Paola, you started your own business “Paola Raffinetti” 8 years ago in Sydney, Australia. Now you are hosting art of motion’s Slings Myofascial Training courses, you offer regular Pilates and Yoga classes as well as Pilates & Slings classes at various studios. Additionally you offer workshops where you explore specific topics depending on demand. Tell us more about your studio/offers and how you chose the topics of your workshops.
I’ve been teaching Pilates since 2001 (with some breaks in between). I’ve never wanted my own studio as my focus is on clients rather than running a business. I teach contemporary Pilates in a studio environment majority of the time. I work with individuals who are regaining confidence back into their body due to pain or movement patterns that no longer serve them and affect their daily life. In fact, this is the number one inspiration for me as a teacher. The feedback I received is that clients’ want to know more about their body. They need to understand how they can create positive change and take ownership outside of the studio and workshops. This inspires my workshops with focus on different topics. I incorporate knowledge from other modalities as well as Pilates. The key for me is to enhance client’s proprioceptive and interoceptive sense while educating them.
What body & mind movement tendencies and shifts do you observe in Australia? And which workshops tend to fill up quickly?
There has been a shift in perception about approaching chronic pain and injury. Treating the whole body rather than only targeting the problem area. Ongoing research in fascia and other areas is contributing greatly to changing our perceptions within in the body. This is why Slings is so relevant as it is at the forefront of the new research coming out.
I’ve been lucky with my workshops. They are consistently full. Clients have a thirst for more knowledge and I try to support them.
What does your personal movement routine look like? How do you stay happy and healthy and in tune with yourself besides teaching and hosting courses?
I love being outside in nature, walking and swimming are my favorite things. Nature fills my cup. I go to the occasional Yoga or Pilates session. However my home Slings practice has been taking precedence in the last year. I ensure I do a Slings, Yoga and/or Pilates session 3 times per week and in between I walk or swim. As much of my time is taken up with hosting, teaching, marketing and retreats, I tap into my meditation and pranayama practice to find inner stillness. Variety for me is key.
You are in the middle of the comprehensive Slings Myofascial Training learning pathway yourself. How do you explain Slings Myofascial Training to your clients in 3 sentences?
Slings Myofascial Training is whole-body integrative movement focusing on the myofascial lines in the body. By enhancing fascial qualities such as dynamic stability, elasticity and glide to name a few; it positively influences our posture and movement in our daily life. The principles of Slings Myofascial Training go hand in hand with Pilates and add another dimension to your session.
When did you hear the first time about Slings Myofascial Training and what was your motivation to become a host for Anatomy Trains AU/NZ and art of motion?
I heard about Slings Myofascial Training in 2017. I attended Anatomy Trains in Motion in Melbourne, hosted by Claudia from Create Movement. I’ve been fascinated by Tom Myers Anatomy Trains map and when this course turned up I knew it was going to change everything. I was hooked! I immediately put my hand up to be host in Sydney for Anatomy Trains AU & NZ and art of motion. I am passionate about the training and what Karin has created. I will continue to be host for as long as they want me!
How do you successfully promote your courses within and outside of your network in order to ensure that it is worthwhile for you running the courses?
It’s a combination of personal contacts, consistent social media posts especially to Facebook groups, my own facebook business page, word of mouth and colleagues I work with. Phillippa from Anatomy Trains AU & NZ and I work closely together to promote Slings Myofascial Training. Consistency and authenticity are key. I’m friends with the Melbourne host, Claudia from Create Movement. We share, comment and promote the courses each other is hosting to spread the word. We have a steadily growing Slings ‘community’ in Australia.
What professional groups are attending the Slings Myofascial Training education courses you are hosting?
We’ve had Pilates instructors, Yoga teachers, gymnastic teachers, dance teacher, personal trainers, physiotherapists, massage therapists, osteopaths and structural integrators to name a few!
Who do you think will benefit from the comprehensive Slings Myofascial Training and why?
I feel Yoga teachers would benefit greatly from the training. Having done a Yoga Teacher training, there is a very small component of understanding functional anatomy due to the amount of philosophy, asana and pranayama having to learn.
When are your next courses and how can people sign up for your education courses?
17 - 19 April 2020 we have Slings Body Reading and Movement Strategies for the first time.
April & August 2020 we offer the Slings Diploma, another first.
29 - 31 May 2020- Anatomy Trains in Motion*
16 & 17 Aug 2020- Slings Essentials*
25 - 27 Sept 2020- Slings in Motion I*
*We begin the new round of Slings Myofascial Training at a new venue, Polestar Australia.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Slings Myofascial Training is being held across Australia in 2020, not just Sydney. Anatomy Trains Australia & New Zealand lists all courses and locations on their website.
In other exciting news, Anatomy Trains AU/NZ is holding the first Australian Fascia Symposium on the 19th & 20th September 2020 in Sydney! Check out the website more information: https://fasciasymposium.com.au