Find Your Way to Wellness Within
Enjoy the world's best Pilates, yoga and integrative fitness training at the 6th annual Inner IDEA® Conference
“When I think of ‘wellness within,’ the theme of Inner IDEA this year, the word that comes to me right away is balance—balance between mind, body and the breath,” says world-renowned yoga instructor and Inner IDEA presenter Rodney Yee, who will guide three sessions at the conference, including a large-group closing workout. “Wellness within is mindfulness and acceptance of what you are, what you feel inside and how it’s always changing. That process is helped by being attentive to the breath as it moves through the body. I don’t think wellness within denotes any specific thing on the outside. I could still be sick within and appear well on the outside. And while inner wellness promotes overall wellness, it does not guarantee that you’re going to be this example of perfect health outside. It has to do with an attitude of acceptance of what’s coming down the pike in this moment, and with being aware of the beauty that is arising in your life as it happens.”
Presenter Colleen Saidman Yee, Rodney Yee’s wife, expresses it this way: “Wellness within is being able to be where you are without exaggerating it or pushing it away, even if that place isn’t where you want to be.”
At the 2011 Inner IDEA Conference, a community of the most dedicated and visionary presenters, instructors and practitioners in the mind-body-spirit health arena will gather to explore the theme of “Wellness Within” through in-depth, groundbreaking education and training in Pilates, yoga and integrative wellness.
The 6th annual Inner IDEA Conference will take place October 6–9, 2011, at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines Hotel in La Jolla, California, and will feature more than 100 sessions on the hottest topics and programs in Pilates, yoga, and wellness areas such as tai chi and qi gong, Nia®, GYROTONIC® exercise, mindfulness and meditation, nutrition, research, preventive medicine, and wellness business and career development.
“This is the only place in the world where instructors can find this combination of the highest level of education in Pilates, yoga and wellness all together in one place, in one weekend,” says Marcia Hayes, programming director for Inner IDEA. “While there are events that focus on yoga, Pilates or wellness, only Inner IDEA brings together the top names and programs in all three—in some ways, it’s like three conferences in one. For instructors or trainers who want to stay current in these fields, or to expand their scope of practice or level of expertise, this is the place to find what they need.”
Inner IDEA is well-known for its mindful learning environment designed to support all participants and many paths to health and wellness. “We live in a world that can be highly competitive and crazy at times,” says Hayes. “Inner IDEA is a haven from all that, where we focus on the present moment and explore what it means to have balance and integration between body, mind and spirit. It’s a personal journey as much as a professional one.”
This year Inner IDEA will feature legendary yoga teacher Rodney Yee and Pilates pioneer Lolita San Miguel, one of only two practitioners known to have been officially certified by Joseph Pilates.
Rodney Yee is one of the most prominent faces of yoga in the world and has appeared on Oprah, Good Morning America, PBS and too many television shows and magazines to count. Yee has created and appeared in more than 30 yoga videos and numerous audio recordings and has authored two books, Yoga: The Poetry of the Body (St. Martin’s Press 2002) and Moving Toward Balance (Rodale 2004). In 1987, he co-founded Piedmont Yoga Studio in Oakland, California. He helped create Gaiam’s online yoga club and is the executive director of Donna Karan’s Urban Zen Integrative Therapy Program, a 500-hour program that trains therapists to work with patients in hospitals and other settings using yoga therapy, aromatherapy, Reiki, nutrition and contemplative end-of-life care.
San Miguel will share her experiences working with the Pilates founder and describe the lifelong benefits that Pilates has brought her. “I’m 76 years old, and I leave on Wednesday to do workshops in Prague, Geneva and Amsterdam. Most 76-year-olds are not doing this! I practice daily, and I’m in excellent physical condition from head to toe, but the benefits are not just physical. I feel very together mentally and spiritually. I’m very clear, centered and mentally very focused. I’m so thankful for what Pilates has done in my life and want to share those benefits with as many people as possible.”
