Inside the Pilates Studio: Cynthia Lochard

OMG Inside the Pilates Studio: Vblog Edition

with your host, Alisa Wyatt!

Cynthia Lochard is one of the topmost Teacher Trainers for Romana's Pilates. She continues to travel for months at a time to conduct their Continuing Professional Education seminars around the globe.

Based in Sydney, Australia and with just a hint of an Aussie accent – I love to wait for it on certain words – Cynthia's teaching is steadfast, pragmatic and masterful.

She encourages teachers to to be confident, independent thinkers and to trust in ourselves as well as our beloved Pilates Method. She has a calm and commanding presence that you want to  must soak up and inject into your own teaching.

There is a lovely quote from Cynthia in one of my most-viewed posts (7 Spot-On Pilates Quotes to Keep you Honest). She was speaking on the proliferance of clients who stop and chat during their workouts and how to combat that in a nice way. Welcome to California!

“Today let's focus on NOT stopping.”

In this manner you give your clients the gift of stamina and endurance that maybe they thought they didn't have. A perfect lesson. How very Clara-esque to lead your student to the brink of discovery without giving it all away. Look what they can do!

Thank you so much Cynthia for your participation in my blog series. It is a true pleasure to have you and this awesome vblog courtesy of Pilatesology.

Enjoy the show!

The transcript of Cynthia's interview:

Alisa Wyatt: So these are the 10 questions that Andrea asks of every instructor that she interviews for this [Inside the Pilates Studio] and for Cynthia Lochard the first question is:

1. What is your favorite Pilates exercise and why?

Cynthia Lochard: The ones I could do well (smiles, laughs). Because I looked good doing it (laughter).

AW: Is there any one?

CL: The arabesques of course…

AW: Oh, lovely! The arabesques, I love it.

CL: They come after the Elephant.

2. What exercise is your least favorite? Pick only one.

CL: Oh, but you see, now I was trying to think about that, and I can't… It changes.

AW: Mmm…I like that. Okay, that's a great answer.

3. What turns you on creatively, mentally or physically about the Pilates method?

CL: The movement. The simplicity and his genius in how – you know, we're all over-complicating it – and it's just so simple. And every time you realize how simple it is…that really turns me on.

AW: I love it.

4. What is your idea of earthly happiness?

CL: A king-size bed with fabulous sheets and those fluffy things over the mattress and lots of feathered pillows and that: a great bed.

AW: You must have the time to spend in it as well. I love that idea.

5. What to your mind would be the greatest misfortune?

CL: Oh, gosh. What's happening – our insensitivity to the planet and what we're doing to it. What's happening, what you can see happening to everything around us.

AW: Yeah, it is a great, great misfortune.

Inside the Pilates Studio: Cynthia Lochard

Romana's Pilates CPE 2013 with Cynthia Lochard

6. What is your favorite Pilates word?

CL: Reach.

7. What is your least favorite Pilates word?

CL: (with rapid-fire delivery) Wrap.

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

CL: Singing. I always wanted to be a singer.

AW: Are you a good singer?

CL: No. I thought I was when I was younger, I think, maybe…

AW: In the car?

CL: Yeah, the car's a good one… (laughs)

9. If Heaven exists, and by some chance when you arrive at the pearly gates Joseph Pilates is also there, what would you like to hear him say to you?

CL: “Let's go.”

AW: Nice!

CL: “Get on the Reformer.” (laughs)

10. What did you learn today?

CL: I learned, what I was saying before, that what a great medium this [pilatesology] is for really shedding some light on the Pilates Method and sort of hoping to inspire people to come to it and to really have the experience for real.

AW: Thank you, that's wonderful to hear. Thanks everyone!

Learn more about Cynthia here.

Related interviews:

Inside the Pilates Studio: Kerry DeVivo

Inside the Pilates Studio: Kerry DeVivo

Kerry DeVivo

Kerry DeVivo is one of my first Pilates teachers. In the fall of 2000, I took a Mat class at Excel Pilates (formerly Excel Movement Studios) in Washington, DC. Kerry was co-owner of the studio (along with Lesa McLaughlin) and was friendly when I would see her in the studio. We bonded immediately because of the whole Italian thing, and I have always been envious of her last name. Mine sounds too much like a verb (Andrea Maida cake, etc…), whereas DeVivo means “To life!”

