Dreams, Plans, Setting Goals for Success.

Looking at the big picture and the small picture.

I love setting goals, selecting a course of action, working hard and achieving the results I am looking for.

I love to have my efforts in balance with my everyday life and, of course, I love Pilates.

My ongoing goal is to be a proficient Pilates practitioner and a very good Pilates teacher. I learn something new about my body every day.

I am interested in exploring differences in various Pilates teaching techniques.

I started training with the Traditional Pilates Method, using the same approach taught by Eve Gentry.

Eve, was one of the first generation teachers, who worked directly with Joseph Pilates. She taught her students to understand the concepts and principles of the movements.  One of the many methods she created was Gentry Work.

Gentry work is a foundation for the expansion of the Pilates movement.

Eve Gentry had a most profound saying, “Pilates is a concept”. As Pilates instructors, we teach concepts and not exercises. To teach the Pilates concepts I have to know how to adapt them for my own body and for my client’s body.

Romana Kryzanovka was a world renowned protégé of Josef Pilates.

Romana taught the exercises and philosophies of Joseph Pilates using techniques that were close to his original teaching. First you acquire complete control of your own body and then, through proper repetition of Pilates exercises, you gradually and progressively acquire natural rhythm and coordination associated with all your mental and subconscious activities.

I am currently training my mind and body for a two- day workshop with a third generation Pilates Master Instructor, Lori Coleman-Brown from Atlas Pilates in Seattle.

Lori is a highly sought after presenter at numerous Pilates Conferences and Physical Therapy Association Conventions around the world.

This two-day workshop will focus on achieving a better understanding of how to perform effective Pilates workouts with emphasis on concentration, natural movement, leverage and rhythm.

Lori Coleman-Brown was taught directly by Romana Kryzanovka.

Stephanie Davies, an amazing Pilates teacher right here in Calgary, who also trained with Lori and Romana, has become my currant Pilates trainer. Stephanie teaches Pilates to national level athletes ranging from figure skaters to rowers, equestrian riders, football players and hockey players.

I have been taking valuable private lessons from Stephanie since the end of summer and I am learning so much more about my body.

Pilates can seem like doing the same thing over and over again however,

“Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired.” Martha Graham

The great thing about Pilates is that there are so many different opportunities for fine tuning. Even if you do the exact same exercises every day… for a week, a month, or years… you can find and feel different parts of your body.  When the right parts work together well, you develop the movement habits you need to lead a strong and healthy life.

“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.” Aristotle

Pilates deepens the mind-body connection. It improves body awareness, body mechanics, and helps to develop better muscle firing patterns. There are benefits from repetition – doing the same exercises over, and over again with a focus on improving execution, coordination and precision, which brings great results. Pilates training, in my opinion, is the best thing you can do for your body!

“If you want to life a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” Albert Einstein

What does success in wellness mean to you and how will you know that you achieve your goal?

Your goal might be to:

Run or walk a marathon.

To do a triathlon without getting injured.

To acquire the stamina to run a few miles with ease.

You may want to improve biomechanics and enhance techniques for your sport (horseback riding, dance, running, walking, swimming, baseball, football, tennis, …)

Or, to be strong enough to lift a suitcase into the overhead bin on a plane without hurting your back or shoulders.

How about being able to survive a long day at work and still have the energy to exercise or play with your kids at the end of the day!?

You may want to alleviate lower back pain or SI joint pain, or to move a frozen shoulder again.

Some may simply want to be able to lift their arms overhead – pain-free.

Others, to reduce or eliminate knee or hip pain, when climbing up and down stairs.

To sleep through the night!

To improve your posture and to develop a more attractive body by getting rid of a rounded upper back or forward protruding ribs or stomach.

To enhance your confidence, and increase your energy by learning how to breathe correctly.

To improve your balance, to strengthen, tone, and balance your muscles.

Loose weight by developing more muscle cells.

Stay active to prevent muscle atrophy and feeling tired.

Increase your “body awareness” by becoming sensitive to what movements feel wrong or put an unhealthy strain on your muscles.

Increase your flexibility, do the splits, or just be able to bend forward and touch your toes.

Progress from a beginner level Pilates class to intermediate or

move from an intermediate to advanced Pilates workouts.

To do a Pilates Roll Up, Neck Pull, Teaser, Roll Over.  Is there an exercise you struggle with? Exercise that’s challenging for you, or an exercise you do well but want to do them even better? Is it on the Reformer, Chairs, Barrels, or Cadillac/Tower?

Whether you are in a group Pilates class, participating in a private Pilates training, or doing at-home Pilates workouts, setting goals is an important strategy for Pilates training success.
  • Pay attention to the big and the little changes in your body and your daily life activities.
  • Know what you specifically want to change or achieve.
  • Know why you are practicing Pilates as a part of your weekly workout routine. It is very important that you get the right exercises for your specific need into your workout program.
  • Know where you would like your Pilates or other forms of physical fitness training to take you.
  • Share your set goals and specific health improvements goals with your Pilates teacher so we can start working on exercises that will take your body to the next level.
  • Ask your instructor if there are new exercises or adaptations for the exercises you are already doing that can help progress you to the next level.

If you have physical goals outside of Pilates exercises, let your Pilates teacher know. Together you can develop a plan of action to help you build the strength, endurance or flexibility to achieve your goals. (For example expand your team to athletic trainers and dietitians, nutritionists, etc.)

I understand that goals such as losing weight or running a marathon are not going to be accomplished by just doing Pilates!

But there are many benefits of Pilates. Pilates can keep you active. It helps reduce stress. It helps to reduce pressure on your joints.  Pilates can help you improve awareness of your body mechanics. You might learn to breathe better. Your newly gained flexibility and joint decompression might enhance your running stride. Pilates can help you better support your core and teach you how to stabilize your body position to maximize your efforts for safer weight lifting.

I really want you to achieve what your goal is.

Knowing why you are here with me, how I can provide the best services to meet your goals, and help you to reach your long term results is extremely important to me.

So, set your goals and share them with me, your enthusiastic Pilates teacher.


  • Gwen McKenzie
    Posted at 19:22h, 22 January Reply

    This is so informative and motivating! Great info 😉

    • Andrea Dean
      Posted at 08:46h, 19 July Reply

      Thank you very much, Gwen, so glad you find it useful!

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