On-going education is vital... Knowledge is power!


Cara Reeser provides advanced study weekends for Pilates instructors outside Colorado, bringing a breadth of knowledge and experience. Stimulate again your commitment to Pilates and add a layer to your wisdom as an instructor.

Course Offerings

Pilates Protocols for Stronger Neck and Freer Shoulders
1 or 2 days (the number of CEC hours are negotiable)

A strong and supple spine must include our necks! Adequate neck strength and alignment helps facilitate freedom and ease for our shoulders. In this course, we will learn: exercises, images and cues to help our clients build neck strength and control in all ranges of motion. We will understand how current, popular cuing that leads to the over-correction of our shoulder complex often actually thwarts our ability to use our necks well, resulting in a restricted range of motion for the rest of our spine. Basic anatomy of the neck and shoulder complex will be reviewed. Smart and effective Pilates movement protocols will be explored.

The Pelvis Spine Connection
1 or 2 days (the number of CEC hours are negotiable)

As Pilates practioners and teachers we spend a fair amount of time and effort exploring and explaining the importance of good spinal articulation. In this course, we will examine ways in which the movements of the pelvis on the femurs is essential for allowing our spines to articulate well in flexion, extension, lateral flexion and rotation. In order to properly understand how to move our spine in all directions we need to have a basic understanding of its joints, and of the articulating surfaces of the pelvis on the femurs. This course will offer a simple anatomical review of these joints and will provide preparatory movement protocols that will help inform and encourage reasonable and healthy spinal articulation while performing exercises from the Pilates repertoire.

Kathy Grant Retrospective
2 days (the number of CEC hours are negotiable)

Kathleen Stanford Grant began her studies with Joseph Pilates in the mid 1950’s in his New York City studio. In the years that followed, she carried on the work she learned from her teachers Joe and Clara Pilates, her mentor Carola Trier, and many other movement teachers she worked with along the way. Teaching what we now call Pilates.

Kathy taught with a deep understanding and sensitivity; she was, in her own right, a healer, using her imagination, her experience and her intuition as her guide. In the five decades that she taught, she developed a stunning vocabulary, view and method that she passed along to her closest students. In this course, Cara will share a very personal and treasured collection of exercises, images, and stories through her lens.

Students will learn and practice a large variety of the movement vocabulary that Kathy taught Cara. Using the mat, props, and all of the classical Pilates equipment. Student’s will learn useful techniques and exercise variations that allow for increased movement potential for the diverse and deserved population that are our clients in today’s contemporary Pilates Studio.

Safe, Stress-free Strategies for Spinal Extension
1 day (the number of CEC hours are negotiable)

In this course, we will focus on developing safe and stress-free strategies for well executed spinal extension in our Pilates practice. With an eye towards proper alignment and timing of the muscles of our back, posterior hips, neck, and shoulders, we will explore how extension exercises become more accessible for the diverse body types we coach daily. The goal is to gain confidence with spinal extension while increasing mobility and function. Increasing extension protocols in our Pilates practice helps improve the postural tendency toward forward slump and promotes health to the aging spine. The skills we will be explore employ both traditional and non-traditional exercises.

The Perfect Preparation: Skill Building for Full Expression in your Pilates Practice
1 day (the number of CEC hours are negotiable)

In this course Cara will share some of the Pilates preparatory work developed by her mentor, first generation Master Teacher Kathleen Stanford Grant. Kathy Grant brought a great wealth of knowledge and creativity to the work she taught. Kathy believed in “warming-up” her students prior to beginning the exercise protocols that Mr. Pilates taught her. She nicknamed the preparatory sequence that she developed “Before The Hundred.” Students will learn some of these skill building exercises, derived from both Kathy’s vocabulary and Cara’s. The aim of these exercises is to allow our clients to achieve more control, greater range, and improved alignment. Students will ultimately learn to express themselves fully and with confidence while practicing the traditional Pilates mat program.

The Inner Gym: Breathing Exercises for Core Control
1 day (the number of CEC hours are negotiable)

Among movement teachers and rehabilitation professionals alike, it is considered important to strengthen the body’s trunk musculature, or “core”. To do so in a functional and healthy way, we must include in our concept of “core” not only the abdominal and low back muscles but also the thoracic diaphragm and the pelvic floor. Because these muscles are also intimately involved in breathing, good core training requires breath training – what I call the “Inner Gym.” In this course, we will learn a repertoire of breathing exercises, techniques, and cues to improve the use of the breathing mechanism as a strong foundation for movement. This course is open to movement teachers from all traditions.

