On the Value of a Good Teacher

By | February 21, 2015

While Nika is actually a very pretty girl there are times when she sounds more like a drill sergeant than ...

While Nika is actually a very pretty girl there are times when she sounds more like a drill sergeant than …

Experience is the best teacher. Much of what I have learned about back rehabilitation I have learned directly from my patients and even more importantly from my own experience. Exercise is difficult to study scientifically, because form is so important. If you take a simple exercise like crunches and modify it slightly, lets say by putting in a small twist at the end, you actually get a completely different exercise. In one case you work primarily the rectus abdominis muscles and in the second case you are working the transversus abdominis and the obliques. I have been working with Nika Eshetu who owns Atomic Pilates in North Hollywood for about a year now. While some of our work is done on the Reformer and the Cadillac, most of it is relatively simple floor work. Nika gives me exercises to do in class so that she can measure my progress, but just as importantly so that she can identify weakness and correct my form. When I first attempt one of her exercises I invariably modify it, or perhaps degrade the form would be a better way of putting it, usually by doing something as simple as turning my feet out slightly. This makes the exercise easier, usually by allowing me to use muscles, which are already strong rather that strengthen weak ones. I am usually unaware of these modifications until Nika points them out to me. By the end each session I am usually able to feel what Nika wants and am able to attempt the exercises on my own during the coming week. It is possible that my patients at Schlesinger Pain Centers are better athletes than I am, but it is extremely likely that they would also benefit from the professional supervision of a good teacher in their rehabilitation and exercise regimes.


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