Pilates and the Franklin Method: An Interview with Alyce Morgan

Interview By Josie Bray

Alyce Morgan is a Pilates instructor and Franklin Method educator based in Lafayette, Louisiana. Alyce has been teaching Pilates since 1996 and began studying with Eric Franklin in 2010.

“I had never been much of an exerciser for exercise sake,” said Alyce, “but I loved to go to music festivals, and I loved to dance and ride horses. After having two children, I had some SI issues. I noticed that the more I did Pilates, my SI issues and back pain started to go away.”

“I was not very disciplined,” she laughed, “so I had to become a Pilates instructor in order to make myself do the exercises consistently.”

Alyce’s physical practices began to change again after she took a workshop with Eric Franklin at a Pilates Method Alliance conference in 2010. “I had always paid attention to Eric’s books but I had never embodied the images or had the experience that I was reading about,” she said. “I took one three-hour workshop and it changed my life. I knew immediately that Eric was my next teacher. My body felt so good for the rest of the conference, and I went home signed up for the next Franklin Method training right away. I felt like my knees and my hips were at least 10 years younger.”

Photo credit Ana Leger

According to Alyce, training with the Franklin Method has been rejuvenating in her body and her pilates practice. “At Pilates conferences, you’ll have lots of instructors cueing you, and you won’t enjoy it. It can give you a complex!” she said. “With the Franklin Method, you understand the design of your body and how to move more efficiently. It brings longevity and helps to create more positive explanations of your body”

Combining the Franklin Method with Pilates changed the way that Alyce teaches her Pilates students and clients. “I noticed that I am a lot quieter in my cueing,” she said. “I used to give a prescription of exercises to people. Now I want to give them a positive image of their body and to help them learn to be curious about their body. I want them to become the director of their own experience.”

Alyce uses Franklin Method band, ball, and imagery exercises to warm her clients up before a Pilates session now instead of the traditional mat work. She finds this helps her clients be warm and lively and ready for Pilates equipment work within a few minutes. She’s also found that her anatomical understanding has deepened and allowed her cueing to be more precise. “I use sitz bone cueing on the chair and reformer work now,” she said. “I cue a much more dynamic alignment instead of fixed posture, and I’ve really helped my clients connect to deeper psoas work.”

Photo Credit Carey Hamburg

When asked how a Pilates instructor could benefit from training in the Franklin method, Alyce said, “When Pilates teachers take the Franklin Method they will more easily see if a cue they are using is beneficial or not. They will pay more attention to how they are speaking about the body. Pilates is very biomechanically correct; it’s just the cueing that can mess it up. It has been so beneficial and has saved people’s lives. Pilates is an amazing form and the machines are beautiful, but Pilates instructors can cue too much and create tension and restrict movement. With the Franklin Method, we can learn to watch how our clients become curious instead of waiting to be told what to do. We cue from sensations, bones, and joints instead of from muscles.”

“For myself,” said Alyce, “Pilates has kept me strong for 20 years. The Franklin Method has changed me. It has made me more relaxed and happy. In my freestyle dancing, I have more vocabulary. My body is more joyful and I am more joyful.”

As Alyce moves forward in her teaching, she’s trying to teach more Franklin Method and allow the other Pilates instructors at her studio take the clients who just want Pilates. “This is cutting edge stuff,” she said, “And I am working to develop more of this programming at my studio. Most people just want to feel better, and will be happy to any movement form that allows that. Franklin Method allows my clients to change their bodies AND their brains, and I’m happy to see the same kind of joy that I have in my students.”

To learn more about Alyce, you can visit her facebook page at

https://www.facebook.com/franklinmethodlouisiana/

Cover photo credit: Carey Hamburg

There are two opportunities for you to learn more about the design of your body and become a licensed Franklin Method instructor to teach others:

Become a Franklin Method instructor (certified to teach Franklin Method workshops & weekly classes) and learn exclusive insights to improve your pilates practice: https://franklinmethod.com/pelvis Use discount code: earlybird2018 to still get the early bird price for London training! The early bird discount for the New York training expires on Feb. 21st. 

We also have a special workshop just for pilates instructors: Franklin Method Cueing for Pilates Certification Workshop

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Comments
  • Lora Pavilack
    Reply

    Yeah Alyce! Great article and I coulnd’t agree more. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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