Joseph Pilates

Foam Roller Stretching Galore

Rachel Fitness, Lifestyle, Pilates, Wisdom Leave a comment   , , , , , , , ,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We once again revisit the Foam Roller because it is one of the most versatile, beneficial inexpensive training props available.  Not only can almost anyone use it, but also it can be harnessed for both active exercise and strength-training purposes as well as stretching and relaxation.  In specific, the Foam Roller is fantastic for stretching out the spine.

Why stretch the spine?  Well…for one, it supports our head, our limbs, and many of our organs and so it needs TLC.  But more so, we spend so much time stooped over, in a state of flexion (think rounded shoulders, sitting at a desk, in front of the TV, or in the car) that moving in the opposite direction is vital to long-term spinal health and functionality.

As far as accurate, medically sound resources go, YouTube can be hit or miss; however, there are a number of short videos devoted to stretching the spine, especially in the Thoracic region (think ribcage area), that are easy to follow and impart sound advice.

Check out these spine stretches!!

If nothing else, lolling around on a foam roller for a few minutes before bed is a nice way to step away from the day and into ‘I really want to experience sleep soon’ mode.  Get ready to sleep tight…or better yet, sleep loose!

To strengthen that spine, and make those stretches even more rewarding, begin a fantastic Pilates program today! As we approach the holidays take the time to give yourself and your loved ones the gift of sound mind and body.  It will last a lot longer than a trendy sweater!

 


The Importance of the Pilates Method for Children

Rachel Fitness, Lifestyle, News, Pilates, Wisdom Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , ,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out the following article on learning healthy habits at an early age / Pilates for kids written by Javier Bceiso Blanco of Body Arts and Science International (BASI) in Spain (there is even a photo of him / student in action) –

 

It is critically important to begin instilling healthy habits at an early age. That is probably how  I would sum up everything I have learned as a teacher and as a father.

I have worked with children for 15 years, and observing their physical, mental and spiritual development has been one of the great joys of my life. For me, the Pilates method has proven itself beyond any doubt as an essential aid in the development of children into socially-integrated adults with full physical and mental skills.

It’s a fact that the brain needs to lean on the physical self as it develops a solid basis for cognitive abilities. An example is the child’s use of the fingers when learning to count.  At the same time, a healthy mind-body connection contributes to less tangible, but just as important, skills, including open-mindedness, receptiveness to people and healthy habits of discipline. These, together with a strong pedagogical environment and a healthy family environment, create those important educational values which, unfortunately, seem to be on the wane nowadays.

Pilates is just as important for healthy children as it is for those with motor issues. For the latter, it assists in balancing the imbalances caused by their injuries, improving their muscular tone and building coordination, balance, breathing, ROM (range of movement), flexibility, strength and endurance – all of which are just as important for the healthy child. And, of course, all children need to understand their own bodies and develop self-awareness, control, concentration and discipline. Pilates helps every child avoid the modern evils of a sedentary life and obesity – along with all the problems that they entail.

Physical Education and sports as currently taught at school do not cover all the physical and mental dimensions that are necessary for childhood development. And, in many cases, schools reduce the time spent on these activities is favor of more “academic” subjects. At the same time, the US National Association of Physical Education has estimated that 300,000 people die every year due to deficient physical activity and bad diet. This number exceeds the number of people who die as a result of infections, car crashes and substance abuse.

This is the background to BASI’s Pilates for Kids: Healthy Development workshop, which integrates the Pilates method as an extracurricular tool in order to complete the physical education provided in school and to instill healthy habits into young bodies and minds.

The workshop focuses less on education (or re-education) than on maintenance. Children have a natural, inborn movement instinct which automatically reinforces their musculature and, in most cases prevents them from experiencing serious injury. The objective of the workshop is to strengthen and guide this instinct; to prevent it from falling into disuse, which is what happens with most adults.

The program is adaptable to all children and all phases of development, from psycho-motor development at an early age, which enables the child to acquire balance and coordination, through the development of elastic qualities and muscular strength to the development of coordination, fine skills, aerobic capabilities and, finally, maximum muscular strength.

It is important to emphasize that Pilates practice at an early age will avoid – or reduce – potential musculo-skeletal problems in childhood or in later life, as a consequence of bad posture, lack of flexibility, inadequate muscular tone, wrong breathing and bad joint mobility.

If parents and educators were aware of the importance of instilling healthy habits from childhood, many common adult diseases could be avoided. As Dr. Valentin Fuster writes in this book The Health Science “heart attacks suffered from the age of 45 begin to develop in childhood. Between 70% and 90% of the time, they are caused by an unhealthy lifestyle acquired since childhood”.

Pilates for Kids: Healthy Development teaches Pilates professionals to both build programs for children throughout the developmental cycle and to lead them through the process of acquiring discipline and healthy habits in a fun and healthy way.

Learn more about the BASI Pilates for Kids: Healthy development workshop.

 


BASI Pilates

Rachel Fitness, Pilates Leave a comment   , , , , , , ,

For anyone out there considering becoming a Pilates instructor, Body Arts and Science International (BASI) Pilates is the best teacher training program, hands down.  Although trained through and certified by BASI since early 2009, my experience spending the weekend going through part of the original certification (the part focused on teaching and working with clients) but taught through a new voice was an invaluable and hugely exciting opportunity.  To work with Rael Isacowitz, founder of BASI Pilates and renowned practitioner, was such a blessing; so much information can be gleaned from someone with his talent and expertise.

For information on BASI certification, check out their Teacher Training Programs!

For information on Rael Isacowitz (I think I am a little bit in love now…well enamored anyway) click here!

Learning new teaching techniques and feeling re-invigorated and inspired to bring health and functional fitness via Pilates to clients is exciting!  Upcoming mat and reformer clients be prepared to have your worlds rocked!

Wanna try it yourself?  Contact us today!


Installment 9 of 10 ‘Benefits of Pilates’

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9. Increases Awareness – Body/Mind Connection

Joseph Pilates was adamant that Pilates, or Contrology as he called it, was about “the complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit.” This is one of the secrets of Pilates exercise: we practice each movement with total attention. When we exercise in this way, the body and mind unite to bring forth the most benefit possible from each exercise. The Pilates principles — centering, concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow — are key concepts that we use to integrate body and mind.

One of the things that almost always happens in a Pilates class is that students move too quickly through the exercises.  Even as instructors count to keep a pace or flow for the class, people speed up even without realizing it.  What do we get when we speed up?  Yes, that’s right, momentum.  While momentum might make exercises seem easier, using propulsion to get up off the floor or swing our legs behind us, speed degrades the quality of movement. Some of the most difficult Pilates moves are so because they are done slowly, with precision.  As a Pilates instructor, if I had to choose one principle on which to build my Pilates practice, it would be precision.

Make Joseph Pilates (see below) proud…and execute your movements with precision and concentration in order to build beautiful, strong and lean bodies!


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