San Miguel received her first certification from Carola Trier, Joseph Pilates’s first disciple to open a studio, and then studied with Pilates himself. In 1967, the State University of New York awarded her a degree to teach the Pilates Method. Since then, she has never stopped learning, and much more recently she was certified by Polestar® Pilates Education and awarded a Gold Certificate by the Pilates Method Alliance®.
This year’s conference will have a whole new feel as it moves from a desert environment to an oceanside setting surrounded by abundant natural beauty. The event will be held at the newly renovated Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines Hotel, which offers spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and overlooks the famous Torrey Pines Golf Course. The luxury hotel is just a short walk from the world-famous Torrey Pines State Reserve, known for its sandy beaches, golden cliffs, sweeping views and hiking trails through forests of torrey pines, the rarest native pines in the United States. The torrey pines woodland area overlooking the Pacific is one of Southern California’s truly unique and historic areas.
The hotel is conveniently close to La Jolla’s world-class shopping and nightlife, along with all the activity and vacation opportunities San Diego has to offer. There are more than 70 miles of coastline to explore, and sports and recreation options range from surfing, sailing, kayaking and hang-gliding to biking, running, swimming and diving.
Special events during the conference include Friday night’s Welcome Reception, where you’ll meet presenters and peers who share a passion for wellness; master classes with Rodney Yee and Lolita San Miguel; a lively Saturday night panel discussion on visions for the future of Pilates; and once-in-a-lifetime movement sessions where you will close the event together with the full Inner IDEA community on Sunday.
This year Inner IDEA will offer water programming, plus more outdoor experiences—day and night—than ever before. You can also shop for products, books, music, clothing, accessories, equipment and much more. Inner IDEA offers a broad selection of products from leading mind-body-spirit wellness providers. (Take advantage of special discounts!)
Most of this year’s program is brand-new, with fresh faces and innovative ideas, sessions and experiences. Highlights include two new preconference workshops: “STOTT PILATES® Pilates With Props, Levels 1 & 2” with PJ O’Clair and “SmartSpine™: Core Ability to Optimum Mobility” with Marie-José Blom. These 4-hour in-depth training sessions give you an opportunity to expand your knowledge base, technical skills and client reach in a specialized area of your choice. Sign up early—preconference sessions are expected to sell out.
Here are some of the other hot topics on this year’s program:
- Pilates veteran Lolita San Miguel sharing insights on the life, philosophy and teaching techniques of Joseph Pilates
- Panel Discussion: Visions—The Pilates of Tomorrow, With Lolita San Miguel, Rael Isacowitz, MA, Michael King and PJ O’Clair, moderated by Kathy Corey
- Boomer Pilates
- Connecting the Feet to the Body
- Contemporary Integrative Movement With Pilates Equipment
- Flow Water Style Pilates
- Focusing on the Core
- Insights in Alignment, Anatomy, Cuing, Correcting
- Instructing a Multilevel Group Reformer Class
- Jumpboard Interval Training
- Mat and Small Equipment
- Osteoporosis Management
- The Pilates Professional—Understanding Studio Operations and Money to Create Success
- Reformer for Dancers
- Reformer Tower: Creative Programming for Older-Adult Clients
- Reformers With STOTT PILATES and D&D Pilates
- This Hurts My Neck! This Hurts My Back!
- Two-Point Touch Cuing for the Reformer
- Rodney Yee guiding three powerful yoga sessions: “The Urban Zen Integrative Therapy,” “Everyday Yoga” and “Yoga for Restoration”
- Find Y.O.G.A.—Your Own Gorgeous Asana
- The Art of Savasana, Empowered Rest
- Ayurvedic Yoga—The Five Elements
- Developing the Teacher’s Eye
- Santosha: The Art of Being Content With Your Body and Your Practice
- Sun Salutations
- Teaching and Practicing From the Integrity of the Pose
- Teaching Yoga to Ease Depression and Anxiety
- Warrior Within
- Yoga Tune Up®
- BOSU® Pilates
- Brain Body Training
- Burn at the Barre
- Drums Alive®: The Mind-Body Connection
- The Eight Ancient Treasures of Qigong
- 40 Is Not the New 30
- GYROTONIC® EXPANSION SYSTEM®
- Improve Balance and Core for Women of All Ages
- Mind-Body Circuit Sensations
- Mind-Body Endurance, CoreFitnessRoller™
- Spa for the Soul: Instructor Self-Care
- Tai Chi to Go
- Tri Balletone®
- The Wounded Weekend Warrior
- Yo-Nia: Dynamic Movement Into Stillness
- Hormones: A Critical Link to Health
- How Your Thoughts and Attitude Affect Your Hormones and Life
- Somatic Experiencing and Integrative Wellness Study
- Stress Reduction and Rejuvenating Techniques
- Super Foods to Super Fabulous: Optimize Your Immune System, Your Metabolism and Your Health
- What IS Marketing?
