Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Mind/Body Connection of Pilates

The lotus flower, the species of flower said t...Image via Wikipedia
One of the things that makes Pilates practice so different from a lot of traditional exercise methods is the mind-body connection.  In some ways, this connection makes Pilates more similar to yoga than traditional weight training.  Pilates requires very precise movements targeting deep muscles—your mind needs to be in it to make it most effective.  There is also very specific breathing techniques that go along with each exercise to not only focus on your core, but to center your mind as well.
Pilates does not put an emphasis on endless repetitions of exercises, but on fewer, more precise movements and deep breathing that is guided by one of our professionally trained instructors.  Our instructors can guide you not only through the exercises, but the breathing techniques as well.  We are trained to notice exactly how each muscle is moving and to make sure that our clients keep their breathing in sync with the exercises.
I truly believe that working in the moment and focusing on your breath can not only help your physical body, but your mental health as well.  You hear a lot these days about living in the moment, living in the now, what a perfect way to combine your physical exercise regimen with that philosophy.
“The acquirement and enjoyment of physical well-being, mental calm, and spiritual peace are priceless to their possessors if there be any such so fortunate living among us today.  However, it is the ideal to strive for, and in our opinion, it is only through [the Pilates method] that this unique trinity of a balanced body, mind, and spirit can ever be attained.”  -Joseph Pilates (1945).
"The acquirement and enjoyment of physical well-being mental calm, and spiritual peace are priceless to

Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Meet the Ladder Barrel!

I told you all a few weeks ago that I was hoping to get some new equipment (which is a little addiction I have) and recently I purchased a new piece of equipment called the ladder barrel.  This is a wonderful device for deep stretches as well as targeted strengthening and flexibility exercises.  There are rungs in the ladder portion of the equipment that are at different heights that make it easy to accommodate various body heights.

It is great for spinal articulation and stretching hips—you can use the barrel to stretch on your stomach, on your side, or laying across on your back.  It is great to promote not only good flexibility as I said, but also help your posture.  The design of this piece of equipment is great for helping isolate deep core muscles—our favorite muscles to target!

As we age, this kind of spinal articulation is so great for helping to strengthen the bones and muscles that will keep us all upright.  I use the barrel as a compliment to the other pieces of equipment and there is nothing better than great deep stretches on the barrel at the end of a hard workout.  Give us a call and check it out...Your spine will thank you.