The Greatest of These is Power

vladaAs you well know, I write a lot in this blog about clarity. Makes sense–I have a book entitled CLARITY. But this year, starting today, I’m going to give more air time to the third term of this blog’s title: “Women, Clarity, and Power.”


Power is the ability to make things happen–whether that means a work project, a personal goal, or changing the world.

I’ve learned a lot about power from pilates. Pilates is the thinking woman’s workout. I hate what passes for exercise in our culture: panting and heaving and big-muscle movements. I’ve been able to stick to pilates for a number of years now because it demands focus and bodily imagination. You go deep. I better understand how my body works, and how it powers my intentions and actions every day.

Been wanting to try pilates? This Sunday, Jan 9, you have your chance. Ballet Austin’s Butler Dance Education Center, 501 W 3 St, Austin, is holding an open house. From 3pm to 5pm, you can sample the various forms of pilates the center offers, from the reformers to pilates cardio to the Thera-band stretch & tone class that I love. Click here for more details.

I head to Ballet Austin for pilates three times a week. Vlada Sheber (director of the pilates and conditioning center) is my coach/task master/guru. A former ballerina, she uses every trick in the book from that deep, commanding voice to that sly sense of humor to get me to do what I may not really want to do at the moment. When I see her, she’s usually making corrections or cajoling me into another set, so I decided to take this opportunity to ask what she knows about women and power:

When do you feel most powerful?
I feel most powerful when I am in the studio, teaching a private session or group class, when I feel connected to my clients.

Who are some powerful women you admire?
I was blessed to meet and study with the two most powerful and incredible women in my life: my pilates teacher, Wendy LeBlanc-Arbuckle, and my ballet teacher, Miss Philipova. Back in Russia 20 years ago, Miss Philipova was very strict, but had a great sense of humor. She looked like your ordinary babouchka (grandma), but had an extraordinary ability to transform herself into a beautiful dancer when she demonstrated ballet movements.

Do you think power is part of what makes a woman attractive?
Power is energy, and energy attracts more energy. This, I think, is the key to success!

How does pilates help women to increase/own their own power?
It helps build your self-esteem. I see it happen every day. The pilates exercises help you to improve your posture and move more gracefully. After a session, clients say that feel younger, and they certainly look younger. Personally, after my pilates workouts, I feel like I can move mountains!

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