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The Power Of One Small Change

Deep Meditation – Acrylic Abstract Yoga Painting by Inna Laktionova (Canada)

Gentle disclaimer to all of our readers: All medical information mentioned is purely informational. It is not individualized medical advice. Please follow up with your physician or medical practitioner for individualized care specific to your needs. 

Blossom Leilani Crawford is the Owner and Director of Bridge Pilates in Brooklyn, New York. Her teaching style is very much inspired by the elders that she had the opportunity to work with such as Kathy Grant and Romana Kryzanowska. She is able to pull from different pilates lineages and then also infuse her own experience and unique take on the pilates method. Blossom is also on faculty at Mark Morris Dance Company and teaches a pilates mat class that is open to the community.

The idea of one small change, one cue, one correction, came up in conversation and how that can have a domino effect on someone’s physical practice. From experience, sometimes we get caught up in giving too many corrections or focusing on too many things at once, which can work but doesn’t have the same profound effect that just making that one small change, that one adjustment can have. 

When Blossom was a young teacher, she explains she was so eager to get it all right and do it all and make sure everybody got all the information. But quickly she realized along the way how sometimes less is so much more. But it’s really finding sometimes what that one cue is for someone. 

“When teaching group classes, you could say your one cue and you get eight people who would do exactly what you thought. And then you’d get those two people, you know, that is doing what I want, what they said. But that’s actually not what I wanted at all. So I think it is finding that one small cue or change, but also finding out what that is for each person is what I struggle with these days as a teacher.” –  Blossom Leilani Crawford

Tailoring the cues is really important because some cues work for some people and some don’t work. Sometimes we can get a little caught up in the choreography of the movement as opposed to how the person is doing it and what they’re missing such as precision or missing the flow or control. 

One of the things that Blossom really learned as a student of Kathy Grant’s was a framework to always have constant dialog, “When you are doing this breathing, are you breathing equally on both sides?” By self-analyzing along the way while working out was really a great skill to have while a student as it essentially became her framework, Blossom explains. 

Sometimes when she would do chair work and start pumping the pedal like Kathy Grant would scream or the watch because sometimes Blossom is so concentrated on doing it perfectly, that she’d pump up from across the room to be like, “Yeah, that’s what you’re doing. You’re pumping the pedal, let’s not forget, right? Like, don’t get caught up in all that other stuff. Just pump the pedal.” It’s a good reminder.

The power of one small change centers the mind on giving you one task – almost like getting that To-Do list and there are ten things to do, thinking it’s too many. As opposed to if you looked at that To-Do list and said, OK, what’s the most important thing that I need to do right now? 

In Melanie’s experience, when a patient asks if they should have an exercise routine, she advises them to just start with a meditation practice – 3 minutes every day. Or the 7-minute workout,  your heart rate goes up, and then when you when you start feeling better, sometimes you do it twice and then it turns into 40 minutes. Just a little bit of go. Dont run a marathon, just walk around the block and then maybe walk further.

The next question for a person is like, “Well, what should that one small change be?” And I think it’s personal for each person depending on the goal, but make it achievable and also really celebrate it when you’re like,” Oh, great, I did that thing. And you know what? Next thing you know, maybe I can get two things done – one step at a time.”

This pandemic life has not been easy and some people have been really hard on themselves. Take your time and be kind to yourself. If you skipped it one day, you’ve always got the next day. Do a walk around the block, one set of jumping jacks for one minute, set a timer.. That means we achieved a goal. Little nuggets.

Thank you so much Blossom. Listen to the full podcast on YouTube or Spotify. 

Take care!