So, I came across this meme on Facebook the other day and had to smile: "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful. Hate my Pilates instructor."
Actually, I'm still smiling. You have to admit... it's kind of brilliant. The truth often is! I have been passionate about Pilates for nearly a decade now. My experience began in 2003 − and continues to grow (and guide my life in countless ways). Our essential ideology at Flow Pilates Centre celebrates Pilate's core philosophies − despite a common thread among other fitness facilities to jump on the latest trends. We honor the merits of Pilates and all its key concepts... a mind-body connection where energy flows, where moves are deliberate, where every single exercise has a purpose and a goal, and results are... obvious.
I follow the 5 contemporary Principles of Pilates. They are the basis from which every exercise stems; they focus on position, safety, effectiveness, and mastery. BREATHING: Relaxed and focused breath allows for optimal concentration and oxygenated muscles. It feeds strong abdominals and torso stabilization. PELVIC PLACEMENT: The pelvis and the lower back must remain stabilized − in either a neutral (C-curve) or imprinted (lower back moves toward the mat; used when both feet are off the floor) position. RIB CAGE PLACEMENT: An increased awareness of breath patterns and abdominal engagement will stabilize the rib cage; its position will affect the upper spine. SHOULDER STABILITY: Stabilizing the shoulder blades will keep your neck and shoulders safe. HEAD AND NECK PLACEMENT: Honoring your neck's natural curve, with head balanced directly above shoulders, prevents crunching, strain, and injury. There are also 6 classical Principles of Pilates − filled with wisdom and life applications: CONTROL: All movement is inspired by a goal of complete control of both the body and the mind − allowing for our best ideas, most fluid movements, optimal muscle use, and safety. BREATH: Deep, cleansing breaths... inhale as you prepare for your movement; exhale as you execute that movement. Increase oxygen, circulation, flexibility, and effective abdominal engagement. CONCENTRATION: Always be present and focus; as you concentrate on your best form, you will reap the benefits of every single movement. FLOW: (a personal fave!)This means continual movement... an ongoing commitment to engaged and active muscles, deep breaths, and fluid motions. CENTERING: Joseph Pilates called the core a powerhouse − that area from which every exercise begins. A strong core means safe and effective movements (and great looking abs!). PRECISION: Every movement is goal oriented and purposeful − precise! And every means of attaining each movement is specific, controlled, centered, and flowing. Pilates really is one of those things you have to experience to fully understand. It brings strength, purpose, and empowerment − allowing for a constant journey toward our best selves. And if that weren't enough... it inspires those snippets of truth now circulating on Facebook. Don't hate me because I'm beautiful... Because there is no body like a Pilates body!