After a while I started to take semi-private lessons in addition to the weekly Mat class (you can see the addiction was growing…).  Finally I got to have a private lesson with Kerry. I was nervous. I wanted to be really focused and do my best. She did not have many openings in her schedule and I managed to snag one. If I did really well, maybe I'd get another? She could tell I was pretty amped up and wisely suggested that I relax. It turned out to be quite the hour. I had no idea I locked my knees so much…

I learned many valuable lessons from Kerry. I mean besides the body of work known as the Pilates Method. Oh that.

  1. The goal as one advances in Pilates is to sustain the work of the powerhouse from the moment the class begins until the final finish 50 minutes later. It was quite the blow. Cynthia Lochard mentioned this just last week. All roads lead to Romana Kryzanowska.
  2. If you are stressed out and need to focus, do the Wall. In a few minutes you'll be calm. And taller.
  3. It's okay to need counseling after teaching your spouse. In fact it's expected.

I was thrilled to be able to catch up with Kerry this past May when she hosted me for a workshop at her studio. Our relationship has developed over the years and I am so fortunate to have her as a friend, teacher, mentor and colleague. I am positively in love with the swiftness of her replies be it via voicemail, email or text. Really, when we need something, we need it yesterday, am I right?

1. What is your favorite Pilates exercise and why?

Kerry DeVivo: At this point in my life, my favorite Pilates exercise is footwork on the reformer.  I lie back on the reformer, set my feet on the footbar, and as I start the first repetition I think, “YES!  I've arrived on the reformer – lucky me and I have a whole workout ahead of me”.  Part two, as a teacher, my favorite Pilates exercise is rolling like a ball on the mat.  First, this exercise is an icebreaker.  First repetition – roll back – roll up…. not quite.  It catches people's attention.  It makes them realize there's something more to this work.  Second, rolling like a ball is a building block to so many other exercises and you see aspects of many exercises in rolling like a ball.

2. What exercise is your least favorite? Pick only one.

KD: Neck pull.  Well, if after 27 years I still can't do it well – then it gets the “least favorite” award.  Of course, it also means I need it!

3. What turns you on creatively, mentally or physically about the Pilates method?

KD: The severity of Pilates' brilliance of the layering and intertwining of the exercises.  It's all there, Pilates has provided it all.  And I just love how it helps us all “return to life”.

Inside the Pilates Studio: Kerry DeVivo4. What is your idea of earthly happiness?

KD: The ability to experience silence, pure silence.

5. What to your mind would be the greatest misfortune?

KD: The lack of appreciation of any thing or anyone.

6. What is your favorite Pilates word?

KD: Empower.

7. What is your least favorite Pilates word?

KD: Belly.

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

KD: I would love to be a full-time philanthropist.

9. If Heaven exists, and by some chance when you arrive at the pearly gates Joseph Pilates is also there, what would you like to hear him say to you?

KD: “Gut gemacht! (which is German for bravo), now would you like a lesson?”- as I would not want to stop learning.

10. What did you learn today?

KD: Simplicity really is best.

Kerry is the owner of Excel Pilates Annapolis. Learn more about Kerry and her Pilates POV in Peter Fiasca's recent book Voices of Classical Pilates.

Must-reading for nerds of all stripes.

Inside the Pilates Studio: Kerry DeVivo

Inside the Pilates Studio: Benjamin Degenhardt

Inside the Pilates Studio: Benjamin Degenhardt

Benjamin Degenhardt

Benjamin Degenhardt wrote a wonderful article on his love of the Pilates Mat. I found it the day after this question popped up on Facebook:

What's your favorite piece of Pilates equipment?

Dismayed by some of the responses (most notably ‘the foam roller') you can imagine my joy when I read Benjamin's article on the Mat. It was a lovely serendipitous gift from the universe.

This guy was speaking my language.

