Pilates Teachers' Manual

Special Guest - Raphael Bender

January 27, 2022 Olivia Bioni, Raphael Bender Season 5 Episode 17
Pilates Teachers' Manual
Special Guest - Raphael Bender
Show Notes Transcript

Today Raphael Bender of Breathe Education and Pilates Elephants podcast joins me on the show. He shares how he got into Pilates (kicking and screaming), some excellent teaching strategies (like not worrying about the footbar setting), and some serious myth-busting about pain and injury (they're not the same thing!). This conversation had so many lightbulb moments and I definitely learned a few cool new things talking with him. Tune in! 

I want to hear from you! Share your thoughts and follow the podcast on Instagram and Facebook @pilatesteachersmanual. Full show notes, episode transcription, and chapter markers can be found on the podcast website here: http://bit.ly/pilatesteachersmanual. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast for updates, and rate and review wherever you listen!  Episodes now available on YouTube: *https://bit.ly/YouTubePTM*

Email pilatesteachersmanual@oliviabioni.com with your feedback.   

Show Notes:

Raphael Bender is an exercise physiologist, Pilates instructor, and movement educator. He was first certified as a fitness trainer in 1998 and has been a full-time movement professional since then. He is the CEO of Breathe Education, which certifies Pilates instructors in our comprehensive program, and teaches movement professionals to implement the Whole Person Framework in the Diploma of Clinical Pilates. All the training is 100% online, with trainers all around the world (and soon to be me!).

 Learn more about Raph's book here: https://strengthentheperson.com/book-page

Listen to Raph's podcast, Pilates Elephants, here: https://breathe-education.com/podcast/

Connect with him on Instagram: @the_raphaelbender

Support the podcast:    

Visit https://links.oliviabioni.com/affiliates to take advantage of some sweet savings!

Episode Music:

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Watch: https://youtu.be/YHSH9k9ooZY
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[00:00:00] Olivia: Welcome to Pilates Teachers' Manual, your guide to becoming a great Pilates teacher. I'm Olivia, and I'll be your host. Join the conversation and the Pilates community on Instagram at @pilatesteachersmanual and visit buymeacoffee.com/OliviaPodcasts to support the show. Today's chapter starts now.

[00:00:56] Hello, hello everybody. Welcome back to the podcast. I am [00:01:00] super excited to be on today with Raphael Bender of Breathe Education in Australia. You've heard me talk about Breathe before, so I'm so excited to have him on the show. He's pretty amazing. As you would guess, he has a Master's in Clinical Exercise Physiology, a Bachelor's in Exercise and Sports Science. In addition to being a Pilates teacher, he also hosts Pilates Elephants podcast, which you've heard me rave about. And he just wrote a book called Strengthen The Person, Not Just The Body Part, which I am really thrilled to be able to hear more about from him. So thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day to hang out with me, Raph.

[00:01:35] Raphael: It's great to be here, Olivia. Yeah. Thanks for inviting me on. 

[00:01:39] Olivia: Of course. Of course. Of course. First thing I always love to hear is how did you get involved in the wild world of Pilates? 

[00:01:48] Raphael: Well, I came to when I was in my mid thirties. I think I've always loved movement. I think, like many of us who came to Pilates, you know, all [00:02:00] through my youth, I did athletics. I do still love running and exercising and, uh, in all shapes and forms. And in my twenties, I learned martial arts and actually had a martial arts school. Like that's kind of a grandiose term. It was, you know, a dingy room at the back of the local gym for a number of years, and, um, was also pretty much into yoga. I used to do Ashtanga. I got it very regularly for, for a few years, probably around the early 2000s. 

[00:02:33] I really got interested in opening like a business with martial arts plus the, I got, and I thought I'll rack on Pilates on there as well, because that seems to be popular. I had never done Pilates, but I just thought, well, it kind of goes with yoga, you know? So I thought I should go and learn something about how to run a yoga and Pilates studio, because I didn't know anything about business. I was musician and a martial artist. [00:03:00] And on, on the, you know, nothing about money or business or any, any of that stuff. 

[00:03:04] And so there was a club where I knew in the same city, I was in Sydney, Australia at the time, uh, called Elixir Health Club. That was really groundbreaking and I- it was basically kind of like a high class gym, a high class health club. You know, white towels and all of that stuff. But they, they didn't have any of the normal group exercise things that you would expect in a gym like spin or aerobics or any of that kind of stuff. They just had yoga and Pilates. And they had group reformer and I had, I think, 20 or 20 or so reformers in one space and also a yoga space. It was in the very heart of Sydney, CBD, which is, you know, Sydney is a massive metropolis. Must've been a lot, 5 million population. It's pretty big city. So this was like high, right in the middle of the CBD, like right next to the financial district.

[00:03:57] And so I just started, I was like, [00:04:00] oh, you know, I'm going to go and check out this place and see what they're all about. So I bought a membership and went to just hang out there. And because I was teaching martial arts in the evenings, I basically had all day, every day free. And so I would just go and indulge in exercise for like four hours a day, you know?

[00:04:20] So I was just there stretching and working out and all of that stuff all day. And so I was in there in the off peak periods. And so I just got chatting with this cool guy I met there one time we were both having a stretch and, you know, just said, hi, and started chatting. It turned out he was one of the owners. He offered me a job and he said, do you want to come and work with me? And I said, oh, doing what? And he said like, I don't know, but we'll find you something. So I started working there and, you know, like I said, I knew how to, I knew how to- I was a musician. I knew how to play the bass guitar. I knew how to teach Kung Fu, but I, and I knew how to sort of knew how to practice yoga a little bit, but I wasn't a yoga teacher and I [00:05:00] didn't know anything about how to run a business or a health club or any, any of that sort of stuff. And I'd never, never done a Pilates class. 

[00:05:07] And so he you put me on the sales team. He'd said, Oh, you can sell memberships. I'm like I don't know how to do that. He was like, don't worry, I'll teach you. So he started teaching me how to sell mem- you know, memberships to a health club. And part of that was you had to learn all about the product. And so, you know, I started doing Pilates classes and started doing those group reformer and I continued to do yoga there. Was awesome. Um, I had some great teachers and fast forward a few months, I'm on the sales team. I'm enjoying my work. I'm like, oh, this is great. I'm learning all the business secrets of how to run a health club.

