Creativity, Successful Learning & Safety

In this episode, The Power of Consistency – Creativity, Successful Learning & Safety, we welcome another special guest, Melissa Kakavas, educational director at Evolve Movement in Raleigh, NC. We continue the very rich and super cool topic of using the original Pilates orders as a framework for fostering creativity, successful development of us as teachers as well as our students, and how they either allow us to keep our students safe or not… You won’t want to miss this!

Also, below you’ll see a comment from a teacher, educator, and high-level athletic trainer, Anna Hartman. She shares her thoughts on working with the orders. Please feel free to leave your comments and feedback as well!


Thoughts from our listeners:


Hi Chantill,

This is a great discussion. So many great points.

In my own practice, which is as a certified athletic trainer working on rehabilitation or preventative care with professional athletes I definitely value the importance of a plan. When I teach to PT and ATC students and colleagues this is something that I always stress. To have a plan and understand the reasoning or benefit behind both each exercise or technique and the plan as a whole and how it relates or is woven into your evaluation and observations of what the client needs and wants.

There are times in my practice that I have been overwhelmed with life or paperwork or administration and have lost the guidance of a plan or I had learned a new technique and been so excited to use my clients as an opportunity to practice and see how it works that the idea of a plan goes out the window. When I reflect on these moments I see how lost, sometimes needy and disengaged my athletes were, vs. when I worked from an exact plan that was consistent session to session they were focused and empowered to apply what they learned in other movement practices or with a home exercise program.  For myself, I definitely feel more present and give my best self to the client when I have a plan. Without a plan, I am more disorganized and always have a million things on my mind which means I am there but often somewhere else all together.

Having a plan allows for a constant evaluation of the athlete and allows for a creativity to take place of how do I help assist in creating a better movement experience for them. As Chantill and Debora mentioned, allows for less detail and more feeling. This can happen within the session in the moment, at the end as Debora spoke to, or for the next session. Usually I have the plan written out and I put small notes on it in the moment to make modifications for the next time or what I did in the moment to facilitate the movement experience that allowed for them to work through the skill.

I do not have a lot of experience with Joe’s traditional plan from Return to Life, though I am so intrigued by it and other traditional plans that are out there in the different industries. I love to utilize these plans and try to figure out why they work so well, which may be different for each person working through them. Which is what makes the body and the human experience within it so unique. I first experienced this, at the PMA in one of Michele Larsson’s mat classes. The classical sequence did not fit the movement science / programming guidelines I had learned in my Pilates education, but yet what I experienced felt good in my body, and let’s face it has been successful for many people before me. So that got my mind thinking.

I do not think there is a perfect way to do anything, but I am a huge believer that a movement practitioner should always have a reason for each exercise or movement they prescribe, to seek to understand the why behind it to the best of their ability which helps to create a plan or follow a traditional one and guide the client to the most optimal movement experience. My “why” for exercises or plans I use today may be different then the “why” 11 years ago, but I have always made sure I had a reason for it, which is where the creativity, intuition, and passion is found.

See you soon!!

Anna Hartman MS, ATC, CSCS, PMA-CPT
Certified Athletic Trainer
Polestar Pilates Rehabilitation Mentor
Founder, Movement REV