After our fall session ended in November, I began planning and preparing for the New Year. I wanted to reflect on what was working in classes and in my own training and what needed to change. Working smarter not harder:) At that same time I began my CEC training (continuing education courses). This is a mandatory practice Pilates teachers participate in each year to keep our skills fresh, while learning entertaining ways to keep moving our bodies.
With my martial arts background I also try to keep in mind ways to teach and train my own body for more efficient movement and injury prevention. I focused on biomechanics, rotation, core stability and power.
Then the planning began and here is what you can expect for your winter Pilates session. Since it is the New Year, starting your classes with an intention or a goal in mind is a great idea. Do you want to, get strong or be more flexible or even have more energy? Maybe you just want to try something new? Here’s what you can expect!
The ABC’s of Pilates will be integrated into each class.
A – Alignment: This is our opportunity to get our body back to a place of length and proper posture. Our daily lives take us out of alignment; we over use our front body and forget about the back body. We use our dominant side and create imbalances from left to right. Alignment is essential for body awareness and functional movement. We simply move better when we are aligned!
B – Breathing & Balance: For every inhale an exhale follows, so it makes sense to bring awareness to our breathing when we move. Breath is life, and when we are breathing deeply and thoughtfully this brings balance into our body and mind. Alignment allows us to take fuller deeper inhales and mindful exhales that connect us to our core!
C – Core Connection: The core is the center of our body. Without core strength we cannot stand, walk, or sit properly and this puts us out of balance. Connecting to our core, learning how to engage this part of our body, without overdoing it, supports all other exercises! You will experience all three of these elements in your practice and the following benefits will begin to show up in your daily life.
When you do Pilates exercises regularly (2 to 3 times per week) here’s what you will notice:
1. Improved mood: When you exercise with thought you are elevating happy hormones in your body called endorphins. They help lift our mood and minimize stress. When you feel good, you are also more productive throughout your day!
2. Lengthening and strengthening of your muscles: Pilates is known for its therapeutic effects on the body, which help us recover from and prevent injury. When the muscles are lengthening and strengthening we have more tone, and develop more muscle mass. This is critical as we age, it helps prevent or slow down muscle loss also known as sarcopenia.
3. Flexibility: Most classes include movements that flex, extend, and rotate our body. These types of movements keep our muscles agile and improve circulation. With better circulation blood and oxygen can flow where we hold tension helping to release it and naturally improving our flexibility.
4. Better joint health: It is nice to have strong flexible bodies and we must remember joint health is a big part of that. Pilates classes always include mobility for the joints and motion is lotion for tight joints. Taking care of our joints is a key element to any exercise program, because without healthy shoulders, hips, knees, ankles, wrists, spine we will not have optimal range of motion. Range of motion is essential for everyday movement, like sitting, standing, bending, and reaching!
5. Lastly, what you can expect from participating in Pilates classes this January, 2023 is a sense of community both online and in person. A place to come each week and doing something for yourself with other like minded people and a teacher who is invested in your best possible class experience!
Oh and you might also look and feel amazing!
I'm excited to see you in classes starting: check out my web page to register, michellejaypilates.ca
January 17 – Core Power and Rotation 7:00 AM
January 18 – Pilates Essentials – 7:00 PM
January 19 – Lengthen and Strengthen – 7:00 AM