[00:05:43] And I had become friends with one, or become friends with quite a few of the people there, but one of my closest friends, there was the person who was responsible for running the Pilates teacher training. And, uh, was Stott Pilates. They did Stott Pilates teacher training. And [00:06:00] my friend, basically, we were having a coffee in the park across the road one day and she said, look, hey, look, I'm kind of stuck this week. And I've got kind of this course that we're running, that we only have the minimum number of participants to go ahead, but I made the call to go ahead. But now someone's pulled out and I've got less than a minimum number of people in the course. So it's go- I'm going to look bad. Would you do me a solid favor and just show up in be a you know, be a person, with a heartbeat in the room for this course, I'm like, ah, fuck. Right. You know, that's the last thing I want to do on my weekend, you know, and she was like, Oh go on please. And I'm like, Ugh, you owe me big time for this. And so I sort of dragged my heels to this training, rolling my eyes the whole time. And thinking of all the things I'd rather be doing. 

[00:06:45] Within like an hour of, of the training starting, I was like, oh, this is awesome. You know, this, this is amazing. And it just really grabbed me from, from right from the start. Like I loved the [00:07:00] precision. I loved the, the anatomy. I loved the, the attention to detail and all of those things that I think so many of us are drawn to in Pilates, and it just, it really grabbed me in. And it was- I dunno if it was like a religious experience, no, I don't think it was, but it was just like, oh, this is so cool. Like, this is just such so awesome. How did I not know about this? And so I basically, I did that. I did the teacher training and I was so fortunate there I was, I was working as a sales person, eventually became a sales manager and a club manager. And I managed a few clubs and sales teams and stuff there. But the whole time I was studying Pilates and I did all of the Stott Pilates certification. 

[00:07:42] Then when we fast forward a few more years, my wife, Julie, and I decided to move back to Melbourne in 2004, five, 2005 six, because we wanted to have a baby. And most of our family's in Melbourne here, which is Melbourne is maybe [00:08:00] another major city here in Australia. It's might be a thousand kilometers, 600 miles, um, right from Sydney. And we moved back. We decided to move back to Melbourne and we thought, oh, well we can open, now we can open our studio. Cause there's nowhere like Elixir in Melbourne. We thought, great, we can, you know-. I know everything about how they run their business. I've opened three clubs for them, you know, two clubs for them on, you know, I've run the sales teams there, I've managed the clubs. I know all of the systems and processes and all of that stuff. 

[00:08:29] And so we, we had a couple of friends who also had a, kind of a similar idea and, um, we just, we opened a studio together called Breathe Well-Being. And part of the Elixir model was that they trained there, they ran the Stott Pilates trainings too. Because at the time in Australia with group reformer being so such a new thing, there was basically nobody who knew how to teach group reformer. And when I say group reformer, I mean 20 reformers in a, in a room, like a [00:09:00] fitness style.You know, high-intensity fitness class. And so they had to train their own. Um, and that's why they did the Stott Pilates training. It wasn't really a profit center for them. 

[00:09:09] And so we thought, okay, well, if we're going to have the same model with 20 reformers in a room, we need to train our own instructors. I ended up going across to Canada, to Ontario. Did the Stott Pilates instructor trainer certification. I went across there four or five times. I did the full certification. I did mat, reformer, Cadillac, chair and barrels, injuries and special populations, the whole instructor certification thing. And that was over a couple of years. And in 2009, we started being a licensed training center for Stott Pilates. And it was myself and a couple of other people teaching the courses.

[00:09:47] And at that point we will, we were the, the pretty much the, I think pretty much we were literally the only group reformer studio in Melbourne, and the only Stott Pilates licensed training [00:10:00] center in Australia. There was one woman in Sydney who was kind of just a one person operation. She used to teach a couple of people every year, but we were basically the only sizable business doing it. So yeah, it really was totally an accident. It was not even an accident, was like, I was an unwilling participant in, I guess. So that's, that's a story of how, how I found Pilates. 

[00:10:23] Olivia: Wow, wow. Um, but I will say sometimes it happens like that. I mean, that's actually really similar to how I got into teacher training program. I was working at the studio and I was filming the lectures and I was like, Hey, uh, this actually kind of neat. Uh, can I do this also? Um, so I think that that's wild and sometimes, you know, you're in the right place at the right time and it all works out. Yeah. 

[00:10:47] Raphael: Yeah. I think life is full of surprises and unexpected directions like that. And I think if you really want to make God laugh, show me a business plan, sort of [00:11:00] thing. It's like, um, you know, I think plans are great, but basically life throws twists and turns at you all the time. That's good to go with it rather than fight against it. 

[00:11:13] Olivia: And I'm also hearing, um, I guess Australia does like really big group reformer classes because I've taught 12 and I was like, this is a lot of people. And 20, like that's wild. That's awesome. 

[00:11:27] Raphael: If that's something that's is intrigues me at the moment. And I S- I really see that there's a rapid evolution of the industry and the method happening at the moment. I think, you know, w we, not yet, we haven't reached a steady state of the industry and I, you know. I listened to your episode a few episodes back of the eras of Pilates, you know, and I think we're in kind of a time where it's- 

[00:11:55] It's interesting to me, like when I was, when I went across to Canada to Stott [00:12:00] Pilates, I was just, you know, I was young in Pilates years. I had stars in my eyes. I was like, oh, I'm going to the source of all the great, all the people I've seen on the DVDs and in the manuals, I'm going to meet those people.

[00:12:12] And so I went across there and the training was awesome, but I actually went to Stott Pilates headquarters, which is in Young Street in, in Toronto. And I was like, I'm going to see their actual studio and I'm going to learn so much. And I went to the studio, I was very underwhelmed. I was like, huh, this is kind of lame. Ours is already better than this. And so the next time I went across, I did a bit of a tour and I went visited a whole bunch of studios and did some great sessions, you know, fantastic teachers. Like it just in terms of like, as a business owner thinking, like okay, how can I pick up some business ideas from the U S? 

[00:12:49] Which we always think of, of the U S- here in Australia, we feel like we're at the bottom end of the world. You know, we feel like we're just kind of hanging on the bottom of the planet while, you know, everybody [00:13:00] else is at the top of the world, you know, and we're just kind of in the antipodes here. And, you know, I mean, if you order something off Amazon, it takes fricking six weeks to get here. And, you know, it's like, everything just takes a long time um, because we're far away from most of the industrialized world, which is in the Northern hemisphere. So we always sort of think that, you know, like when a movies come out here, like four months after they come out in the U S you know, everything's just like late here. Yeah. Because it's, it feels like we're on the frontiers in the wild west or not, not, not really in the wild west, but it feels like we're a long way from the epicenter of the world and the Pilates world. 

