Strength in numbers

I sat at my laptop this morning with great intention to write about my third session 1558568_10202724738618013_1036063505_nwith my rock star client, Jocelyn.  According to my “calendar” that is exactly what I was supposed to do…however, today is World Cancer Day. FB is purple in honor of support. The purple tide shows how social media can really create a strength in numbers–but what can we do beyond the purple friends?

This past year too many of my dear friends have either been taken or diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.  So, today–I just can’t write about Pilates.  It is a day to support the warriors, admire the survivors and honor the taken–and lift up the caregivers. It is a day that means so much more to me now than ever before…but, it would be beautiful thing if it could also be a day to realize how much more needs to be done to support research, and families in need of support.  It is a day to embrace the little things around you and love your body for the day it has given you–and pray for the warrior whose body has become weak and sick from chemo, radiation treatments, and surgeries.   It could be a day to also realize how words of support and love may be the best  words you could share–a little light on a dark day makes a huge difference.

Today could be the day you realize it is time to change how pediatric cancer treatments have not changed in years—so let’s do something about that!  Or, that you take that weekly coffee allowance and trade it in for a donation.  Or, it maybe the day that you show respect for your body and support for those fighting and raise money for awareness by running on pavement, biking in DC or running through the mud for a charity in support of fighting cancer–for goodness sake the sky is the limit…there are so many options to make a difference.

Today is a great day to “start” to make a difference…to appreciate your body every time you move (and send your love and light to someone who needs it).  It is a great time to use your strength to raise funds for someone fighting for their life!  Let’s do this friends…

As you move through your day today, stop for a moment to thank your body for your health and strength…then please take a moment to send love, light and positive energy to everyone fighting cancer, taken by cancer, abandoned by cancer, and giving every ounce of their energy to kick cancer’s butt!!

To the warriors I know…you are super heroes!  Your families are amazing! To the Moms and Dads caring for sick children–you have no idea how much you are in my heart, and your love and fight and hope is inspiring.    To Leslie, I just know you have everyone’s back–and you are up in heaven taking care of so many down here. You have taught me so much…and I promise to pay it forward!

Show some strength in numbers—let’s do something!!!  These are just a few ways to spread awareness, support and love:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rS5T_3OUoZo&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DrS5T_3OUoZo&app=desktop

http://www.thetruth365.org/petition/

http://www.pinkribbon.com/

https://donate.cancer.org/index?campaign=search&gclid=CPv45KWgs7wCFacDOgodbiIAFw

http://www.chevrolet.com/purple-roads-world-cancer-day.html?seo=goo_|_GM+Superbowl_|_1744%7C1751%7CIPUS%7CAU%7CG%7CS%7CNB%7CA%7CBMM%7C+GG-LS-Chevy-SN-NB-BMM_|_Superbowl_48-Chevrolet-ACS_|_cancer

Session Two–This is what I really do as an instructor–Homework!

The second Pilates session is a great way to continue to monitor movement.  As mid-January nears and many resolutions are in full “LET’S DO THIS” mode, the body may change from day to day.  From spin classes to boot camps, clients may be moving freely one day and segmented the next. Continually monitoring and talking to clients is key–and doing my homework weekly–essential!

Session Two with Jocelyn 

Jocelyn enjoys spin classes at her gym–and that is an awesome cardio work (the calories burned during an average 45 minute class could range from 400-600+ calories (according to Spinning.com and I personally know a few instructors who may take that calorie burn up a notch or two).  I am all for anything that gets your heart pumping and gives you a great sweat, and spinning is a guarantee for both!  As Jocelyn’s Pilates’ instructor, it is my obligation to make sure I understand the demands of spinning and the target muscles involved in spinning in order to better understand how her body is being challenged–and to understand and possibly predict muscle tightness. That is a lot of understanding!!!!  Yes, Pilates is totally mind and body—especially for an instructor—and I LOVE IT!

We can’t be an expert in all areas of fitness (and I certainly would rather know more about one thing, than a little about a lot of things. However, I needed to really do my homework and examine the impact of spinning on the body–thanks Google for providing the world of spinning to me at my finger tips, thank you Trail Guide to the Body by Andrew Biel for being a permanent fixture on my desk, and thank you BASI for giving me this foundation and continually providing me with awesome resources–love it!  You all make my homework fun!

Upper Body Knowing that Jocelyn (like many of us) tends to carry stress in her shoulders and neck I begin to look at the posture of a person during a spin class and realize the demands placed on the body. (Check out this cute and colorful little diagram I added to my Pinterest homework board for my Pilates students–yes, I love Pinterest too!)

spin class picture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starting with stability.  Stability is needed from wrist to shoulder as the hands (even sweaty) are gripping the handle bars and the wrist is in extension (for a while) . Having sustained a wrist injury myself, I am so aware of the need to keep this part of the body safe–and also knowing that Jocelyn is a teacher (who teaches computer science to children) I know that she is vulnerable to overuse injuries of the wrist. Tendonitis of the wrist is quite painful and something that can be avoided with intelligent care. With all of that said, during our work throughout her sessions I will touch base to keep track of how often she is spinning and incorporate forearm stretches into her work–especially post wrist extension work.

