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Your Springboard for Learning in Bodywork and Movement

You say Pilates, I say Pilates…

A brief visit to Handspring Publishing’s website will provide the reader with the full list of manual therapy, bodywork and movement specialisms in which we intend to publish.

One of the most vibrant of those specialisms is Pilates, the exercise and physical fitness discipline developed in the early 20th Century by Joseph and Clara Pilates and which has grown dramatically in popularity and professionalism in recent years. Most of us know at least one person who regularly attends a Pilates class, or who teaches Pilates in the local community.

It is one of the biggest exercise phenomena of recent years although its development took place nearly 100 years ago. The discipline has, moreover, made great bounds in terms of regulation, accreditation and professionalisation of its teaching and practice.

In the US one organisation in particular has garnered knowledge and expertise in order to offer members a professional framework and continuing professional development programme that is truly enhancing the profession and helping it to grow.

The Pilates Method Alliance describes itself as ‘the international, not-for-profit, professional association and certifying agency dedicated to the teachings of Joseph H. and Clara Pilates’, and their mission ‘to foster community, integrity, and respect for diversity; establish certification and continuing education standards; and promote the Pilates method of exercise’.

These are encouraging words and suggest an approach to evidence-based practice and academic rigour that are among the hallmarks of Handspring’s approach to publishing in this field.

To that end Handspring Publisher, Sarena Wolfaard, attended her first Pilates conference – the 12thAnuual Pilates Method Alliance conference (PMA 2012) in Las Vegas earlier this month. Sarena writes:

“This was a first for me – a Pilates conference – and in Las Vegas! Arriving in Las Vegas after a 10 hour flight was definitely a cultural shock, though in fact the conference turned out to be the opposite.

Pre-conference workshops and presentations ranged from the highly acclaimed Tom Myers to first generation Pilates teacher MaryBowen (what a delight to learn about the benefits of yawning), to presenters from a range of movement backgrounds. The PMA brings together the different lineages in Pilates under one umbrella – certainly a major feat.
Topics were vibrant and thought provoking ranging from The Serene Shoulder, Healthy Spine Movement, Gyrokinesis®, Length meets Strength, a Resilient neck, Pilates for the mature population and a session focusing on the growing research in Pilates.
We had mat classes given by master teachers every morning and during the day. Often during presentations we were invited to get onto our mats to understand what was being taught. The mingling of practice and presentation in this way was satisfying and provided a great learning experience.

Attending PMA2012 has been one of many highlights of my editorial year. I was really very impressed with the commitment of presenters and participants to extend knowledge and enhance practice. I hope that in due course Handspring Publishing will become a valued partner in this process as our publishing list blossoms and grows to support the thirst for knowledge on display at PMA2012.’

November 2012 (Sarena Wolfaard is a founding member of Handspring Publishing Limited)