pilates instructor helping katherine wolf

Katherine Wolf Progress: Seventh Session with Risa

Thinking Up!

We started on the barre doing lunges. Katherine has a tendency to look down at the floor while walking and exercising. I instructed her to lift her head up, and bring her gaze to the front. I had her constantly thinking of lengthening her spine beyond the top of her head while performing her lunges, and moving forward instead of downward. Katherine would like to use her walker less and less, so eventually she will not use it at all. I have made it my intention as well! In order to achieve that she will have to strengthen her right side and improve her balance, and make her two sides work together as much as possible. I then had Katherine hold onto the barre full face again with head held high, and eyes gazing upward. Then I had her gently place her hands on the barre while lifting her right foot off the floor about 45 degrees, her left leg supporting her. I instructed Katherine to activate all her muscles and to specifically notice the feeling she experienced on her strong leg.

Katherine then switched balancing on her weak right side (or fun side as we prefer to call it). She then focused her attention on the feeling of the stronger leg supporting her. Voila! It worked, although not for long. Her image in her mind of how it was suppose to feel was stronger than her weak muscles.

This definitely is the way we are going to continue to work until eventually the neurons in Katherine’s mind and the way she uses her muscles become as one permanently.

At home I told her to keep her head lifted and visualize the feeling of her stronger side in everything she does. One day it will become a natural part of her everyday routine.

Katherine Wolf is an amazing person with a strong will and a positive attitude toward life. Her determination in getting better and returning to the physical ability that she was in prior to her unfortunate stroke plus the Pilates workout are going to be a great pair in her ultimate goal.

I pray for her complete recovery, which I am very positive about.

To learn more about Katherine Wolf as we work together, visit her blog at www.hope-heals.com.


Risa Sheppard
The Sheppard Method Pilates Studios