[00:13:41] And so I was expecting like these great revelations of like all these amazing businesses, I've learned so much. And I went along and honestly, I was like, huh, we're actually ahead. We're actually ahead, um, from a business sense, you know, in terms of, of, uh, creating a sustainable business that [00:14:00] is profitable. Yeah. And so that's, that's continues to be the case. And now I've been, I must've been to the U S like 20 times in the last decade. And I'm very confident in saying that I think the Australian Pilates industry is probably five to 10 years ahead of the U S industry commercially. And that the absolute norm in Australia is 12 to 15 reformers in a room. 

[00:14:30] And if you- and Pilates in Australia, is, is one of the top three uh, physical activities for women in their kind of thirties, forties, and fifties. And you have very close to that for women in their twenties and sixties. And that if you asked, you know, 99% of those women who do Pilates on a daily basis, you know, what is Pilates? They'd say, 15 reformers in a room. You know, most of those women have never [00:15:00] heard of mat Pilates or Cadillac or Joseph Pilates or Romana or any of those things. And I think to them, Pilates, as you go along, there's pumping tunes, and it's a sweat session in the best possible way, I may not, you know, as, as a positive. 

[00:15:19] Whereas in the U S, my perception is that Pilates is still much more seen as a kind of a bespoke, artisinal sort of exercise that happens, you know, generally one-on-one or maybe one or two. Or if you, when, when people in the U S talk about group reformer, they often mean like five reformers in the room. And I know that, you know, there's Club Pilates, which has 12, but, you know, and we can get into that if you want. But I still think Club Pilates is, from a business standpoint, is set up quite inefficiently and it still has a lot of that kind of artisinal approach sort of baked into what they're doing.

[00:15:58] I see [00:16:00] what Club Pilates is doing is kind of like, it's, they've taken a big step towards the model that we have here in Australia with multiple reformers in a room, but by it's sort of like the amphibious beasts that crawled out of the ocean, you know, in the Pliocene times or whatever, you know, and they had kind of hands and feet, but they still had gills or something, you know, like it's kind of a h- half, half, the missing link model. Yeah. So in Australia, it's totally the norm. Like it's no one bats an eyelid. It's expected like if you walked into a Pilates studio and there are only five beds, you'd be like, this is weird. 

[00:16:39] Olivia: In some ways I'd say in Australia, you probably missed out on a lot of the drama and a lot of the sort of like keeping up with the Joneses of Pilates studios in the United States, because they do have a very much, you teach the way that your teacher taught kind of thing, and everything is small and [00:17:00] definitely emphasis on one-on-one. And if it's going to be a big group, like I remember coming out of my teacher training being like, oh my gosh, six people is too many. Like, how can I give an experience if there's six whole people, you know? And then I was able to work in Club Pilates and work with 12, but I don't know if the focus is different- 

[00:17:18] And I do want to touch on how Breathe kind of changes the game in terms of teacher training. Because, especially right now, as I'm going through Breathe program, like the, the emphasis is different and like what I'm getting out of it is different. And I don't think it's just because I've already done a teacher training. Like I think that like the way you're being taught Pilates is also a little bit different.

[00:17:42] Raphael: Well, we, I mean, we, in our teacher training, we've been through so many iterations of our teacher training. When we started in 2009, teaching Stott Pilates, we taught the core curriculum for three years. And over that time, we just noticed that- because the reason [00:18:00] that we taught the curriculum was because we wanted instructors for our own studio. And what we found was that we'd teach people, they'd get 99 on their exam, certain people, you know, not everyone. And we'd, we'd tap those people who got 99 on their exam on the shoulder and say, Hey, do you want a job? And so we got the luxury of skimming the cream off the top of the milk and, and having the best candidate.

[00:18:22] But even those people were like, there was a massive gap in their skills, you know, that we were like, okay, we want you because you're the absolute best person in this whole course, but you still like three levels below where we need you to be to actually put you in a class of our clients. And so, you know, after a while it kind of dawned on me. That's like, oh, well, if this instructor training program is designed to turn out people who are instructors, it's like, but even people who like totally ace, the course, the certification, they're nowhere near job ready. You know, [00:19:00] that's just, that was kind of a head-scratcher for us. 

[00:19:01] And so we just started building those extra things, like, you know, into the course that we wanted. And it was like, it was really just started organically and we just started going, okay, let's give them some, just some homework to do in between face-to-face sessions to think about cuing or to think about client retention or think about customer service or whatever, and be, you know, before, well, after a while it was like, oh, the homework's actually ballooned out. And now it's like, we've kind of teaching them twice as much as we were before and people were starting to get overwhelmed. 

[00:19:35] And then at one point someone came back to me and said, well, look, I moved away to this other city and did it, they did the reformer training with us and then they went and did some out of the mat training with someone else with someone else in Stott Pilates. And they came back and said, what they taught me was totally different to what you taught me. And I'm like, ah, you know, like I think we're actually not teaching Stott Pilates anymore. Um, so at that point we decided to break with Stott Pilates [00:20:00] and teach our own training. That was 2012, early 2012. And so we, we basically just took what we'd developed, you know, took out the Stott Pilates specific content. And taught what we've developed and, you know, we've been teaching it ever since. 

[00:20:16] And we basically updated the course every, at least once a year, um, and has had three or four major overhauls, but we've basically started from scratch from a blank page and, and rebuilt it. And so in its current iteration, the certification is mat work and reformer, and it's based on Joseph Pilates' Contrology. So we teach as closely as possible the original exercises, the original choreography, the original instructions, all of that as per Joseph's book Return to Life. As you know, that's the textbook for the, for the course. So we'd you know, every one of our students has a very, very well thumbed copy of that book because [00:21:00] we go like line by line through the written instructions, the convoluted written instructions. I still can't understand what he means when he's talking about One Leg Circle. I always will get confused about which leg is supposed to be- and that'snot because I forget, it's like, I've read that passage so many times and I just can't make head nor tail of it. But luckily we've got a lot of archival footage of well, as well of, um, Joseph teaching, Ted Shawn, and a bunch of people at Jacob's Pillow and Joseph teaching other people on reformer and stuff.

[00:21:27] So, you know, we, we try and use the archival stuff as much as possible. So we- we're teaching students the original Contrology method. And at the same time, we're teaching people group fitness, based like what we would call, I think most people would call, like a flow style class, which is really totally not classical or contemporary. It's just a fitness based, you know, planks and flying splits and all kinds of fun, biceps curls, or whatever on the reformer and on the mat. And so I just [00:22:00] like making up stuff or looking at, looking on YouTube and going, oh, that's a cool exercise. I'm going to give that one a go. And teaching in groups and because in Australia that is like 95% of the job opportunities is, is teaching in that. But we still want to people to understand the history and you know, where it's come from and how it's developed over time. So, yeah, so we teach, but the whole course is predicated on being a group teacher. Like we don't teach posture analysis, we don't take any of that kind of one-on-one assessment stuff. We teach, you're going to be teaching a group of people on a mat or group of people on a reformer. And, um, cause, cause that's how, that's how you make a living. 

