A few weeks ago, I found myself with unscheduled time on my way to witness Grad school graduation, profoundly grateful for my son’s passion, dedication, and achievements. It is a life-altering step into his future. Pilates is also a game-changer, yet many people choose not take this life-giving, health keeping journey!
Joe Pilates had a vision:
“My work will be established and, when it is,
I will be the happiest man in God’s Universe.
My goal will have been reached.”
Having woken up inordinately early that day, lacking my usual vast quantities of coffee, my brain suggested focused breathing while standing in the security line. Not wanting to draw attention to myself, I decided to do “The Hundred” – breathing while standing. Interestingly, my lower abs kicked in and my shoulders opened wider as I completed 10 breaths. Doing that sure made the wait go by more quickly!
Found myself nodding off taxi-ing to the runway and suddenly at a standstill with a long flight delay. We were allowed to get up and move about the aisles, so my body craved a Roll-Up, or in this case, a Roll Down. I did a few, again, not wanting to draw too much attention to myself, picking up something from under my seat inside my carry-on. Ha! Two of the basic 5 exercises accomplished! Hm. Got me thinking. De-boarded now and sitting charging my phone.
Single Leg Circles seated! Goodness! Now THAT’s a workout for sure! My hip sockets feel relieved of hours of sitting, and I sure can tell if I’m lifted in my “powerhouse” or just hanging in a slumped position! Try it yourself and see what I mean. More core…
So, you ask: what about Rolling Like A Ball (or as Joe called it, Rolling Back)? Hmmmm. For sure not getting on the floor, but if I sit on the edge of this seat and create the movement from the inside out ala Kathy Grant “move but don’t move” (thank you Cara Reeser!), my hips start to open inside, my breathing controls an imaginary tiny rocking chair from my ‘sitz’ bones to my tail bone and even deeper (11,10,9,8) and it’s super fun to rock a little more forward and not fall off the seat! Oh the life of a Pilates professional. hehe
Just one more and we are almost ready to board. This one is a no-brainer. Spine Stretch Forward. Thanks to my many mentors, I have learned to embody the “work” of Pilates exercises and create energy, health, and healing in my body, mind, and spirit. Sitting tall against the back of this chair, my arms stretched out and shoulder blades very wide, I feel as if my “wonder woman” cape is on and gently drapes over me as I stretch up and over forward, never letting my low back pull away from the back of the chair, feeling my spine stretch (thank you, Rebecca Leone and Talya Ring for forever changing my spine stretch!)
Having taken due note of the fact that the Basic Five Pilates Mat exercises have been sufficiently executed, we are now re-boarding. I feel excited, confident, and full of promise for a better day. Try it yourself!
I was delighted to start the my recent Pilates training in Denver with eyes closed, meditating to get a body sense of myself in space. This experience and recent questions from new students has inspired me to begin a class entitled “Before the Hundred.” We will move, experience Pilates from the inside out, and create even more core through profound alignment, good breathing choices, and vision for a better day.
Have you ever believed something so much, knew it in your heart and then had it validated? Since my husband passed away a year ago, I’ve come across not one but two fabulous articles about Pilates and Depression. I’ve absolutely known that coming to our studio and doing Pilates each day has gotten me and many others here through very very difficult situations. Both Jennifer Kries and Laurette Ryan have written compelling articles about what I have experienced first hand: Pilates elevates the spirit.
Laurette’s article is backed up by one of the basic principles of Pilates: exercising your brain! Joe wrote:
“Fear. Loneliness. Sadness. Anger. Frustration. Hopelessness. Despair.Alongside what I still believe is my life-embracing, joyful essence, and moments of uplift from my own inner flame and the love of a few dear friends and family, I’ve been surfing these treacherous waves for the past two years.We know that Pilates is one of the finest ways to sculpt a beautiful and powerful body, but what about our spiritual selves? What about the life inside that body? What about its truly profound effects on the mind and the spirit?”
BINGO! This is what has fascinated me about my own Pilates journey. Truly when I first did Pilates, it was more on the joyful scope of the emotional roller coaster having just nursed 4 young toddlers and finally found some time for myself. Pilates found ME, really. All I know is that after my private lesson, I feel calmer yet able to take on the demands of four young children. Many times my baby girl would come with me to my lesson, my kids today describe it as growing up with Pilates. The past few years, however, have been harrowing at best – a story for another day – but suffice it to say that my saving grace out of the pits of fear and anxiety over impending doom has been doing and TEACHING Pilates. Service unto others actually helped ME.
Pilates brings me to my “happy place.” Where I can find balance, peace, and hope for a better day, a promise of a brighter future. This is absolutely first from a physical place (get out of pain, tightness, injury, repetitive unhelpful movement patterns, etc.) YOU WILL SEE. Over time, Pilates FREES your spirit – through breathing, natural movement, and practice.
ACTION IS THE MAGIC WORD!
Get Creative – Learn Pilates so you have nothing to unlearn.
TriPilates – for balanced body, mind, and spirit.