- Whole-Brain Techniques and Exercise
- Winning at Losing—Strategies for Insulin Resistance
- Women, Weight and the Menopausal Middle
- Aqua Mind-Body Sessions
- The Inner Runner
- Labyrinth Walks
- Torrey Pines Nature Walk
Wellness Hot Topics
Unique Ways to Engage Your Spirit
Inner IDEA® is designed to be an intimate educational event experience, and participation is limited to 550 attendees. Past Inner IDEA conferences have sold out, so decide early if you are going to attend. You can register by website, phone, fax or mail. See www.ideafit.com/inneridea for more information. The advance-registration deadline is August 26, 2011.
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Q & A With Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman Yee
Q: What are the lessons you’ve learned through your practice of yoga?
A: Rodney: I’ve learned that observation is many times more important than determination. Daily practice can be tough. You need to come to it with your heart and soul every day and not make it mechanical. You need emptiness and a sense of wonder, so you can leave room for the unexpected, just as in science, where amazing things are discovered serendipitously. If you don’t leave room for that, you’re just going to get more of the same. Stay open to what your practice is trying to tell you, instead of trying to tell your practice what to do for you. As the poet Rumi put it, being human is similar to being a guest house with a new arrival every day. You need to ask, what is today’s guest trying to teach me? The poses have a message, like a message in the bottle. The question is: Can I decipher the message the pose is giving me, instead of bringing a message to the pose?
A: Colleen: One of the most important lessons is humility, especially as you age. I’m almost 52, and I’ve learned that it’s not really about the struggle to do things a certain way or setting up an intention; it’s about showing up on the mat and doing what you can do, even if it’s not what you could do 10 years ago. I’ve been a fashion model since I was a teenager, and I’m learning acceptance as I look at skin that’s losing elasticity, muscles that aren’t as firm as they once were. Yoga is about being with all of that and accepting where we are with what we have now—even if it may not always be what we want it to be, or what’s pleasing. In our meditations in hospitals, for example, that may mean sitting with a tumor.
Q: What do you see as the biggest challenges in the yoga field today?
A: Rodney: One is just the definition of yoga. In the 1960s people thought it was a cultish spiritual journey. Now it’s gotten more ensconced in the fitness world, and it’s about a lean, tight body. These are stereotypes that . . . keep it from having a much broader spectrum of understanding. Identifying yoga in any narrow way is a mistake. I love that yoga addresses the totality of who I am.
A: Colleen: Yes, yoga can help you lose weight or feel good, but I think we need teachers who have enough depth of practice to share the bigger picture, the more holistic aspect of what yoga can provide—[teachers who know] that it can provide a much greater contribution not just to your health and wellness but to your whole life.
Q: What directions do you see for the future of yoga?
A: Rodney: I think more people are going to understand its benefits in education, medicine and the workplace. It will break out of the narrow confines in the fitness world. We have the advantage today of there being lots of people in the United States who have studied yoga for 30 or 40 years. At one time, there were just a handful of people with that kind of experience. This means there are a lot more people pushing the envelope of what yoga means and what it can do. It elevates the practice and makes me very optimistic.
A: Colleen: I would hope to see yoga become like brushing your teeth—something everyone does no matter what their age, sex or job. I would like to see it demystified, so it’s not about physical contortion, but a very practical way to be a more present, balanced, efficient, kinder person. My father is gravely ill, but yoga helps him have less pain and need less medication. Yoga can make a difference even at the end of life.
