Pilates with Manet
Posted by Linda Green - 25 Novemeber 2011
I thought long and hard about what it is that I like to put into a Pilates class. In the end I could find no better way to explain myself than to share some of the quotes that inspire me.
Most of them are from Joseph Pilates – the creator of the contrology (or rather Pilates) method and the person who inspires all Pilates instructors.
“Above all, learn how to breathe correctly.” – Joseph Pilates
The way I interpret this is that even if you go to your Pilates class and manage to do only 60 minutes of optimal breathing, you’ve accomplished the first great step. Aside from the myriad physical benefits that optimal breathing provides. Learning to breathe correctly will teach you how to access muscles you normally take for granted, it engages your mind and thus makes you aware of your body creating a connection between the body and mind. Awareness of the body is the first step to becoming aware that even habitual, everyday movements are voluntary and can be enhanced to provide more symmetry, use less energy and leave you feeling rejuvenated instead of enervated.
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started”. – Mark Twain
Sometimes change can be daunting and overwhelming, especially when it comes to physical fitness. This is another reason why I love and encourage the breathing – if something seems too much to manage now, just breathe through it. I’ve found that this can be applied inside and outside the Pilates class. Life cannot get you down if you keep breathing.
“A man is as young as his spinal column. If your spine is inflexibly stiff at 30, you are old. If it is completely flexible at 60, you are young.” - Joseph Pilates
The basic function of the spine is to house and protect the spinal cord - a column of nervous tissue. It also supports the body, provides strength to it and allows it to move. Keeping the spinal cord flexible yet strong, will ensure that the body moves optimally, feels lighter and easier to move. Modern lifestyles are normally not spine-friendly so I like to pay extra attention to it in my Pilates classes.
“Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person's physical, emotional, and mental states.” - Carol Welch (life coach)
Although Pilates focuses a lot on perfect form in an exercise, I like to get clients moving first. While they’re moving, I will add specifications and get them to perform the movement to the best of their abilities.
“Contrology [Pilates] develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind, and elevates the spirit.” – Joseph Pilates
Symmetry of the body is directly linked to the health of the body. Asymmetry in the body can cause pain and hinder physical movement; therefore a healthy body should be bilaterally symmetric. Ironing out asymmetry in the body, is very important to one’s Pilates practice.
“Ideally, our muscles should obey our will. Reasonably, our will should not be dominated by
the reflex actions of our muscles.” – Joseph Pilates
This ‘domination’ of the mind over the muscles is created by focusing on the breathing and becoming aware of your own body. Knowledge and awareness of one’s body is essential for melding the mind, body and spirit - the tripod which is essential to health and happiness - as Joseph Pilates correctly says: “A body free from nervous tension and fatigue is the ideal shelter provided by nature for housing a well balanced mind, fully capable of successfully meeting all the complex problems of modern living. Through the Pilates Method of Body Conditioning this unique trinity of a balanced body, mind and spirit can ever be attained. Self confidence follows.”
Lastly, I aspire to create escape and balance in a Pilates class. Escape from the daily grind is a necessary luxury. Balance between all aspects of life is EVERYTHING.
I will end off with this last quote from Joseph Pilates to inspire everyone to search out our Pilates classes as soon as possible.
“As a heavy rainstorm freshens the water of a sluggish or stagnant stream and whips it into immediate action, so does the Pilates Methods purify the bloodstream.” – Joseph Pilates
Pilates for Kids
Posted by Linda Green - 24 October 2011
We are super excited to announce that we will be starting a KIDDIES PILATES CLASS!
Date: Commencing from 14th October Friday @ 14h30 - 15h00
Cost: R80.00 per child
Ages: 4years to 8 years
Maximum number of kids per class: 6
Benefits of pilates for Children
- Stress Release - In the same way adults experience stress and anxiety in their daily lives, so do children The effect is extremely detrimental in the process of learning.
- Balance - Pilates increase static and dynamic balance in children
- Muscle Tone - Children need strong core muscles to sit still and concentrate, especially children with low muscle tone
- Proprioception - The child's awareness of his/her body in space
- Spatial Orientation - The child's awareness of his/her body in relation to its surroundings
- Movement in Different Planes and crossing the midline of the body - Aids in integrating the two brain hemispheres as well as the perception/participation areas of the brain
- Laterality - The awareness of having the left and right side of the body, without good proprioception, cross lateral movement and laterality, a person cannot do maths.