[00:22:41] Olivia: What I'm really appreciating about the course right now as well, is that it's beyond just the choreography, that you're also learning the best ways or actual pedagogy on how to teach, which is something that was left out of my teacher training, where it's like, well, this is the choreography, but there [00:23:00] wasn't- and we talked about, you know, layers and like, how can we build an exercise up? But in terms of like, what is the best way to get your students to remember the exercise or to actually learn the exercise and be able to have choices or to feel like they have agency in this thing. And so I really appreciate, and especially as someone who's taught, who has taught group classes for several years, that that's as important as the choreography of the exercise you're teaching. It's also being a person in the room with another person. So that's what I'm really loving from it currently. But again, I'm only like two modules in show. There's more stuff to love. 

[00:23:41] Raphael: Well, module three is one of my favorites. It's pregnancy and beginners and then module four is injuries and module five is finding your voice as an instructor, but I mean, you're all over all of that stuff already. So I'll be interested, interested in your feedback once you got through. 

[00:23:57] Olivia: I mean, I'm just, I'm loving it. And, uh, another [00:24:00] thing that we've been talking all about silver linings of COVID and this is really one of them, is that when I had first heard about Breathe Education and the work that you were doing, I was like, oh man, that's so cool and over there, so not really my issue. Um, and so the fact that it's online is kind of amazing. And we know that online works, anyone who is teaching Pilates knows that we can teach online and be extremely effective teachers. But the fact that you can also do your training online is kind of amazing. 

[00:24:27] Like the amount of touch points that you have in this course is incredible. Like I'm meeting people almost every other day and working on the course, whereas in my first teacher training, it was modules. We met once a month and then didn't see each other for four weeks. So you just, you, you really do get that distributed practice and that you can do a little bit, and that leads to greater gains in the long run. So love that also. 

[00:24:55] So tell me as someone who's taught martial arts, not yoga, but has experience [00:25:00] in yoga and now teaches Pilates, teaches Pilates teachers. How has your teaching changed over the course of your adventure? 

[00:25:09] Raphael: Just massively. When I first started teaching Pilates in 2004, I was a Stott Pilates robot. And, um, by which I mean, like, I basically just would recite the manual, you know, at you. Inhale to prepare, gently contract your transverse abdominis to stabilize blah, blah, blah. So, you know, and I think probably a lot of us can identify with that, uh, phase. Um, and so I, I, for the first few years I taught, I was very much into cuing individual muscles. I was great at me and I, I thought I was great at teaching people how to engage the transversus abdominis, their lumbar multifidus, and stabilize their, segmentally stabilize their lumbar spine or pelvis, or- You know, I did a whole bunch of [00:26:00] courses on how to palpate sacroiliac joint motion and you know, like so much anatomical biomechanical detail. 

[00:26:10] This was like the early two thousands. Bear in mind, this was like, this was kind of the cutting edge of biomechanics in those days. Yes. That was, you know, you would have got basically an anatomy textbook thrown at you every time he came in into my class, then just kind of over the 2000 and early 2000 and tens, 2011, 2014, somewhere in between there, I gradually became aware of this kind of different body of research around, as I went back to university, when I was in my mid forties in 2013, I think, and just become aware of the broader research in motor learning, in strength and conditioning, in pedagogy and in pain science, [00:27:00] and started independently reading that stuff and going, hold on, this is quite different to what I'm teaching.

[00:27:05] And for awhile, I was just like, sort of uncomfortably co-existing in those two worlds. So I like when I was thinking science of like, I kind of got my science hat on now, and now it's, you know, and then I was teaching Pilates. I'm like, okay, I'm doing all this stuff I said, not to do in my essay that I just submitted for university, but you know, not listening, not listening.

[00:27:24] Um, and then at some point I was like, no, this is crazy. Like it's this, you know, Pilates is not a special case. It's still movement, so the critical thinking that I'm applying to movement when I'm doing quite exercise and sports science, it's like, well, Pilates is still part of that realm. And so I, I'd just kind of had to acknowledge that that was, that Pilates wasn't a special case where we do things differently than what science has shown to be most effective.

[00:27:59] And so I just, I [00:28:00] just started incorporating those things that, you know, that kind of science based knowledge into my teaching, like cuing, not cuing muscles, but cuing people to focus outside their bodies on the result of the movement, like giving fewer cues, like giving, um, like not kind of being the boss of the client and telling them what to do every step of the way, but giving them options and invitations and co-creating with them. Like not worrying about which muscles are activating.

[00:28:33] So now you know,, I don't teach Pilates on a daily basis anymore, but when I do take, you know, rare sort of private clients, or when I teach my wife, for example, my cuing is like ex- uber minimalist, you know, really I'm just like, okay, push the carriage out. You're doing awesome. Keep going. You know, like that, but that's about the level, and yes, I [00:29:00] think as, as I've learned more and more of cued less and less. 

[00:29:05] Olivia: I think Pilates has been treated, at least in the United States is like an unchangeable thing. And it has to be taught, especially if you subscribed to lineage and you're like, well, I have to pass on, you know, what my teacher passed on to me, which is interestingly also very big in the Ashtanga tradition. I also practice Ashtanga and it's wild. Um, when you're talking about coexisting in these two spaces, that Pilates does kind of set itself up to be an exception and to be like, oh, well, you know, all of our teachers know all the muscles, so they're good teachers, even though that's not really helpful. And I'm actually kind of glad that I hadn't done Pilates before I did Pilates teacher training, because it's kind of a, I don't know if alienating is the right word, but it's like, this teacher has all this knowledge and you just don't understand cause you don't know where your [00:30:00] multifidus is. And I'm like, oh no. And that's obviously not the kind of experience you want your clients to have I hope. 

[00:30:06] I just love that your teacher training has changed because not a lot of teacher trainings change. It's just the same. And like, this is the manual. There you go. And even if you did the training 10 years ago, like definitely something changed, but it doesn't. 

[00:30:23] Raphael: If you did our training last year, you would have found it significantly different to what you're experiencing at the moment. I think this, I mean it's, there's a timeless tension and I think it's just part of human nature between people who want to look backwards and preserve the, the past and people who want to move forwards.

