Posts In: Pilates

Pilates For Healing

August 6, 2018

For a lot of people when there is mention of pilates there follows an assumption that it’s another form of exercise like yoga. In some ways it is true, many of the exercises come from a base of yoga, there is the essential connection of the breath to the movement, principles of awareness and concentration and there is an element of strength and mobility to each exercise.Similarly, with yoga there are many styles and hybrids of pilates. I like to think we practice a nice mix of traditional pilates broken down for accessibility as we work towards mastering Joseph Pilates’ exercises based on each individual student’s needs. There is a  feeling that Pilates is missing the spiritual and emotional aspect that is so well known to yoga. It is true there is no chanting, mantras or deities but there is definitely a spiritual connection to the self through focus, concentration and awareness. 

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It’s winter. It’s cold. The days are shorter. It rains a lot. The body is creaky. 

Most people would much rather head to a bar and warm up with some wine or head out to dinner and load up on those hearty warming foods the body so badly craves at this time of the year. Just because the weather has dropped doesn’t mean the fitness routine should too. In fact this is the time to be working out and staying active because with the cold comes stiffer muscles and joints as we consume less water, there is less moisture in the air and the body uses more energy to stay warm. And we all know summer bodies are made in winter.

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For many of us the pelvic floor is like the Oscars after party – we’ve heard about it but we don’t really know where it is or how to access it. Both men and women have a pelvic floor which can either be weak or tight due to obesity, heavy physical exercise, scar tissue buildup, anxiety or compensating for other muscles such as the hamstrings and glutes. For men prostate issues can cause weakness and for women pregnancy and childbirth. Incontinence; prolapse; low back, pelvic and glute pain; bloating and urinary tract infections are all common symptoms of a dysfunctional pelvic floor. (more…)

Firstly what are the glutes? They are a group of 3 muscles made up of the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus muscles. Each is a different shape and size as the name suggests and has a different purpose. Let’s start with the largest muscle in the body and the top layer of glute – the gluteus maximus. This muscle is huge and has coarse muscle fibres. It attaches to the back of the pelvis and the thoracolumbar region (the fascia in the low back) as well as the ischial tuberosity (we call them your sit bones in the studio) and the ITB on the outside of the thigh.  The glute max is used when power is required for example when getting up from a seated position, walking up hill or climbing stairs and running. It also assists other muscles in standing up straight from a bent over position. The glute max is only briefly used in the very early stages of taking a step during strolling or casual walking and is not used when standing still. The glute max extends the thigh, assists external rotation, keeps the thigh steady and helps other muscles when getting up from sitting.

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As the weather starts to cool down many people retreat to the warmth of the northern hemisphere. So to help you keep fit during your travels here are 6 really simple exercises that you can do on the hotel room floor and will take you 10 minutes to complete. Perhaps the best time to run through this set is before breakfast because there is no time to come up with excuses. These are all exercises that we regularly do in the studio because they are so good and have a myriad of benefits.

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