The Advanced Reformer
I day (the number of CEC hours are negotiable)

In this course, we will take a “building blocks” approach in learning to meet the demands of the advanced Reformer repertoire. These exercises require a high level of motor control, coordination, balance, strength, and flexibility. We are asked to finely tune our efforts in a changing relationship to gravity and our base of support. Instructors will learn valuable tools for performing and teaching the advanced work on the Reformer, and will have an opportunity to try it all in a safe and non-judgmental environment.

Big and Bold Moves: A Journey into Spinal Extension and Arm Standing
1 day (the number of CEC hours are negotiable)

It is often at the end range of expression in our moving bodies that we hesitate and pull back. In this course, we will work towards the full expression of back bending and arm standing. With a playful approach: an eye towards alignment, range of motion, strength building, and proper mechanics students will take the journey towards these big and bold movements without holding themselves back. Starting from the most basic skills, participants will be challenged to take risks in their personal back bending and arm standing practices, in a safe and light hearted environment.

Movement Science Made Simple Course Offerings
(2-day workshops with Cara Reeser and Jeremy Laverdure)

About Movement Science Made Simple
Most movement teachers and fitness instructors have studied human anatomy, but it’s difficult to make good use of that knowledge without some understanding of physiology and kinesiology. Movement Science Made Simple is a series of courses designed to teach Pilates and Yoga instructors the essentials of movement science in a way that can be immediately applied to one’s practice and teaching.
In each course’s Lecture component we will:
• Review musculoskeletal anatomy in depth, including an overview of ligamentous structures.
• Learn joint structures, kinematics, and normal ranges of motion.
• Introduce basic concepts from motor learning theory.
In the Lab component we will:
• Perform simple exercises to translate the lecture material into
classical Pilates and Yoga movement.
• Look at different bodies to familiarize ourselves with normal
variations in structure.
• Develop new ways of seeing and cuing movement based on a more complete understanding of the body.

The MSMS Lectures draw on Jeremy’s graduate studies in anatomy, physiology and kinesiology and Cara’s experience as a dance educator and master Pilates teacher. To the Lab, we bring our decades of
practicing and teaching Pilates, a deep practice of Yoga, and years of tutelage under such movement visionaries as Kathleen Stanford Grant, Irene Dowd, Barbara Mahler, and Nancy Topf.

Look, Listen, Push, Pull: Training Freedom and Support in the Head, Neck and Shoulders
2-days, 12 CEC Hours

Our neck functions to position our head for seeing, hearing, and communicating. Our shoulders are meant to allow our arms and hands to reach, grasp, and push in a large range. Easy enough, right? So why do our clients experience so much difficulty and discomfort in their neck and shoulders? Poor postural habits, learned physical attitudes, and our universal use of computers probably contribute. But, as Pilates and Yoga teachers, are we helping our clients retrain bad patterns or just adding new ones?
In this Movement Science Made Simple course we will:
• Study the organization of the head, neck, and shoulder girdle in common Pilates exercises and Yoga asanas.
• Examine the relationship between the arms, shoulder girdle and trunk in both open and closed kinematic chains. We know poor use of the neck and shoulders when we see it, but what are we really seeing?
• Learn simple exercises and gentle hands-on techniques for mobilizing the neck and shoulders and re-patterning their movement.

Separate But Connected: Training Selective Control of the Hips, Pelvis and Low Back
2-days, 12 CEC Hours

Freedom and stability in the trunk depend on freedom and stability in the hips.In this course, we will use the model of lumbo-pelvi- femoral rhythm as a means oforganizing the legs, pelvis, and low back in whole body movements. This model integrates and improves upon both static models of lumbar stabilization (neutral pelvis/spine) and the Classical Pilates view of spinal mobility (“one vertebra at a time”).

As teachers, our tools are demonstration, touch, and language. To be effective teachers our demonstration must be fully embodied, our touch supportive, and our language direct or poetic as needed. Movement Science Made Simple joins current concepts in anatomy, kinesiology, and motor learning with time-tested movement training strategies, giving workshop participants new skills to work with diverse client populations.

Your Song Is Your Strength: The Breathing Mechanism and Core Control
2-days, 12 CEC Hours
One current model of the body’s “core” includes the abdominal and low back muscles, the thoracic diaphragm, and the pelvic floor. Because these muscles are also intimately involved in breathing, breath control and core control are inseparable. Understanding the implications of this model makes it easier to correctly and safely coach both Pilates exercises and functional movement.