[00:30:44] And, you know, I'm quite interested in history. Uh, and so one of my favorite podcasts of all time is called the History of Rome with Mike Duncan. And it's several hundred episodes on just the history of Rome from its [00:31:00] inception in about 600 BC to the collapse of Byzantium and about 1400 AD. And you know, one of the things he talks about is about a hundred, I think a hundred BC, a hundred AD. But anyway, the Ryman legions are for the first time ever.

[00:31:17] They're kind of losing to these new barbarians that they've, they've met. You know, who've got these crazy tactics. Cause in, in, back in those days, like the accepted military tactics was, you know, you'd get a block of men with shields on one side and the block of men with shields on the other side and they walk towards each other and hack away at each other and you know, one side wins. But these barbarians basically hid in the woods and shot arrows at them and so, they, you know, the tactics didn't work because the barbarians wouldn't engage in that on a ritualistic in a way that they had done. And so for the first time the Roman legions got, you know, basically handed their hat on, you know, uh, and they had to- They were humiliated.

[00:31:59] And [00:32:00] so this young upstart general called Marius, you know, developed a whole new set of tactics, you know, by moved from, uh, thinking phalanxes to manipular or vice versa. But anyway, this whole sort of new school set of tactics. And he was violently resisted by the established people in power, even though he was winning battle after battle after battle with these new tactics and they were losing battle after battle after battle with their techniques. And it was basically, you know, 10 years of politicking and struggle and strife and eventually they adopted his tactics and then Rome, you know, flourished and started kicking all the barbarians butts and taking over the world again.

[00:32:45] But it's like even in like a hundred BC or a hundred AD, I can't remember which, but it was like the new school versus the old school battle. You know, it was like contemporary versus classical. It was just like, it's [00:33:00] just human nature. And I think I want to be on the side of Marius. I want to be on the side of people who are not wedded to doing it a certain way, but, uh, who are just interested in doing it the whatever way is best.

[00:33:15] I think that was like a fundamental thing, fundamental inflection point for me is because I was originally of that mentality of like ah well, this is the way I learned it in my Stott Pilates training. And so the manual is like the 10 commandments and, you know, and that's how I would just refer to the manual for, for the answer to everything.

[00:33:35] And then at one point I realized like, I don't have to define myself by saying I do it according to Stott Pilates. I can just define myself by saying, I just, you know, when I'm wrong, I change my mind, you know? And then I'm right. You know, like you don't have to- cause I felt really bad. Like this is what I was trying to explain before, like these kinds of internal conflict, where I was learning one way at university [00:34:00] and reading science or whatever. And then I was kind of doing this other, doing something different when teaching. And I felt that tension and I felt disquieted about it, but it was kind of like, I felt like it was kind of part of my identity, like I've invested all these years in becoming a Pilates instructor and countless tens of thousands of dollars, going to Canada a bunch of times, opening a studio, and developing a reputation as somebody who's really good at teaching multifidus activation, and all of that stuff. And I felt like, well, I can't like, just let- you know, that's kind of my professional identity. And I realized it's like, yeah, I can just let go of that.

[00:34:36] Like I can just be like, oh yeah. Okay. That was really good. And now I've learned something even better. So I'm just going to do the better thing. And it was liberating to, to take the attitude of, I don't have to be locked into something I can just change. And I was like, oh, all of a sudden that weight just like [00:35:00] evaporated in a puff of smoke for me. And I was like, I felt so free. It is such a wonderful, liberating experience. 

[00:35:07] And ever since then, I've really made an effort. I mean, it's so hard, it's so easy as a human to identify with the content of what you're teaching. So I really make an effort to not invest my identity in, we do it this way, like at the moment in the current best science says, like I mentioned before, when we cue, to cue, to use cues that promote an external focus of attention, you know? So you just focusing attention on the mat or the foot bar or the carriage or the straps or whatever outside your body that's a result of the movements, so the movement of the straps, make the straps move smoothly, make the carriage move silently you know, push the mat into the floor, whatever it might be.

[00:35:50] And so that's what we teach, but, but I don't see myself as an advocate of external cuing. I see myself as an advocate of whatever current [00:36:00] science indicates is the best practice. And if next year, you know, new meta analysis comes out and says, external cuing is actually not the best way. There's this other thing. I will just let go of it like that. And I'll be like, oh yeah, go ahead. Okay. Let go of external cuing. So I really, I think that's such a liberating thing. 

[00:36:20] And not like, I totally see the value, like, you know, like I said, a practice, traditional martial arts and practiced Ashtanga yoga.I understand the value of tradition and you know, I love the idea of, you know, like I saw the Shaolin temple in China where Kung Fu was born. There's a courtyard there with depressions in the stone that are several inches deep. Foot shaped depressions in the stone, like the Arthur Murray dance school steps behind instructions. Where hundreds of generations of Shaolin monks have practiced their exact same form and are moving through the different, you know, movements. And I've, uh, you know, [00:37:00] five hundred years. They've worn depressions in the stone. 

[00:37:04] And I think like that, that gives me shivers when I think about it. That's amazing. But, and so I think there's a real, there's a lot of value in tradition. I don't want to disparage anybody who teaches from a tradition through a traditional lens, but I think that we need to be clear that the value of tradition stops when we're discussing questions about how does the world work. Empirical questions like, Is cuing individual muscles, the most effective way for humans to learn movement skills? No, it's not. Right? And if tradition says it is, Well, tradition is wrong. You know, is there a value in learning you know, a flowing sequence of movements like Joseph Pilates taught because it puts you into a, into a flow state and there's a connection with history. Yes. There's a massive value in that, [00:38:00] but yet that that's not the same thing as saying everything that Joseph said is true. Or everything that Romana said is true or everything my teacher said is true.

[00:38:15] Olivia: Hi there. I hope you're enjoying today's chapter so far. There's great stuff coming up after the break, too. Be sure to subscribe wherever you're listening and visit buymeacoffee.com/OliviaPodcasts to support the show there you can make a one-time donation or become a member for as little as $5 a month.

[00:38:34] Membership comes with some awesome perks, including a shout-out in the next episode, a monthly newsletter, a monthly zoom call with me and more. You can also visit links.OliviaBioni.com/affiliates to check out some sweet deals on products I use and love. Now back to the show[00:39:00] 

[00:39:12] I mean, I think what we're getting to, as well as this idea that things change. What we know about things changes over time. And, you know, I can't imagine that, you know, hygiene practices from 200 years ago are things that we want to like, be like, well, we didn't use to take baths, you know? Like that's seems like a silly thing to hold on to.

[00:39:34] And also knowing that it's going to change. Like sometimes I like to imagine like, okay, 200 years from now, we're all gone. Our grandkids are maybe running around or maybe they're not, I don't know how long we live then, but like, Is Pilates going to be exactly the same? Like is the way we exist in the world going to be exactly the same? Hopefully we've learned some new things and if we can implement those things to the benefit of the people we work with, the more, the better. Like you can, you can [00:40:00] hold both of those. 

