Reviewed by : Sunni Almond
Title: The Red Thread Of Pilates. The Integrated System& Variations Of Pilates-The mat
Author: Kathryn Ross-Nash
First published: 2015
Pages: A LOT! 358
Availability: Amazon: The Red Thread of Pilates
Description: The Mat manual of mat manuals
I will start by saying that this book is EPIC! It is as if you attended the Mat portion of a comprehensive training, and you got the to keep the teachers notes and crack open their brain and suck the info out, spoon fed it to yourself in manageable portions, as you digest every word, and end result is that your personal work and your teaching become exponentially better for having perused, and studied this manual. OH, and you get to keep the workshop at your avail for looking back on and referencing.
This manual is PERFECT for the person like me who is bridging themselves from Contemporary to Classical. It fills in the gaps in your knowledge, linking each exercise to it’s companion on the reformer and other pieces of apparatus, as well as linking each exercise to the one prior and the ones after (skill building), AND it’s connection to all spinal movements. Hence the thread theory.
If you haven’t already figured it out in your personal study of Pilates, the spine shapes repeat everywhere in the studio. The exercises can be done almost anywhere in the studio and on any piece of apparatus, so it becomes exponentially clearer how if you or your client is unable to perform something in one place, how you can get the exact same work from somewhere else in the studio.
What does the body need? Here are your answers on how to see.
From the Introduction and loving words from Kathi to her family and friends, as well as to Kathi from world renowned Pilates teachers, through to the last few pages of pics from everyone you know, it is a book you won’t want to put down.
Yes, it is THE priciest paperback book out there, yes it is worth every penny, yes you will be afraid to touch it because it’s so pricey and biblical in nature to our industry, but then once you dig in and flip back and forth and begin to put the connections together, it becomes more friendly.
There is a bit of study involved to learn to use the book properly, but then the world of Pilates becomes your oyster and the pearls of wisdom just flow into your mind.
Table Of Contents list every mat exercise, a suggestion as to which exercise to add next for a balanced workout and the page # the exercise is located on.
Also listed are the Transitions, Mat Flow Charts, Injuries and Issues (to do’s and not to do’s to inspire healing, or alternates) and finally Bibliographies.
Included, The Principles and their meaning in her subjective way, a bit deeper than you may have originally thought, and yes she states, that Joe didn’t come up with the principles, but that they are present.
Decoding the Pilates Lingo is a section on the verbiage.
Next is a section on Suggested precautions for Carpal tunnel, Bad Back, Neck and Shoulder situations, Knee issues, and Scoliosis.
Then comes a Synopsis of Level Used, meaning the perspective of strengths and weaknesses, and how the layering of information creates the strong foundation needed to perform and execute the exercises safely.
”It is the HOW and Depth of the work which dictates the students level-not the exercise.”
Then there are a few pages of instruction to get the best use of the manual.
The photos are brilliant and many, and are from the Teacher’s point of view, they show spotting techniques, what to look for, and how to cue simply and directly.
The Threads are: Stability, Articulation, Side Bending, Twisting, Rolling and Extension.
Each exercise is linked by Thread, by Order of Execution, and what to do if the next suggested exercise isn’t yet possible.
Repetitions, Point Of Stability, Purpose, Add Next, Relationship to The Reformer are all included in depth. Connection to the prior exercise as well as to the next exercise are all included. Settings (how to position the body on the mat and whether or not a pole, straps, satellite boxes, etc. are used), Skill Level, it’s all there.
What to look for, Do’s, Don’ts, Major benefits, Building variation, and Challenge variation, all to reach the ultimate goal of the individual exercise, as well as prepare the body for the rest of the workout.
Near the end of the book is a 3 column page that lists the exercises in categories: Foundational, Core, Advanced. Then come all the flow charts, so you don’t have to flip back and forth, after you’re confident, you just go there.
Injuries and Issues have their own Flow Charts. The reminder is there for a medical clearance and Dr. ’s ok, for working out.
Must Buy, Borrow or Steal, Get your hot little hands on one ASAP, The holiday’s are coming, ask Santa If you’ve been good ;))
I need to add that the responsibility for doing this book justice has been enormous. I appreciate being trusted with the ability to glean the treasures inherent and present them in a way that entices you to buy. It will increase your knowledge base regardless of your current level of experience and ability. There is something for everyone here, batteries not included, you’ll just have to energize yourself, and you’ll want to.