In this Movement Science Made Simple course, we examine:
• How the abdominals, diaphragm, and pelvic floor work together as part of the breathing mechanism, and as movers and stabilizers of the lumbar spine and pelvis.
• The physiology of breathing, emphasizing the interplay between voluntary and involuntary regulation.
• The role of intra-abdominal pressure in low back stability, and the necessity of both abdominal “hollowing” and abdominal “bracing” movement strategies.
• Supportive and stabilizing functions of the pelvic floor, including its role in intra-pelvic stability.

Beginning with breathing exercises from Pilates, yoga, and physical therapy, we will build a strong foundation for our own movement. As the relationship between breath control and core control becomes clear, course participants will learn how breathing strategies can facilitate or undermine movement strategies.

Stand And Deliver: Understanding the Lower Extremity Kinetic Chain
2-days, 12 CEC Hours
Humans are bipedal animals, with the various muscles and joints of the legs working together to produce controlled movement through space. In Pilates, we train in both gravity-eliminated and weight-bearing positions to optimize this upright functioning. By understanding how the hip, knee, ankle, and foot interact, we can more easily see where our clients’ movement is going wrong, and are more able to coach them safely and effectively.

In this Movement Science Made Simple course, we:
• Study the anatomy of the lower extremity, with an emphasis on how the hip and the foot affect the knee
• Learn Pilates protocols for promoting mobility and stability in the lower extremity
• Examine common structural variations, such as genu valgum (“knock knees”) and genu varum (“bow legs”) and learn to adapt our Pilates protocols to accommodate or correct them, as appropriate

The Brain in Pain: Movement Coaching and Modern Neuroscience
2-days, 12 CEC Hours
Many of our Pilates clients seek us out because they are in pain, and most of our clients will have pain at one time or another. Often, the pain will resolve as tissues heal, muscles strengthen, and the client improves their overall fitness. But how do we judge how fast to progress a client in pain? And what about the people who don’t get better?

In order to work effectively we must understand what pain is, and the role of the central nervous system in pain processing. Advances in pain science demonstrate that rather than being simply a signal from the body that something is wrong, pain is an output of the brain. And each individual’s pain experience depends not just (and sometimes not at all) on tissue damage, but on their history, their thoughts and beliefs, and the baseline state of their nervous system. Further, research has shown that educating our clients about pain can reduce their pain and improve their function.

In this Movement Science Made Simple course, we will:
• Update our understanding of pain, and learn to convey that understanding to clients
• Practice movement protocols for getting started with clients in pain
• Study the basic physiology needed to work confidently with painful conditions

Cara Reeser Fee Information:

• Workshops may be structured as one or two day (weekend) courses.
• Standard Course Fees are based upon a maximum of a 6 hours/day, not including a one hour break.
• Cara may be available before or after the scheduled workshop for Private Sessions and/or Master Classes* if previous arrangement have made and her schedule is permitting.
* Master Classes are typically 1 or 2 hour classes and may be designed for clients and teachers or exclusively for teachers.
• Cara Reeser’s fees start at $1,700/day, with the exception of additional fees for Private Sessions and Master Classes that are scheduled in conjunction with one or two day workshops. Dependent on the number of workshop attendants, if the host studio profits are greater than $1,700, then the profit will be shared in a 70% (Cara) to 30% (Host Studio) split.
• Travel expenses are additional to the Workshop fee and include airfare, ground transportation, accommodations and meals.
• A deposit of $500.00 is due at the time of booking. The balance and travel expense reimbursement will be due at the completion of the workshop.

Cara’s Workshop Fees:
One Day Workshop in the US- $1, 700.00
Two Day Workshop in the US- $3,000.00
1-hour Master Class- $250.00
2-hour Master Class- $500.00
Private Sessions- $95.00 (Payment will go directly to Cara)

Movement Science Made Simple Fee Information:

• Each course is two 7-hour days, including a 1-hour lunch break each day.
• 12 PMA CECs are available for course attendees.
• Travel expenses are additional to the Workshop fee and include airfare, ground transportation and accommodations.
•Cara and/or Jeremy may be available before or after the scheduled course for Private Sessions and/or Master Classes*.
• A deposit is due at the time of booking. The balance and travel expense reimbursement will be due at the completion of the course.
* Master Classes are typically 1 or 2 hour classes and may be designed for clients and teachers or exclusively for teachers.

Movement Science Made Simple Workshop Fees:
contact us for bookings and pricing for US and abroad.

Call 303.886.6925 or e-mail info@pilatesaligned.com if you would like to discuss a traveling workshop to come to your community!

Pilates Aligned

Sharing the Pilates tradition, inspiring individuals, and teaching the endless potential of the moving body is what Pilates Aligned is all about.

Learn more about Cara at Pilates Aligned, where she can be found when she is at home in Denver, CO