[00:40:01] Raphael: I think it's also interesting to me, this sense of tradition because the history of Pilates is very recent and pretty well documented, especially of the last 30, 40 years. And having a daughter now who's 14 has given me some insight into this as well. Like, you know, she sees movies that were my, you know, my 14 year old daughter born in 2006, she sees movies that were made before 2000 as quite vintage. And I say all of the movies that are to me, a vintage movie is like an old sort of Humphrey Bogart movie or something in black and white, you know?

[00:40:39] Um, whereas to her, like all of the movies that I think of as modern, you know, like Alien or something, you know, that's a vintage movie, you know, to my daughter. Um, or The Matrix. She's like, oh, it's so, quite vintage, you know, um, so, so retro. And to her, the way things are [00:41:00] now is the way they always have been. Right. She does- she sees it like pre 2006 is like a thousand BC. 

[00:41:06] And so I think it was the same for me when I was growing up in the Stott Pilates world. Like I was given a Stott Pilates manuals with Moira in them talking about transverse abdominis, et cetera. And to me that was like, okay, that's Pilates. But I didn't realize that those were only written in 2001 or something. Right. And that cuing transverse abdominis, et cetera, was something that only came into Pilates at that time. Right. That in the 1980s, that wasn't a thing. 

[00:41:35] Right. And that in, in all, a lot of the things that came in that, that also like the whole dancer aesthetic, like reach and long and lean and graceful and all of these things, they came in, they weren't part of Joseph's original Pilates. You know, they were brought in by Romana and a lot of those sort of elders who were all dancers. Joseph wasn't a dancer. He was, his movement was herky jerky, clunky, [00:42:00] 19th century, medical gymnastics, style movement. 

[00:42:05] And you know, so a lot of the things that we think we think are, and even stuff like the principles of Pilates, you know, flowing movement, concentration control, blah, blah, blah. They weren't made up by Joseph. They were introduced by other people after Joseph was dead. And so like a lot of these things that we assume as like inherent parts of Pilates, like cuing individual muscles, Joseph never did it. The powerhouse, the core, the principles of Pilates, none of that came from Joseph Pilates. They were all added by people at various points along the way.

[00:42:41] But now we're handed this in our teacher training and there's a manual and it says, here's the things we do. And we think, oh, that's just like the stone tablets from Mount Sinai, but it's not, it's just a pamphlet someone might up 10 years ago. 

[00:42:54] Olivia: And I mean, I also think in terms of like where Pilates came from, I just talked with, I was talking with [00:43:00] another teacher and this idea that like there's rowing exercises on the reformer and no Pilates teacher is like, well, Joseph Pilates invented boats. Like, like obviously like rowing existed, these ideas existed, nothing happens in a vacuum. And that goes for us now as well. 

[00:43:18] Raphael: Totally. 

[00:43:18] Olivia: It would be cool if Joseph Pilates invented boats, but like how would he have gotten here? 

[00:43:25] Raphael: I can imagine some kind of boat with springs and a moving platform on it or something. 

[00:43:31] Olivia: V shaped, so they can't sleep comfortably. Damn. Joe, just let us sleep. 

[00:43:38] Raphael: The boat-nasium. 

[00:43:40] Olivia: Yes. So maybe this is a silly question because you have an entire teacher training, but, uh, what advice do you have for new teachers? What do you see coming out of teacher training, maybe even for yourself when you came out of teacher training? 

[00:43:56] Raphael: Well, I think for new teachers, [00:44:00] my advice is focus on the client. More on the client less on yourself. I think when you're a young teacher, and when I say young, I mean, young in Pilates, is like you recently certified, you know, it's real seductive to- because you've been focusing on learning, you know, memorizing all the exercises and the breath patterns and these things and the choreography and the cues and the, all of the stuff. And just, it's real easy to get seduced into thinking like, okay, that's what's important, but it's, it's not. 

[00:44:33] I mean, I, the thing that separates teachers who have, you know, full sessions and clients lined up around the block from teachers who don't is not superior memorization of all the muscles, you know, cues exercises or blah, blah, blah. It's connection with their clients. It's leaving their clients feeling good, mentally, physically, and emotionally. It's [00:45:00] following up with people outside class times and going, Hey, I was thinking about you. Would you like to try this other thing next time we get together? Or, you know, like it's, there's the focus on the clients. That is actually where you should be focusing.

[00:45:14] And honestly, I mean, I know so many great teachers who teach just the same 15 exercises with everyone, right. And not the not complicated exercises. I'm talking to footwork, lunges, the hundred, you know, just the basic, basic exercises. And that's not why clients come to them. They don't go, oh, I love going to such and such because they always teach me footwork. It's like, the clients don't even care about that. The clients love going to that- those people because of the way that they make them feel seen and heard and valued. The way they motivate and coach them and affirm them and build them and stretch them figuratively as well as literally. It's like, it's all of that [00:46:00] interpersonal stuff that happens when you focus on the client and, and think like, okay, why is this person here? Why are they paying me money to do this? Well, because they want to get out of pain or they want to stop thinking about their monkey mind for an hour or because they want to feel stronger because they want to, you know, whatever it is that the client wants, it's like, we'll focus on that, you know, focus on that.

[00:46:24] And don't worry if you cue the fricking exercise wrong, the client won't know. The Pilates police is not watching you. No one cares. Like literally it's like think of, you know, if you've, if you come out of a certification program, you know 500 exercises, when you say like quote "know" 500 exercises, like you probably only really know 10 or 20 exercises that you could teach with your eyes closed and both hands tied behind your back. Just teach those. Just teach those ones. Teach the exercises that you're like, ha I could teach that standing on my head. Well, just throw out all the others [00:47:00] and just teach the ones that you really, really confident so that you're not worrying about, oh, how do I cue footwork? Or how do I da da da, worrying about, How do I help these clients overcome their self limiting belief? Or how do I encourage this person to work a little bit harder today, even though their energy's a bit low or, you know, like, think about those things. Don't think about which cues or which footbar setting. If you get the footbar setting wrong, no one cares. You know, no one cares.

[00:47:33] Olivia: I think this is a really great segue into your book, which I've had the pleasure of reading because your book, Strengthen The Person, Not Just The Body Part has a healthy bit of information on the exercise, but, but also looks at the entire person that, which is even more than the exercise, because that happens even when they're not exercising. So can you share a little bit about your book and how that came to be? 

