The MWS Podcast 75: Monica Dare on Pilates

My guest today is Monica Dare who is a Pilates and Alexander Technique instructor. Monica trained in London with Body Control Pilates in 1998; from there she moved to Brighton where she worked at one of the UK’s leading studios for 18 months.  She continued her studies in Kendal in the Lake District where she completed a three year full time training course qualifying in The Alexander Technique. She’s going to talk to us about Pilates as an integrative practice .


MWS Podcast 75: Monica Dare as audio only:
Download audio: MWS_Podcast_75_Monica_Dare

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About Barry Daniel

I live in the Lake District in the UK where I run a guesthouse with my partner Kate and my cat Manuel. I enjoy painting, hillwalking, reading, visiting and entertaining friends, T’ai Chi and playing the guitar. I’m engaged to a certain degree in the local community, as a volunteer with Samaritans and I’m a fairly active member of the local Green party. I’ve had a relatively intuitive sense of the Middle Way most of my adult life but it found a greater articulation and a practical direction through joining the society. It’s also been interesting and great fun engaging with other people with a similar outlook. My main contribution to the society is conducting the podcast interviews, something that gives me a lot of satisfaction and that I’ve learnt a lot from.

One thought on “The MWS Podcast 75: Monica Dare on Pilates

  1. A very interesting and informative conversation with Monica Dare. I have some fellow feeling with Monica in that the practices she was asked to describe aren’t easy to articulate. It’s not possible easy to link specific practices to predictable outcomes, except in very broad terms; perhaps this is why attempting scientific research presents problems, because tracing cause and effect in measurable (and falsifiable ways) is of the essence, and rather misses the point about what may emerge.

    I was interested in the term Monica used: “recruiting” the deeply interiorised structures to action (such as muscles acting on the spinal column), because we are generally, I think, unaware of their state of tension or relaxation, and how the skeletal muscles reflect the state of our ‘core’. Recruiting seems to to be a combination of ‘inviting’, ‘opening to’ and ‘acknowledging’ that core, and exercising some awareness of what happens when the invitation etc. is taken up, what begins to ‘shift’ in the grosser, and more discrete, structures of body, mind, and (if you like) spirit.

    There’s a lot of relevance in what Monica says about Pilates and the Alexander technique to my own meditative practice which is based around effortless standing meditation, combining relaxation, spontaneous and effortless alignment around the vertical axis, and resilience. This ‘meditative core’ does open itself out into a wider effortless awareness, spontaneity and joy, which in turn feeds back and enriches the practice. This is, I think, an echo of Monica’s philosophy too.

    Pete

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