Celebrating my 9th year of teaching Pilates and my 19th year of doing Pilates. Nothing beats the feeling it gives me and as I get older it just gets better. Age will never stop me, oh no I’m planning to wear hot pink leggings and teach daily classes into my 80’s! 💕 What about you? Will you be joining me in class?! 💕
I've been practicing Pilates now for over 18 years and I cannot tell you how much my wellbeing, fitness and flexibility has improved from daily practice. I am fitter, stronger and less prone to injury than I was when I was a professional dancer and not only that I have more core strength now than I ever did when I was dancing professionally. Much has changed in the world of dance and sport in that time, so much so that it is now recognised that Pilates is an essential part of any dancer or athlete's cross training routine. But even if you practice Pilates regularly, are you aware of the original principles of this form of movement?
When Joseph Pilates developed his exercise regime in the early part of the twentieth century, it evolved over time as many forms of movement do, but he had a set of principles that he applied to all his work which are still taught today and I think it’s very useful to know what these are, and try and apply them to your own individual practice.
Be aware of your body - joints and muscles.
Work all your muscles in balance.
Breathe well to aid your exercise as well as relieve stress.
Concentrate on what you’re doing, be in the moment.
Control your movements in in a relaxed way to reduce tension.
Focus on your centre (core) at all times, thereby stabilising your body.
Be efficient in the ease & economy of your movement.
Flow by activating the muscles at just the right time.
Be in harmony with yourself, others and the environment.
Be precise & pay attention to the details of the exercise, enjoy the detail.
Written material and photograph copyright of Rachel Lawrence.
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To Read more about the surprising benefits of Pilates, click the link below:
Amazing fact of the week- A recent study shows that men and women who ramped up their activity gradually to about seven hours a week by the age of 40-61 reduced their risk of death from any cause in the years that followed by about 35%.
All the more reason to not miss your regular pilates, dance and stretch classes, and if anything try and do more. It’s great if you manage one class a week, but by increasing what you do to say two or three classes a week, along with increasing the activity in your day to day life you will be protecting yourself against many of the illnesses related to inactivity and ageing.
Ballet for most little girls is a rite of passage. You want to wear pink, dress up in a tutu and float around to music. When you are a child there are no inhibitions, no self consciousness about what you are wearing, you are just in the moment enjoying what you are doing. So where does all that go when you grow up?
Have you ever put the word 'Pilates' into google images and viewed what comes up? You'll be presented with endless photos of beautiful young women doing all kinds of gymnastic and acrobatic Pilates movements which is amazing to see but that's NOT what the originator, Joseph Pilates created it for. No, he was convinced way back in the 1940's that we were moving into an increasingly stressful world and that we all needed to devote far more attention to our fitness and wellbeing no matter what our age. And let's face it, we are all going to spend a lot more time being older rather than younger! Youth is fleeting and once we get past our thirties the wear and tear of an ageing body begins to take it's toll. And that's nothing to get worried about, it's just life, so what can we do?