[00:47:58] Raphael: Well, I've been teaching [00:48:00] Pilates now 15 or 16 years and like I described, my journey has been from one of extreme orthodoxy, you know, teaching verbatim from the manual to grad- to gradually starting to question that, and, and then teaching my best understanding of the science we have, what science tells us is the best way to teach.

[00:48:22] And, you know, over the course of my, in my college, I studied rehabilitation, exercise physiology. And so I developed a lot of interest in pain science and biomechanics and anatomy and helping people overcome injuries and chronic pain. And I've, I mean, I gradually just developed this understanding that, you know, after reading hundreds, possibly thousands of scientific papers that, that, you know, the, the, the paradigm that specific exercises are helpful or harmful for [00:49:00] specific conditions is the wrong question. The most common question I get when we teach a rehabilitation is like our, which exercise should I do for disc bulge, or insert, you know, other conditions. And really it's the wrong question. 

[00:49:15] The fundamental, I think, misconception that we need, that I really want to correct is that pain and injury is, is this kind of biomechanical, strictly biomechanical phenomenon. Where I think the 19th century paradigm of the human body as a machine with cogs and levers. It's like a metaphor that we've had for, for a hundred years or more, that the human human body is in- is- it's like a 19th century industrial model of the human. The body is, is a machine with cogs and levers. And the brain is an electricity system with wires going through the body, which are the nerves. And so we, you know, when you have pain, you have like, you know, there's something, a [00:50:00] problem with the cog or the lever. Something's worn out or something. And that, you know, so the signal is transmitted up a wire to the brain and when the signal gets to the brain, then you have pain.

[00:50:08] And, you know, maybe people haven't been taught that explicitly that metaphor, but that is the implicit sort of mental map that most of us have of how pain works. And so it's like where, when we have that signal of pain in the brain, that is an indicator that there is something wrong somewhere in the body, you know. One of the cogs or levers is out of whack somehow. And so it's our job as movement professionals to re align or balance the cogs and the levers and so everything's moving smoothly, you know. When you could even extend the metaphor a little bit further and say, okay, work with fascia, maybe it's our job to decompress the cogs and levers or whatever, you know, but basically it's thinking along a mechanical reasoning process, you know, A plus B equals C, you know. Misalignment plus movement equals pain or something like that.

[00:50:55] Whereas in reality, that just doesn't fit. Like just reams and reams and reams [00:51:00] of evidence that it doesn't fit the facts. And that pain is, is a, what's called a bio psycho social phenomenon. That is, it's complex and it's systemic, and it's very possible to have pain without injury, you know, and we've all had pain without injury. Uh, you know, like many of us have had an experience of just like getting a random ache or pain in the body. It's almost like your shin starts hurting for no apparent reason. And then shortly afterwards it stops hurting or, or whatever it might be. 

[00:51:28] And even people with say, uh, you know, a quote, air quotes here, injury, disc bulge, right. But I have good days and bad days. Some days people with disc bulge, they might have terrible pain. Other days, they might have virtually no pain. Well, does a disc bulge heal and then re-bulge and then heal and then re-bulge? Is like, is that really what's happening from one day to the next? 

[00:51:49] So it, and in fact, there's fascinating research in people who've had limbs amputated that there's this really common phenomena called phantom limb pain, where around [00:52:00] 85% of people who've had a leg amputated feel pain in their amputated limb, in this non-existent body part. Right? So it's, it's so fascinating. 

[00:52:11] And so much of this points to that, or inescapably points to the conclusion that pain is not in the body parts. So you don't have pain in your leg, right? Cause you can have pain in your leg, even when you don't have a leg. Pain is in the brain and pain is not an infallible indicator of damage. It's a complex phenomenon that is result of multiple, you know, inputs into the brain. 

[00:52:38] And when I say it's in the brain, I don't mean for a second, that it's imagined or it's made up or, you know, anything like that. I just mean like, literally, if you do an MRI of somebody, a PET scan when they're experiencing pain, nothing's happening in the arm or the leg. Like the stuff that's happening is happening in the brain. So we could still have back pain if we were just a brain in a vat. [00:53:00] 

[00:53:00] And so, so the things that affect pain are mostly systemic factors. So things like systemic inflammation, things like poor sleep stress, low self efficacy, negative pain beliefs, poor mental health, all of these things. I mean, everybody knows from their own experience, right? If you've got a sore back or a sore neck or a sore, whatever, if you stub your toe, right. It hurts worse when you're stressed, when you're under slept, when you've got low resilience, when you've just had some, you've been fighting with your loved one, whatever it is, it's like, we all know this. It's like, it's totally self-evident when you think about it. Right. But yet, you know, as movement professionals we think are, well, you know, we'll just fire this muscle and that'll solve it for you. It's like, well, how is that- how is that going to change it? 

[00:53:51] We also have this model, that specific exercises address, you know, say you've got a disc bulge and therefore we'll do some exercises to strengthen your core [00:54:00] that will stabilize your spine and take the pressure off your disc. Well, that's wrong on a couple of levels. One is like, when you truly understand the biomechanics of, I, you know, we don't have time to go into it here because it's like a four hour conversation. But when you understand the biomechanics of the forces on the disc wall in movement, actually when you activate your core, your abdominals, okay, you increase compression on the spine. And so just putting that to the side, whether you have back pain or not is a result of, or, and how much back pain you have, is result of a complex interaction of so many factors. 

[00:54:41] And we have this notion that if we fire this muscle or strengthen that muscle or change your posture, that's going to change it. Well, that's changing- it's like you go into a jumbo jet cockpit, right? And there's 7,000 switches and dials, and that is going, okay. This one dial is gonna solve all of the problems. You know, I'm just going to fly the plane using only this one [00:55:00] switch. 

[00:55:00] You know, it's like, it's just, the human brain is just so incredibly complex. And it seems like that the effects of exercise are, in fact, not specific like one switch, it's more general. When you exercise, it reduces systemic inflammation, okay, which we know is correlated with pain. It increases self efficacy. It releases endorphins. It improves neuroplasticity. So you, you know, you can rewire your brain to be less sensitive to pain. It improves mental health. Like exercise helps on so many dimensions that all influence pain, that are not specific to the tissue where you quite, you know, feel that the pain, whether that's in your knee or your back. 

[00:55:45] And so that's why we find that exercise helps pine, but it doesn't really matter what exercise you do. Does strengthening your core help back pain? Yes, it does. But so does strengthening your calf muscles, you know? [00:56:00] And so does going for a walk, and so does gardening, you know, and so does doing Tai Chi, and so does like, basically anything you can think of helps. And that's because we're affecting, where it seems that we're affecting, pain on this more systemic level.

