Updated: Dec 16, 2020
There are so many different approaches to exercise available and it can be quite challenging finding the one most suited to you.
Method Putkisto (MP) originally appealed to me because it appeared to offer a combination of the stretching that I associated with Yoga and the strengthening that I had gained from Pilates.
I discovered it quite by accident when searching online for a well-being holiday. It wasn’t a serious search for the optimal exercise method – it was more about a nice week in the sun, staying in a lovely place and “doing a bit of exercise too.” That was almost 8 years ago now and the rest, as they say, is history.
Little did I know that this “holiday” was about to launch me in a completely new direction.
Like many people reading this, I had never heard of Method Putkisto. Nevertheless, Marja Putkisto, the founder of this method, intrigued me. She had that wonderful glow, typical of many Finns, but also of someone “who walks her talk.” Yes, she offered the benefit of many years of experience in the field of movement in general and of exercise but there was something else that felt different. Her love of nature and aesthetics shone through her promotional material and both were of importance to me too. And so the journey began………
I didn’t come to The Method with any particular physical issue. Like so many though, I lived a busy and often stressful life. Recent retirement (early I might add) had given me time to concentrate much more on working in my garden, which I love. I was outdoors at last – my hands in the earth!
However, before too long, I realised I had a body. I had spent so many years pretty much desk bound or travelling; my body, though looked after in a superficial way – meaning I spent a fortune on cosmetics and treatments – had, in truth, been neglected for years.
I soon started to feel the effects of the manual work. I wasn’t very strong, I ached – a lot!
So, I started doing Pilates regularly and it certainly helped. After a while I considered myself relatively flexible and fit. Week on week, I attended my Pilates classes and was taught by a gifted teacher. I did “my exercise routines” regularly. My well-being holiday was intended to be more of the same and I was satisfied with that (and the promise of exercising under olive trees, looking out at the canyon and the sea was my idea of bliss).
As Method Putkisto was originally based on Pilates, my desire for the familiar was fulfilled and some of what unfolded was just that. However, what I found during that week in Turkey was much more too. My approach to exercise was to change forever.
Marja skilfully helped us to feel and sense our bodies and our faces in a very different way; we were facilitated to make connections within and to the space around us. I can truly say that within one day I was completely hooked. It was like I really came into my body for the first time – I relaxed. By the end of that week I felt marvellous but living in Leicestershire, a good distance from Marja’s studio in London, I realised there was little prospect back then of continuing to practise The Method with her on a regular basis.
It was then that Marja suggested I train as an Instructor. Remember, I had just retired. Another formal training, let alone working again (especially at my ripe old age) was the last thing on my mind!
To cut a long story short, I did decide to do the training but teaching was not my objective. I trained purely for my own personal development and for the sake of my body.
Well, since that week in 2013, I have completed MP Original and 3D Face Training with Marja and I am now in Body UP Training. I have been back to Turkey many times both as a client and as her Assistant and I have attended her Annual International Summer School each year but one. As Marja now also teaches online, I can also enjoy her weekly sessions. I suppose you could say I am a fan!
The thing that surprises me most, however, is that I have also been teaching MP myself for 4 years now.
My own posture has improved, I am much stronger and more toned than before. Overall, I am more balanced and confident in my body as well as myself added to which I can move with greater ease. My body also functions more efficiently and importantly, my practice of MP has brought more sharply into focus the connection between mind and body. I cannot claim that I never experience any problems but, when I do, I recover more quickly and am far better prepared to apply my learning to resolve the issues myself - and naturally!
I have discovered that Method Putkisto is more than just an exercise programme. It works on so many different levels; it invites you to connect fully with what you are doing, enabling you to take the learning into your daily activities. As a bonus, this mindful approach is an excellent remedy for stress.
Marja’s approach is quite unique; she brings a touch of magic to everything she does. With her endless creativity and intuitive approach there is a new revelation in every session.
Finally, it occurs to me that The Method attracts very interesting people and working with Marja and in my own teaching, I have made many lovely new friendships. Anyone can do MP, whatever their age and fitness level and there is something in it for everyone. This means that there is a richness to be found in engaging with the MP community too.
Finding MP has definitely changed my life for the better.
By Lilian Bent, Method Putkisto Instructor