

Tuesday  (7)
9 Polly Pierce (and Connie Batson)
10 Pilates Yoga class (Graf, Roy, Shinn, Allen, Lusardi)
12 Julie Sullivan, Linda Momborquette, John K, Ann T
1:30 Pat Taub
2:30 Ann Willauer

Wednesday (2, 3 or 4)
7 PCC Yoga
8 PCC Pilates
11 Alexis Sullivan
12 Bryant duet/trio (share with CD)

Thursday (6 or 6.5)
9 Swan Duet or Trio
10 Pilates Yoga class
11 Pat Taub
12 Julie Sullivan, Linda Momborquette
1:30 Polly Pierce

Friday (4, 5 or 6)
8 PCC Pilates
10 Jacque Lusardi
11 Brenda Miley
12 YIN: Linda, Julie, Ann W


The One Hundred

Wake up the body and stimulate the nervous system.

Pumps are a foot in height. 

Full body integration is key.

Legs don't pull the spine into extension

Breathing only.
Upper spinal flexion with Baby Barrel under the upper spine for support
Add pumps
Add knee folds
Add both knees deeply into chest
Add legs to the ceiling
Add legs slowly lowering with soft knees



Primary skills that are present in every exercise. You should be able to deconstruct each exercise into these components:

Capacious inhale. Ribcage has 80 joints. Open all of them at once. Fill the bottom of the bucket first. Fill up lungs like a parachute or an umbrella. Build uniform development of the lungs and the muscles of the rib cage through the inhale.

Access the inhale through the exhale. Look for the soft tissue of the waist where there are no bones except the lumbar spine. On the exhale, corset the waist to engage all the layers of the abdominals. Like the rings of a tree, start with the bark, go in towards the second ring and then further still to the third ring. These represent the 3 layers of the abdominals: External obliques, internal obliques and the Transverse Abdominus. EXHALE OUT EVERY LAST ATOM OF BREATH UNTIL LUNGS ARE AS EMPTY AS A VACCUM. 

How the abs work
The abdominals support the organs and the spine. They push the air out. They are the primary exhale muscle. They are the key to centering, integrating and providing core support. 

Positions of the pelvis 
Tucking and arching and neutralizing

Exercises that shed light on the client's strength around the abs in relationship to the pelvis:
Knee folds: single and double
Rib cage arms: single and double

Don't worry so much about the angle of the knee or if the leg muscles are working. Focus on if the pelvis shifts in space. Only move so far as the legs and arms do not pull on the spine and pelvis.  

Flexion of upper spine
Exhale and corset the waist; find the abdominal support first. Then lift the head and the upper rib cage. The rib cage must come up high enough to free the neck. Lift upper rib cage ABOVE the abdominal wall. Only until the tips of the shoulder blades. Arms ok to stay down by hips.

Flexion of lower spine

Prone. Hands ok to be further forward by ears instead of shoulders. Elbows bent. Follow a bug up a wall. Rib cage comes up with the head. Lift one bone at a time off of the mat.

Knee sways. Pelvis goes with the knees. Look for a spiraling action that starts at the head and runs down into the tail.

Seated with pelvis stable and feet flat, arms by the side. Turn the head, then the rib cage. Again, spiraling comes through the entire body from head to the tail.

Lateral flexion
Seated with the pelvis stable and feet flat, arms by the side. Tilt the head first, then continue to side bend the spine.