As we begin a new year, I have a strong urge for rest, assessment, and renewal. I like to take a moment and really see what is working and where we have missing links in our program and business. With enough “R and R,” I gather steam to move forward on the items we need to. This blog came about from a video message that I felt called to share with others earlier this November. The idea was What is in your workout? All throughout last fall, I have been really discovering and rediscovering even, the reasons why I choose this workout. I know I am not alone. I hope through reading this or hearing it you also have your own reasons why this work is essential to you.
Our studio has some great group classes in both the Pilates method and the GYROKINESIS® Method. Many of the groups are also well established; some having years on the schedule, while others we consider “newer” having about 1. 5 years. Time seals a group together and because people share time regularly on a chosen activity a bond is formed not only between the teacher and clients, but between clients as well. The group empowers each other.The events of 2020 brought many of our group class clients closer together. Zooming was an essential piece of the day and we would come together and practice in our bedrooms, living rooms, outside spaces, anywhere we could move. These bonds feel different after the course of the year; they are stronger, tougher and more collaborative. We look forward to each and every session in 2021.
We also teach the apparatus work in the Method and as our teachers continue to grow in their own craft, are pleased to see the experience of our Essential Mat or any session we offer evolve and spread its wings.
These are some of the essentials we love this work for. You can find them in every session we lead.
#1: Core education
Where it is, what it is and how to engage the internal body. I am always humbled and tickled when new clients learning this work share, “Boy, I wish I had learned this earlier, “ or “ I have never found anything that teaches the body like this,!” or “why don’t we learn this in school?””. No other exercise system in the world does what Pilates does in the way it does it. The ability to learn to be connected to your core, access it, and learn how to stay with it consistently instead of having a break somewhere is a substantial contribution to people’s exercise abilities and experiences. It’s an essential.
Your breath is the first action on this planet and your last. If you are going to do anything, learn to breathe correctly. Joseph Pilates knew the internal support that comes from the breath and developed his method around this timeless principle. It’s also essential.
This is the ability of your blood to carry oxygen to the various parts of your body. Waking up your unique circulation abilities is an essential. Many people go through their lives without ever stimulating their circulation or learning how to bring better blood flow into their hands, feet and bits and pieces. We find this to be an essential, especially in the winter months when systems are a bit slower to really get working.
Articulation of joints
Moving well in all your pieces and parts. You can lose range of motion in your body (all joint areas have unique ways to move) from simply not knowing what to move and its unique capabilities. Also important, your body is incredibly resilient and can change it’s range of motion if given proper support and time to learn. Chronic stiffness can be altered with good movement habits. Each joint structure of the body has a unique role in you moving well. When some joints don’t move well, the work falls on the surrounding areas and many times can over tax and even put too much load on certain joints. For example, hips- knees, ankles, feet. If the hip is not doing so great the load entering the knees and ankles is in a “slightly askew” spot. Months or years later, those knees bear the brunt of things from not happening above in the hips and torso. Articulation is the answer to the question “where do I do that movement?
Stability is the collective stability of your body’s structure. You can only handle as much load as your structure is able to. This was the direct solution to my chronic hip and back pain and “need to learn” that led me to this work in 2002.I still daily do pieces of the work to simply put my bones and structure into an arrangement that is more stable. Moving can be easy for some youths and young people, but moving evenly and without compromise to the structure of our torso and hips is it’s own skill set. This is a hard core essential in all the work we teach. It makes for a classic exerciser’s lesson. When a person takes on more than they can lift, push, pull, move with in their body it sets the stage for injuries. Or when a person just moves in a “funny” way. Common example, being sore after moving a big object in a weird position. A huge reason people stop moving and exploring active pursuits is simply injuries. Examples are, A runner that develops a foot or leg issue because of an instability somewhere else in the body, or a teen athlete that is training to go faster and harder and take more load into the body but does not get the core education to support spine and hips well- the body takes a hit and an injury pops up out of the blue, but really it has been happening over time gradually as the youth grows and trains. We all need structural stability.
To be capable.To have the physical, mental and spiritual strength to act upon whats’ important to you.To have the physical strength to do things outside of your comfort zone is important to your quality of life.
You have a light in you. YOU have to act upon that light, use it, kindle it, stir it up sometimes and be a good steward for that light in order for it to work well. When you use it – it grows brighter when you don’t it can get rusty and dusty and become dim enough that you don’t even remember that it’s there. This is another essential piece of our sessions. You have to use some energy to have it.
All of these pieces are in each session we teach whether it is to 1 person or 8 people. I hope you look for them in your exercise choices, whether you work with us or you don’t yet. We would love to help you with the ones you desire/need more of. Happy exploring movement and exercise in the New Year.
If you share these items with us please let us know, we would love to hear from you. If you have other essentials why’s that we don’t touch on here, please let us know we would love to hear your essentials and attraction to this work.