Q: In your view, what are the most important things for a yoga teacher to do to succeed?
A: Rodney: The most important thing to do is to practice, and then to be as honest and clear in your communications about what has arisen in your practice so you can share it.
A: Colleen: Practice, practice, practice, every single day. Teach from your body, not from a textbook or what you’ve heard. If it’s not in your body, don’t teach it.
Q: What do you do to have fun?
A: Rodney & Colleen: We walk around town, shop—we’re both clothes hounds—and watch movies. When we watch movies, we cry at the same places! We love movies with a good script and an interesting perspective. We’re both big family people. We play online Scrabble with our kids and with each other. The great thing about being yoga teachers is that the thing we do for fun in some ways is our work. We’re both constantly thinking about yoga. [That] might seem odd for some people, but it’s fun for us—we understand each other’s obsessions!
Q & A With Lolita San Miguel
Q: What does the theme of the conference, “Wellness Within,” mean to you?
A: Well, I always say Joe Pilates thought of himself as a universal reformer and his wish was to change society. He felt that people who did Pilates would be integrated in spirit, mind and body—and would not be looking to start wars, for example. He thought Pilates could create a happier, better, more physically fit society. I think that’s the biggest aim of Pilates: to develop a whole new lifestyle that creates wellness within but also makes the world a better place. Joe’s vision was big—he was involved in nutrition, how to get good sleep, skin health. The purpose of his method was to integrate and work with the whole being.
Q: Can you tell us about your memories of working with Joe Pilates?
A: I worked with him during the last 21/2 years before he died. There were some days when he was quite depressed because he felt he had not accomplished what he wished and that time was running out. There were other days when he was very upbeat and liked to challenge me constantly. I called that play time. Now, when I think back, it’s wonderful that in his 80s, he could still find little ways to challenge me and explore movement with me. That play time was very meaningful to me.
Q: What do you see as the biggest challenges in the Pilates field today?
A: First of all, I believe that Joe would want unity in our field. And I think we need to work harder to motivate more people to try Pilates, especially children, as Joe wanted. His goal was [to have] people start Pilates at a young age, so it becomes a part of their life early. We have also lost a great deal of the male population. In my day, around 60% of Pilates students were men. After all, Pilates was created by a very, shall we say, macho male! I’d also like to see Pilates used more as a form of rehabilitation in hospitals and in medical settings. Today it’s happening, but slowly.
Q: What other directions do you see for the future of Pilates?
A: I hope we can do more to honor Joe’s legacy. In 2009 I celebrated Pilates Day, the first Saturday of May, in Monchengladbach, Germany, where Joseph Pilates was born. I gave a class for over 100 people. I was shocked to find out that no one there knew of him, and I made it my mission to correct that. Last year, we taught seven classes, and over 200 people came. We wanted to erect a statue but ultimately agreed on a plaque that the mayor of Monchengladbach unveiled on May 7, 2011, with many of the top names in Pilates from the United States and around the world there. I would like to see a plaque at the site of Joe’s New York studio at 939 8th Avenue.
Q: In your view, what are some common mistakes that Pilates teachers make?
A: We must never forget that you cannot learn a routine and apply it to everybody, because every body is different. When [people] place their [bodies] in your hands, you have a great responsibility. So you need to learn your ABCs well and know that Pilates is not just a set of exercises. It’s a way of integrating spirit, mind and body into a lifestyle. Also, I think we’ve neglected certain parts of the body, like the feet—I’m very big on feet—and posture. Pilates to me equals posture. I do not belong to the group that feels Pilates needs to stay the way Joe taught it, because we have made a great deal of progress since then in science and kinesiology. Joe died in 1967. If he had lived, he himself would have changed a lot of things. It doesn’t take anything away from his genius for Pilates teachers to make changes, but there needs to be a reason. It can’t be capricious.
Q: You’re not always doing Pilates. What do you do to have fun?
A: First of all, I love to travel, and I travel with my husband. Most of my travel is work related, but I always find time to stay several days before or after, to see the place. I love to meet people from different cultures. I also enjoy the theatre, ballet and opera very much. And I love good food—I eat everything!
© 2011 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.
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