Silvia Gray has been teaching the Alexander Technique since 1980. In 2001, she trained in Pilates Matwork at the Place in London and later in Pilates Equipment at the Scott Studio in Somerset. She met Ruthy Alon, founder of Movement Intelligence, in 2013 and studied with her in Europe and USA. She trained in Bones for Life with Adam Ward in the UK and has been running Bones for Life classes for three years, alongside participating in a four year training in the Feldenkrais Method with Elizabeth Beringer and Scott Clark in London. In 2017, she was privileged to receive training as a Bones for Life Trainer from Ruthy herself and is now Co- Director of Movement Intelligence UK.
What is your current teaching practice?
I see clients individually for Alexander Technique, Pilates and Bones for Life, and run small group classes in Pilates and Bones for Life.
What is the common thread in your practice? Is there something that underlies your constant search for different techniques and approaches?
I personally benefitted from the different methods that I studied, and use everything that I learned and continue to learn to help my clients improve how they move and use themselves.
What brought you to your interest in Ruthy’s work?
I had come across the Feldenkrais Method before I met Ruthy. I was particularly interested in this approach where learning of new options for movement are explored, with an emphasis on giving the Nervous System the necessary conditions for integrating new movement patterns and related information. Ruthy’s work is based on the somatic learning principles of the Feldenkrais method. She had further developed Feldenkrais’ teachings into 5 programmes under the umbrella of “Movement Intellligence”, the first of these being “Bones for Life”. “Bones for Life” offers very practical tools to help people stay mobile, feel well (what she calls a state of “Biological Optimism”) and can promote bone strength.
How would you describe the Bones for Life training?
In this training, we will explore the 90 lessons (or processes) which form the “Bones for Life” programme, both in practice and in learning to analyse its’ components. Many of the lessons are based on the evolutionary development of movement patterns, and also on the observation and learning from the graceful way African water carrier women move, whose bone fracture rate is notably low.
How does Bones for Life align with (or complement) the Pilates method?
Both Pilates and “Bones for Life” aim to improve alignment, awareness of movement, balance, coordination, flexibility, posture and strength. In “Bones for Life”, the primary focus is on good body alignment so that the forces between gravity and the ground are transmitted optimally through the bones. This is encouraged by sending small vibrations through the skeleton within small amounts of effort. In the processes, we are able to “awaken” the use of the upper limbs as our former second pair of legs, resulting in activation of the often underused upper body and thoracic spine, bringing suppleness and strength into the skeleton as a whole. This complements what great benefits are offered by the Pilates method. In my experience, the elements of each method enhance the other.
Further Details on Silvia's work can be found at the Movement Intelligence UK website: www.movementintelligence.co.uk