- Sensory-Motor Integration - visual, auditory, kinaesthetic with motor output
- Co-ordination and motor control - the ability to carry out daily tasks with vigour and alertness
- Posture - Good posture assist in positive self image and confidence
- Musculoskeletal benefits - strengthens muscles, bone density, ligaments and cartilage
- Sports Specific training - assists and enhances skills for sports such as athletics, swimming, netball, rugby, dancing, etc
- Weight Problems
Please note, if you commit to Kiddies Pilates we need a months paid notification if you decide to stop.
My First Pilates Blog
Posted by Linda Green - 15 October 2011
I’m so excited to begin! My aim is to share with you my knowledge, experiences and insight into the way in which our bodies move. Indulge yourself in the beauty of movement. Proudly I stand knowing the my Pilates dream has manifested into a reality. The beginning of this journey commenced at the ripe age of 5, as I tippy toed across the ballet studio. I spent 19years training in the art of dance; ballet, contemporary, jazz, African, Broadway, Spanish, and even attempted tap, coupled with Speech & Drama, this only fuelled my expression for movement.
The discipline, commitment and down right hard work that was spent perfecting my art was never going to be long enough for me.
My shoulder had been giving me some trouble for a while and when I joined the Kelsey Middleton Academy of Dance Company, the pain increased as the work load and physical demands did. A sharp, shooting, stabbing pain was a constant struggle and the more I pushed the worse it got. This is what lead me to Pilates, my introduction was simple, an instructor started dancing part-time with us and she opened my eyes to the glorious syllabus. “You should come for a session?”
I’ll never forget the overwhelming feeling of “I’m so weak” that surged through every muscle in my body as I trained in the Body, Arts and Science International syllabus. Would I ever catch up?
Peaking as a professional dancer, my physical body started collapsing, the truth behind this is you can train or dance as much as you like but without anatomical conditioning from a very young age, you will never survive an injury free career. It happened in my absolutely favourite performance: “On the Wings Of Sue” choreographed by a Frenchman; Redha.
My dance partner yanked at my right arm too early for a lift and this added to my already injured rotator cuff muscles. I severed my nerve, had severe tendinitis and bursitis, I Pulled my Biscep insertion and rotator cuffs. I was armless and once the adrenalin wore off, the pain was excruciating. I could not lift my arm to open my car door.
I pursued Pilates as it seemed to open a door for me into earning financially. I did a course through Equilibrium and began teaching part-time. It was a whole new world, learning a new syllabus was relatively easy compared to the anatomical information. How do you personalize a clients work-out, in dancing you did no matter what your postural type.
“Climb into the reformer, what was it going to reform, squeeze a magic circle, magic? Draw your navel towards your spine… oh really?
“My part-time work fuelled a passion for teaching that I’d always had, as I successfully completed my fully comprehensice course with Pilates SA with Nicole Sinoff, my passion and understanding of teaching exploded and I just couldn't get enough. What amazed and intruiged me, was the diversity of the syllabus and the progression from beginners level to advanced.
The proud moment arrived, when I opened up my very own Pilates studio. Body Synergy Studio. The definition of Synergy: It comes from the Greek word, synergia meaning joint work and cooperative action. Synergy is when the result is greater than the sum of the parts. Synergy is created when things work in concert together to create an outcome that is in some way of more value then the total of what the individual inputs is.
I literally had 2 mats, 2 pysio balls, some therabands, a gorgeous space, oh and me, myself and I. As my knowledge expanded so did my clients and my wings. I placed my order through Balanced Body and over time have added a Cadillac, reformer, spine corrector, Exo chair and all the accessories one could possibly find.
I love discovering which area of my clients body is tight, which muscles are weak, which muscles are strong but nothing compares to that special moment when you client pipes up and announces, “ do you remember how difficult this used to be for me, now look I’m doing this effortlessly!”
I strive to give to my clients, so that when you leave my class you have learnt something about yourself. I take much pride in knowing that I am adding value to your life.