As I continued to follow Benjamin online I was reminded of all kinds of cool stuff Joe Pilates said:

“One of the wonders of the world,” Joe Pilates says in an interview from 1961, “is that people give their wonderful, complex bodies less consideration than they show their automobiles. Cars can be replaced but your body is the only one you’ll have. Yet not one person in a thousand takes the time each day to see that it is properly exercised.”

This spring I met up with Benjamin when he was teaching in California. Sans Facebook?? Turns out he is as lovely in person as he is online. A brilliant combination of Pilates Nerd, historian and entrepreneur. The clear vision of his 360° Pilates continuing education program is inspiring.

I hope you enjoy this installation of Inside the Pilates Studio. Geek on more of Benjamin's articles here. You know you want to. 🙂

“In with the air and out with the air…”

1. What is your favorite Pilates exercise and why?

Benjamin Degenhardt: That would be The Hundred, without a doubt. It was love at first pump, and to this day I think it's an incredibly effective exercise. If done as described in Return To Life it is one of the best full-bodied movement, power, and strength assessments, all the while being a complete warm-up that activates all of the body's systems in 30 seconds. It's everything a good exercise should be – simple, but not easy.

2. What exercise is your least favorite? Pick only one.

BD: I only dislike exercises that have no purpose, and I have yet to find such an exercise in Joe Pilates' repertoire! But if you are asking for an exercise that challenges every ounce of my strength and determination, that would be the Hip Circles on the Mat.

3. What turns you on creatively, mentally or physically about the Pilates method?

BD: As someone who constantly questions and reconsiders how we teach movement and how the Pilates repertoire relates to the human body, it continues to amaze me how far Joe was indeed ahead of his time. We have such a specific, in-depth understanding of each of the body's systems today, yet we struggle to turn that knowledge into a comprehensive view on human movement. Joe's work was absolutely holistic. What turns me on creatively and mentally is to connect the dots between modern movement science and the historical work – and to see how they don't conflict with each other. And on a physical level – borrowing a quote from an original student of Joe Pilates – I love “to let my body think through the exercises”; the sensation of being (completely immersed and fiercely present in) movement.

Inside the Pilates Studio: Benjamin Degenhardt4. What is your idea of earthly happiness?

BD: To have a healthy body, a sound mind, and lots of fun! Most importantly, to have someone to share my earthly happiness with.

5. What to your mind would be the greatest misfortune?

BD: To lose my determination and willingness to learn new things, and the ability to adapt to whatever will happen in my life.

6. What is your favorite Pilates word?

BD: Top of mind is “zest”. It perfectly summarizes the outcome of a regular Pilates practice. Yes, you get strong and flexible and all, but it's that spring in your step, the glow on your skin, and the smile on your face that a good movement practice is all about – “spontaneous zest and pleasure”, as Joe said.

7. What is your least favorite Pilates word?

BD: It's not a Pilates word, but I hear it all the time – “Hundreds”. It's only one hundred!

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

BD: I feel fortunate that my first career in dance has become such a great departure point for what I do now. I honestly can't imagine doing anything else, but if I ever was to leave the world of movement altogether, I would probably want to learn how to design and make clothes!

9. If Heaven exists, and by some chance when you arrive at the pearly gates Joseph Pilates is also there, what would you like to hear him say to you?

BD: “Komm', lass uns bewegen.” (Translation: Come, let's move!”)

10. What did you learn today?

BD: To always take any important, irreplaceable items on board with you during air travel. I just arrived in Stockholm this morning and am still waiting for my bag – which holds my entire archival Pilates collection. I hope that in the meantime they are learning a thing or two from Joe's writings at Customs.

ABOUT BENJAMIN
Benjamin DegenhardtBenjamin Degenhardt is the creator of 360° Pilates, a continuing education program designed to reconnect movement teachers of all training backgrounds with the original philosophy and guiding principles of Joe Pilates' work – with a keen eye on modern exercise science. He conducts historical research, writes articles for his website benjamindegenhardt.com, and presents workshops around the world.

 

SOME MORE BENJAMIN, PLEASE!