Over the years, it has become increasingly apparent. More and more people are getting injured and stuck in movement patterns not advantageous to our good health. Joe Pilates intended his exercises to be life-giving, strength-building and controlled movements that “develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind, and elevates the spirit.” ( p. 18, 1945, Joe Pilates, Return to Life)
My interest has always been how these movements “elevate the spirit.” Specific breath patterns through the choreography of Pilates movements sends oxygen, blood, and space through the entire body. Interestingly, Pilates is safe for your heart, so while the exercises engage our mind and body from the inside out, it allows the heart to pump calmly and steadily despite quite challenging movements and breath patterns.
“True heart control follows correct breathing
which simultaneously reduces heart strain,
purifies the blood,
and develops the lungs.” – (p. 22)
This is a noteworthy anecdote to our life patterns. Have you ever been in a Pilates class (or Yoga, or weight training, caring for children or teenagers or parents, or competitive sport, or how about heavy traffic!) when stress, anxiety, and tension causes you to literally hold your breath? Keeping breath steady and calm through the sometimes difficult situations in your day just might be what your heart needs! Pilates in particular teaches this new patterning.
Stay calm and carry on – BREATHE!
Joe Pilates claims the result of a ‘Contrology’ practice “elevates the spirit.” Spirit, could indeed be interpreted as BREATH in the body (this is not a religious or spiritual practice.) It is a PHYSICAL and MENTAL practice that elevates your spirit. Truly, if we learn to breathe correctly in our movement at the studio, we are likely to do the same in our life.
“All in all we do not give our bodies
the care that our well-being deserves.” (p. 15)
Making a commitment to your Pilates practice not only restores vitality (yes, that means LIFE!), but even my emotional and mental awareness is uplifted. We all walk through difficulties in our everyday life, how much better will we feel with a happier heart? Being able to walk through the toughest situations in my life has helped TriPilates become the HAPPY PLACE that it is for so many of us. We hope you feel this way, also.
10 years ago on Valentines Day, TriPilates received it’s business license from the state of Illinois. To celebrate, my late husband, Craig, got on the Reformer for a lesson. It was a mind-blowing experience to look at my partner from the eyes of a professional and see and connect to him in a different way. His journey did not include coming to Pilates but a handful of times, and his health declined. Who knows. My heart tells me that truly “I” have/had no control, but perhaps if we ALL take more responsibility for our own good health and movement, our breathing patterns, for exercising our heart in safe, effective ways, that more people would benefit and live a longer, happier life.
So it is a bittersweet message from me this month – or as my dear friend Kate told me once:
Take good care of yourself, because no one else can do that for you.
Have a HAPPY and HEALTHY HEART AWARENESS MONTH!
DO MORE PILATES