Move for joy
I recently went to my first Business Chicks event in Sydney. I’ve wanted to go for a while now but this one I could not miss even if it did mean getting up at stupid o’clock to be there!
You see I, like most women, are tired of feeling that in order to be beautiful or sexy we must look a certain way. Since having my second child I’ll admit that there are times when I look in the mirror and think nasty things about myself. It’s something I’ve never really done until then. My body confidence has changed, I know that these thoughts are unhealthy and I’m aware that my daughters watch every move I make and this is not how I want them to feel.
Pilates, happiness, healing and life
There are a wide variety of well known benefits of engaging in regular Pilates practice. But I’m not going to talk about that today, there are some other benefits that “move” you on a deeper level that don’t often get talked about.
What’s Whole Body Health?
Pilates was designed by a man called Joseph Pilates in the early 1900’s. As a child he suffered with asthma, rheumatic fever and rickets. It was because of this that he studied yoga, boxing and other sports on his quest for health. His Pilates method, or “Contrology” as it was known back then entailed clever movement systems with breath that completed a “whole body” workout. He promoted, breathing deep, getting outside in the fresh air, fresh foods, dry brushing for detoxing and stimulating circulation, and of course, Pilates everyday. The combination of all these things kept him trim and in tip top condition. This was his “Whole Body Health” legacy. It is his system of Pilates that allowed him to enjoy a healthier, fuller life.
Tune in to Tune out
Besides the all of the well known benefits of meditation, one of the most important benefits to me right now, is that it allows me to really listen to what I want and need and to tune out to the fear and doubt my mind creates.
When I was running my Pilates studio I was very good at just pushing things down and pushing on. I was very good at tuning into my body but equally as good as not doing what it needed, and onto top of that I was terrible at not listening to that little voice, we all have inside, that tells when when things aren’t right. It whispers to us constantly, it’s your internal GPS that will steer you in the right direction if you are willing to put your fears and doubts aside and tune in.
“It’s the mind itself that builds the body”
– Joseph Pilates
You may have heard the term “neutral spine” during your Pilates sessions. Or perhaps you haven’t tried Pilates yet and you have no idea what I mean. Either way this is something that is extremely important in your everyday life as it will help you to improve your posture and strengthen your core in a subtle yet effective way.
What is a neutral spine/good posture?
A neutral spine or good posture is being able to maintain the three “natural curves” in your spine with as little tension as possible.
Our curves were built with purpose (how clever is the human body)! Our spine is our support structure, the building blocks from which we move. Our curves are there so that we can sit, stand, walk or lie down with the least amount of strain on the ligaments and muscles as possible. Correct posture means that we use less energy and decrease stress on the joints which decreases and injury and pain.
In a Pilates workout we often move in and out of a “neutral spine” allowing us to experience all the lovely ways in which our spine and body can move. This creates more freedom, flexibility, and increases strength within all planes of movement so we are “fit for life” so to speak. Lets face it, we move through life in different ways each day and life will often move us. Best be fit for all the twists and turns that life throws at us!