|Posted on May 1, 2014 at 6:05 PM|
Since moving from Colorado, more often than not when I tell someone I teach Pilates, I then hear, “Pilates...I've heard of that... what exactly is Pilates? Is it like yoga?” This response used to leave me flabbergasted, especially living in Tahoe. How can people living in such an outdoorsy, active place know nothing about Pilates?! Now that I've been outside of the Denver/Boulder mecca for some time now, I been able to embrace it as a great opportunity to teach even more people about what Pilates can do for them.
Pilates is an exercise system which focuses on strengthening and lengthening from the core, balancing the body by re-patterning the neuro-muscular connections, and by connecting us to our breath. When first learning Pilates, the movements seem to be counter-intuitive, and we tend to feel entirely out of touch with our body, which is exactly the way we are supposed to feel. This is because our body has developed, over the course of its life-time, different habits and ways of moving which do not engage the body in a balanced way. This happens for a variety of different reasons, whether it's a compensation for an old injury, or over use of one side, or part, of the body due to a sport. In order to get back to a balanced state, we are able to use Pilates to re-connect our brain to the little stabilizer muscles, instead of always reverting back to enlisting the global movers.
Mr. Pilates originally called his system of movement Contrology, the idea that we have to enlist the mind to control the body in a very precise way. Therefore, the Pilates exercises are seemingly counter-intuitive, because they require us to truly think about how to perform the movement without engaging the macro-muscles our body would normally use. Pilates doesn't just train our bodies for a sport, or rehabilitate us from an injury, it trains us for life. For when we slip and catch ourselves before falling. Or when we carry our sleeping kids from the car up to their rooms at night. It focuses on strengthening the muscles of the core because that is where almost all of our vital organs and nervous system reside. As Mr. Pilates used to say, "A man is as young as his spinal column."
Pilates is the only reason I can be as active as I am today. It literally has brought me from not being able to walk across any surface without pain, to being able to run a 5k with no pain. I'd love to be able to work with you and whatever it is that your amazing body needs, to take you to your next level. I offer Pilates classes here on Maui Mondays and Wednesdays at 7:30am in Kihei and at 10:30am in Paia, Tuesdays at 7am in Wailea, Fridays, at 10:30am in Paia, and Saturdays at 7am in Wailea and 10:30am in Kihei. Hope to see you soon!