As a mother of triplets who are now twelve-years-old, you might wonder why Pilates would make such a difference in how I do my life better?
Over a year ago, I stumbled into Waneka Club Pilates as you were all getting the doors open for business. I’ve never regretted a minute that I have spent at the studio. With each class, I find and ignite my inner core and take my centered body home to be a kinder, gentler person to myself, my children and my husband. If I make it to a class or two a day, it’s going to be a smooth day for my family.
Often, if I miss a day of classes, I walk around my home and find myself achy, so I’ll ask myself, am I holding the best posture for my body? Is my core tight while I do this task? I check in and see if I’m holding a neutral spine or I’m tucking my pelvis and hunching my shoulders.
With each instructor’s cueing, I get better at going more deeply into my Pilates practice and transference of learning to my life. “Once one exercise is executed efficiently, another layer of that same exercise can be improved. Joseph Pilates’ principles are always new each time you do them!”
Joseph Pilates’ 6 Principles Give My Life Focus
Pilates focuses on strengthening the “powerhouse”, or core. Physically centering the body in this way, increases energy and strength throughout. Not only are you focusing on these core muscles, you are also balancing the right and the left side of the body, while simultaneously balancing dominant and weaker muscle groups.
As a teacher of ceramics and painting, I find that all my creative work stems from my ability to get centered and if I bring my Pilates Principles to life this is the most important one! I do my pottery and paintings so much better when I’m tightening my core and rooting down through my legs just as when we’re in class grounding our bodies. (www.RootedHue.com)
By actively engaging in the practice in the Waneka Club Pilates Studio, I strive to bring that same attention to my life. “Concentrate on the correct movement each time you exercise, lest you do them improperly and thus lose all vital benefits.”-Joseph Pilates. Pilates creates an active meditation that pulls an individual away from their surrounding stressors. Making the decision to think about the motion and what muscles to activate (versus just moving through it) provides increased performance and better results that transcend into your everyday life.
Being more present in my life and focusing on the loved ones beside me, I live with more concentration.
Once learning the proper Pilates moves, I like to close my eyes and ensure that I have incorporated the move inwardly. Allowing yourself the opportunity to slow down a motion, and get the feeling into your body, is the most ideal way to reap the benefits of any fitness regime. Every movement in Pilates is deliberate, and the mind should be directing every muscle.
Similarly, I deliberately chose to teach what I’m passionate about, painting and creating with clay. I love to share my skills with others so I pay close attention to what I’m doing to control my paint brush and later to choose my favorite activities creations to share with our Lafayette community at Morning Glory.
Finding time to really slow down and share my process and celebrate my watercolor art on display at Morning Glory Restaurant in Lafayette, Colorado.
Precision dictates the efficiency of how each exercise is done. A common misconception of Pilates is that it’s “too easy.” That is directly translated as exercises being done too quickly and not knowing what muscles should be working. Each Pilates movement has a purpose, placement and technique that needs to be followed in order to be successful.
In my life, I apply this precision to how I try to reflect on my parenting and how I show up as a family member. As I teach my children while they do their homework, I reflect and articulate what my mind is doing to solve a similar problem. I share my precise way of reaching a specific result while I’m teaching on the wheel.
Flow is involved in all exercises and is what stitches each movement together. Every motion in our body needs to be executed with ease versus pain or difficulty. Reminding ourselves that we should only move and function when good flow is possible is imperative and should be stopped when it’s not. Patience with this concept will improve our overall health in our everyday lives.
“Breathing is the first act of life and the last. Our very life depends on it.”-Joseph Pilates. Breath is the most encapsulating principle.
When I cycled the National Monument in Grand Junction last month, I remembered the two hour ascent upward and how important it was to open up my chest, lift my head up in alignment and BREATHE and tap into my core for more power.
When I carry loads of laundry up the steps, am I turning on my core before I begin the ascent? Am I tightening my core and pulling my belly button towards my spine? When I’m biking I focus on not only pushing on my pedals with my quads, but also pulling with the back of my heels and my hamstrings to ignite the thigh and gluteus-maximus muscle just like while I’m on the reformer with my heels on the footrest, and moving into my bridging position with my hips high. I have Pilates to thank for this amazing awareness and I’m much more able to withstand long, steep rides with this body awareness. THANK YOU WANEKA CLUB PILATES! You have supported me in so many ways, Suzi Van Alstyne!