I attended a healthy spine workshop by Polestar Pilates a few months ago, which was great and certainly gave me food for thought about Pilates and rehabilitation, and the fact that Pilates is a life changing experience. For me it encompasses so many elements of your life. It helps you get back your alignment, you don’t just look at your posture but also how to move more freely and easily, to remove restrictions and come away from movement with pain to movement with comfort. Pilates should be a great movement experience that takes you to a happier place than where you started from.
From an early age we create our own restrictions through bad habits – perpetually carrying heavy bags over our shoulders, wearing high heels, not keeping active and letting things get in the way of exercise. It is worrying that our children are more likely to be less active, less flexible and have shorter life expectancy as a consequence because we are not valuing our bodies and mind and how amazing we actually are.
I saw a presentation slide that showed evolution ape to man standing tall to jokingly man hunched over desk – almost going back to ape!! Is this a joke though? Around 90% of the population will experience lower back ache in their lives and as a consequence hips shoulders and knees will suffer. Information Technology, although amazing is helping to create a culture of coach potatoes spending many hours over the computer, iPads, etc not moving.
Did you know that two indicators of life expectancy are how fast you walk (so I’m going to live for a long time!!) and being able to get up off the floor.
How fast do you walk?
Can you get up off the floor easily?
No, well you really need to do something about this, if not for yourself for your children, grandchildren.
You might have back ache or injury so you are saying to yourself I can’t exercise and perpetuating your lack of mobility. Why don’t you write down what you would like to be able to do then work out how you can achieve this doing an activity you like or might like to try.
Remember though that it takes persistence and continuity to reach goals. If you have had injury it will take time to get your tissue ready for stronger movement and this is where many people will fail because they want a quick fix. I couldn’t expect to teach Pilates without doing hundreds of hours of training so I have felt the exercises and understand my body better to be able to pass on my insight to others and help them regain awareness of their body.
With Pilates we are trying to wake up segmental movement and help you get rid of that anticipation of pain from movement. Our goal may be to simply help you pick things up off the floor without anticipating pain from that action and to do this we will help you to move without kicking into those restrictions and tightnesses that you have been experiencing previously. It won’t be a quick fix. It is an ongoing education as you start to understand the rules of efficient movement where the appropriate amount of stiffness for the appropriate load is applied – Panjabi. With Pilates we are looking at strength and flexibility together that will help prevent injury and get your body moving more freely.
The biggest thing too is that you have to be ready to change and perceive that you will get better. If you harbour thoughts that nothing will work, you are not ready to try to move as you need to change your mind and outlook to make the body react the way you need it to in order to move away from pain.
Negative thoughts will exacerbate physical problems and we should continually work on our mindset daily. You may laugh but see the good and appreciate what you have got and sometimes just by doing that some of your aches and pains will start to go away. If we are unhappy haven’t you noticed you usually don’t feel all that well.