[00:56:16] And so the whole question of which exercise should I do for disc bulge, or which exercise should I avoid for disc bulge? We can substitute for disc bulge, like shoulder impingement or spondylolisthesis or arthritis or hip impingement or whatever, is the wrong question. And we kind of focused on chasing pain around the body and focusing on the body part that's sore. 

[00:56:36] And my beef with super sophisticated "we focused on the myofascial sling" whatever, but it's like, that's not where the answer is. We're looking in the wrong place. You know, the answer is look at the whole human in front of you. And I really would like to change the conversation. 

[00:56:51] The phrase that we use in Pilates of look at the body in front of you, to look at the human front of you and work with the human in front of you. [00:57:00] Because that person, they have thoughts. They have emotions, they have beliefs that make meaning. They have expectations. And all of those things turn out to be relevant, you know, more relevant, to pain and injury rehabilitation then whether their VMO is firing when they do a squat. 

[00:57:19] Olivia: I think this is what drew me to Ashtanga yoga, and then to Pilates as well, was this idea that you do all of the exercises. It's not like, oh, well you got to do backbends or, oh, well you got to do some twists. It's that you do all of these poses or you do all of these exercises. And if you do all of them, you'll be better off, you know? And I think that sort of going back to Contrology or like looking at it as an entire tapestry, instead of trying to pull out one thread that's to going to be the answer.

[00:57:53] But I mean, I can understand the appeal. It would be nice. It would be like, oh, your back hurts, do a backbend. And then you're fine. Like, of course that'd be really nice, [00:58:00] but that's not reality. 

[00:58:02] Raphael: Yeah. I love that metaphor of a tapestry versus a thread. And absolutely think you know, I mean Joseph Pilates got that really, really right. The whole, whole body movement. It's not about this or that pet set of muscles. Yeah, great liking just what you teach as a regular Pilates session, you know, forward bending, backward bending, side bending, twisting, legs, arms, all the things, that's what's good for people who've got back pain or neck pain or knee pain or shoulder pain, you know. 

[00:58:34] And it's, it's not so much which moves you do has how you deliver that exercise in a package of communication and social interaction and expectation building and collaboration with the client and a whole bunch of stuff that is not like specific to the exercise, but is [00:59:00] very, very important to people's pain experience, you know. 

[00:59:05] So the Strengthen The Person, Not Just The Body Part, the premise behind it is moving away from this biomechanical model, cogs and levers and wires, and moving you know, accepting this, the current bio-psycho-social understanding of pain which is the pain is a result, is output of the brain, result of a complex interaction between multiple factors, including lots of stuff that happens in the brain, like thoughts, emotions, beliefs, expectations, et cetera.

[00:59:32] And that the amazing thing though is, even though it's complex and it's systemic, we can have profound and complex results with a simple intervention like exercise. Because when you package foot work, for example, the simplest exercise in all of Pilates just about, when you package that inside a therapeutic alliance with the client, where you collaborate and you trust, [01:00:00] and you mutually develop goals that are meaningful for the client and where you help the client build self-efficacy and expectation that they're going to get better. You know, all of that stuff. Exercise can profoundly influence many of those complex factors. Things like sleep and stress. Well, exercise helps you sleep better. Exercise reduces stress, exercise improves mental health, and exercise releases endorphins, exercise improves expectation, exercise improves self efficacy.

[01:00:32] We don't have to do specific different interventions for all of these things necessarily. We can just give like the same simple exercises that we've been giving people, with just a different narrative and a different mindset of collaboration with the client, rather than kind of directing the client. We coach the client. And it turns out that when we follow the science, it's actually the [01:01:00] simple things that work best, rather than the complex things, which I think is wonderful because it means like it's really easy to learn how to give best practice care. It's like, it's actually a lot easier than learning how to give like non evidence-based care. 

[01:01:16] So the book is my attempt to share that knowledge in a way that is accessible to people so that basically I've read and digested those research papers and hopefully presented them in a way that is easy for people to- they're kind of pre-digested for you. Right. And I've tried not to oversimplify it, but I've tried to present it as simply as possible, but not more simply so that people can understand the science and they can understand that a little bit of the nuance you know, on both sides. And that gives people a real clear, simple evidence-based framework to reason and problem solve through any [01:02:00] injury.

[01:02:01] Olivia: That's awesome. And it's available now. I will link in the show notes so that you can check it out because it is pretty sweet and definitely lives up to expectations in terms of science and levels of awesomeness. 

[01:02:15] Raphael: Well, you're um, thanks to you, Olivia, because you know, you read, uh, an advanced copy of the manuscript and gave me some really, really awesome feedback, which I've incorporated into the, into the book. So thank you. 

[01:02:28] Olivia: Well, I am excited to, uh, read the official copy now. Yay. Is there anything else you want to slide in? I don't want to keep taking up all of your time, but is there anything else you want to touch on that has not been touched upon? 

[01:02:42] Raphael: Just that you're, you're doing an awesome job and, um, you know, like you said before about the pandemic and really changing the industry and stuff and absolutely. And one of the things that's been great for me, and I think for many of us is that I now feel like I have like genuine friends [01:03:00] all over the world. And a lot of the time I actually feel like I know people very well, but I don't even know what country they live in, you know? Um, and I think that's so wonderful now that, you know, I mean, we've all got social media, you know, friends who aren't really friends, but I've actually developed friendships with people, uh, and professional connections with people all over the world and you're one of them. And, um, you know, I think there are, I see that happening all over. And, um, I think it's been a fantastic thing, that fantastic kind of silver lining of the pandemic that has brought a lot of us together on social media around the world. And your podcast is a, it's not really social media, but it is part of that whole evolution. And, you know, I look at your list of guests and, you know, I recognize most of those people. And, um, yeah, so I think, I think, you know, you're making a fantastic contribution to this whole conversation and, um, keep up the work. 

[01:03:59] Olivia: [01:04:00] Thanks, Raph. That means a lot coming from you, but I really appreciate you taking the time and being on the show and sharing your wisdom. What a ride, man. What a treat. Thanks for coming on. 

[01:04:11] Raphael: Yeah, we're not at- it's not over yet. There's more, a lot more to come. 

[01:04:18] Olivia: The adventure continues. Until next time.

[01:04:29] Thanks for listening to this week's chapter of Pilates Teachers' Manual, your guide to becoming a great Pilates teacher. Check out the podcast Instagram at @pilatesteachersmanual and be sure to subscribe wherever you listen. For more Pilates goodness, check out my other podcast, Pilates Students' Manual, available everywhere you listen to podcasts.

[01:04:52] The adventure continues. Until next time.