Article

Pilates daily living

What if everyday before you walked out the door, you could practice Pilates?  How much more functionally sound could students become if they were practising Pilates at work, at home, at play and especially when they’re not exercising with you?

by Kimberly Spencer @studiofocuspilates

The idea that executing Pilates exercises daily to live more spiritually, physically and mentally sound stems from its principles at the core of the exercises Joseph Pilates designed over 100 years ago.  Pilates isn’t just a form of fitness then, but truly is a way of living.  Pilates can be found in our everyday living by taking a few moments to breathe and integrate the principles of the movements into our lifestyles, wherever life may take us.

Let's review the principles of Pilates then, in the order I personally like to work from, and see how each principle leads to the other and back again:

BREATHING:
Not only crucial to living but fundamentally supports the body—from our cells and musculoskeletal system.  Focusing on our breathe helps relieve stress and elevate the spirit by calming the mind with a singular concentration of connecting the mind to the body.

CONCENTRATION:
Focused awareness of the breath and additionally, body control with movements, directs the body to try to override the body’s less functional, and often faulty, natural tendencies.  Applying concentration to our body away from the external, centers our mind, body and, hopefully, spirit.

CENTERING:
Understanding and using focused postural alignment and breathe, helps us integrate and move from our core. This means the ability to move from spine and pelvis, allowing for better mobilization of the joints with strength and stabilization.

CONTROL:
Regulating the execution of movements with time and practice will help our bodies move proficiently.  Mindfully moving with control leads to minimum excessive tension and longer or more consecutive repetitions with precision.

PRECISION:
With concentrated, centered and controlled movements comes the precision to not only aid in each exercise being executed, as well as increase muscle function throughout the whole body (kinetic chain), but also intensifies and increases the challenge of sustaining accuracy in the movement. Precision allows for progressive development of more complicated multi-dimensional, multi-integrated moves without sacrificing stability.

FLOW:
The fluidity and continuity to follow through each movement, AND to transition into multiple movements together or consecutively without sacrifice to any of the above. All of these principles can enhance our overall state of being, especially if we learn to integrate them into our daily living and movements.  These ideas are what I hope my clients walk away with.

Every Pilates session offers an opportunity to improve your daily living.  Whether its applying lateral breathing, postural adjustments, or simply learning how the body functions and what movements provide the safest and most efficient positions to get up or down, take those moments and bring them home with you.

Simple enough right?  Be sure to check out my Pilates Daily Living videos on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLYcxYyejL5DHvKD0ixb3s86i4qtVfBO2q
Then share with your friends, coworkers and family members because sharing is caring!  Then check back here or on my website https://www.studiofocuspilates.com/pilates-videos for more tips and tutorials on being a Pilates student.