My body LOVES to round! I will gladly roll like a ball, or do roll up, or even the “dreaded” neck pull 25 times before I would choose to do the swan. However, a couple of years ago (after the birth of my 2nd son) I was taken aback by one of our Master Teachers when she told me that I was collapsing instead of lifting in my C-curve. ME?!? Never!! That was a startling revelation that I am so thankful for. You have to work like crazy to lift your powerhouse in and up anytime you are working in your C (or anytime for that matter) otherwise, you will be crunching and compressing through the spine and not lengthening! Muy importante! If you’re not sure what I am talking about, ask me the next time you’re in the studio to demonstrate how NOT to roll, I can show you very easily!
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Whether at home or in a group class, the first mat exercise that is done is the 100. Why? Simple- you are warming up the body. The action of pumping your arms is promoting circulation and getting increasing blood flow as well as strengthening the shoulders and upper back. Your head is lifted to get you deeper into your Powerhouse (not to mention strengthening your neck). Your bottom is engaged supporting the legs and your back is anchored throughout the exercise until you are ready to articulate the spine in the Roll Up. As with all exercises, there are progressions to start one safely and challenge you throughout your studies. But as with any form of physical activity, warming up the body is essential- so even if you are late into a class (as we all are occasionally) always do your 100 before joining the rest of the group!
Ever wonder why you are doing a particular exercise? Yes, they are good for you. As Joseph would’ve said, “It’s good for zee body!” But more specifically, how is that particular series of movements benefiting you? Aren’t you curious? Romana and Sari actually used to “test” their new teachers by asking the students why they were doing things. If you don’t know, ask! We love that you are so trusting that you do something just because we ask you to, but knowing why you are doing something, will deepen your understanding of the exercise and in turn, increase the benefits. You can “do” your roll up, or you can REALLY DO your roll up.
Hopefully everyone has had a chance to get “away” at least once this summer. A change of scenery or routine can be so refreshing as we prepare for Fall. We all need a well-deserved break every once and a while, so don’t scold yourself for not doing your Pilates while you were out. I’ll bet there were a few times when you were using your Powerhouse and you weren’t even aware of it. Did you try to stand “up and forward” while waiting in the security line at the airport? How about use both sides evenly and equally while sipping your favorite frosty beverage on the beach? If so, then you’re that much ahead to jump back into next season. If not, oh well, there’s always next summer.
Check out our facebook page for pics, updates and discussions! And check back frequently for more fun summer quizes to win free mat classes and/or credit toward private classes!
This deal for Living Social that we are running inevitably brings up questions. “But I’ve had Pilates before so do I really need to start with a Fundamentals class?” While there are always exceptions for every rule, our general answer is “yes.” The practical reason being that so many styles of Pilates have popped up recently that we want to make sure that we are all on the same page with body positioning, vocabulary, etc… The un-obvious answer is “why not?!” When else in your daily life can you actually take the time to think only about yourself and your body? Ironically, the more you know about Pilates, the more you can get out of a Fundamentals class. So indulge and be selfish! Don’t we all deserve it from time to time?