One of Joseph Pilates intentions in writing his books was to convey the message that Pilates (or Controlology as he called it) was to enhance our lives, and not to be slaves to it. He intended that we use his ways to help in our daily living with ease and without pain!
Do you know of anyone who is obsessed with something? Well, Pilates can be the same – you notice the benefits within your first few classes, then you are well and truly hooked!! On holiday you find a Pilates class, failing that, you have a band and a small ball.
Pilates isn’t about being perfect – it’s about being true to ourselves and making more of what we have. For those who know me know I will never be a tall, leggy blonde (well, can manage blonde!), but will put my heart and soul into the way I teach a class – good technique, cueing and imagery. That doesn’t mean I don’t down-tools and relax!
Think about those sessions you have been in and times just flies by – you don’t know where that hour has gone – let alone remember what moves you did. To me these are the best sessions as you are ‘in the moment’ and so many of us feel like we live too far in the future.
We do have to abide to some ‘rules’ in class: concentration, control and precision but we should strive for perfection, rather than demanding it every time. You may recall in class I say “it’s about the journey, not the final destination”. What I am really saying is ‘it’s OK not to be perfect – do you best (with how you are feeling today”).
In Pilates we have a system of movement designed to promote the very best functioning of the human being, the full human being – body, mind, and spirit. We can be fanatics (I love it, actually), but we have to apply the full technique and that includes the other Pilates principles such as centering, breath, and flow. And sometimes, we have to get the mind out of it. The body has its own wisdom and too much control means we get in our own way.
Do you need more control or more letting go? How do you find the balance between direction and flow?
Think about these questions next time in class.
Enjoy the movement and feel and think how your body is moving; which is at the end of the day, what our bodies are designed to do!
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