Working our way up the arm, I also need to focus on the muscles that stabilize the elbow (which is doing a lot of work as well during a spin class-however, not nearly as much as your lower body, but if you have a tight upper back, neck and shoulder like Jocelyn–one needs to be aware of the arm work involved–kinetic chain). Brachioradialis is synergistic with the brachialis and biceps brachii; the triceps brachii and anconeus are antagonistic–these are key players and are important to understand insertion–because that is where we continue our journey to the shoulder and upper back (for example– triceps brachii (which has three heads) connects the humerus (upper arm bone) and the scapula (shoulder blade) to the ulna (longest of the forearm bones) and is the primary extensor of the elbow.

Moving up the arm to the shoulder–The rotator cuff is an anatomical term given to the group of muscles and their tendons that act to stabilize the shoulder (as you do actively during a spin class). It is composed of the tendons and muscles (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis) that hold the head of the humerus (ball) in the glenoid fossa (socket). Understanding the location of these muscles, and how some may already be tight is key to keeping Jocelyn moving with precision and fluidity.  Knowing how to stretch Jocelyn as her body moves through the BASI block system is critical (knowing that she has been spinning away at the gym).  I believe I just did the cat stretch in my mind for her!

Clearly, the upper body is going to be sore from spinning and I only touched base on a smidgen of the amount of work the upper body endures during a spinning class (and seriously some instructors take it up a notch–so be ready for a GREAT workout)–which is a good thing–all of those muscles need to be challenged and those stabilizers are doing exactly what they were designed to do–however, as we know the already tight muscles likes to go a little “crazy” post a good spinning session make for a less fluid movement!  Pilates instructors–these are good things to know and study!

As for the lumbar area and lower body’s demands from a spin class—WOWZERS! That is going to be dedicated to the next blog; however, the BASI block system is geared toward lengthening and strengthening “all” major muscles groups needed to improve and maintain a passion for spinning.  Knowing that I am covering all of the major muscle and not yet discovered by Jocelyn muscle groups while moving her through the BASI block system is a fantastic feeling–and I am so blessed to have this understanding under my belt.

My awareness of how Jocelyn moves and how her lifestyle may impact these movements is key to building my Pilates program for her session by session. As for Jocelyn’s increased body awareness this was her email after the first week. “I can’t believe how much more “aware” I am of my body throughout the day (posture and muscles)”~Jocelyn Kanner (YAY).  It is amazing how often an instructor will hear this fabulous news, but more amazingly is how early in the series of sessions a new student will obtain this awareness–and so the seed of mind/body has been planted–heehee.  Let us grow and lengthen together friend–and I’ll keep doing my homework so that you can be a spinning SUPER STAR!

Session One–You want me to breathe AND do all of this?

1384332_10202201374139617_1432305377_nSession One with JK–Welcome to MLB Pilates friend!  This blog is to new Pilates students everywhere–please make sure your instructor is taking you through your sessions with love, passion and dedication.   It is also for new Pilates teachers–be “that instructor” teach with your heart, share your passion, and stay dedicated to you and your students!

It is my favorite moment with a new Pilates client.  We have just discussed their health history (which allows me to understand how to move them safely), we also have just finished discussing the importance of lateral breathing (which is when you inhale deeply and your ribs expand laterally and when you exhale deeply you naturally draw the ribs back in (a lovely way to breathe and feel your abdominals work in harmony with your breath–AKA Pilates breathing) and we are finally ready to begin. I model our first movement ever (my moment of feeling giddy)…the roll down.  I cue the breathing for the movements, while sharing the beauty of listening to your spine and muscles move again in an amazing harmony (thanks to that lovely lateral breathing) freeing the spine, creating space, length–and to me–my body and mind is SO excited because this is the signal that we are getting started–WOOHOO–a giddy Pilates nerd–that is me!!!  It is also a time to really tune in to the body and feel  for possible tightness, imbalance and even an ouchie from the cardio interval workout the day before–that may be new.

As I share what I am listening for in my body, cueing visual images of the spine, the feet etc—I turn to look at my client and there it is–the LOOK.   The “You want me to breathe correctly AND do all of this in my head and body” look.  It usually happens within the first 20 minutes of the first Pilates session—and most clients do not even have to speak the words–I have actually come to recognize the look—yes I can even read your face friends.  To which I quickly respond (let go of the breathing and listen to your body move—without holding your breath please.  Breathing will come—I promise.)  Pilates is like learning a new language—privately spoken between you and your body.  It takes time and patience–but well worth the wait.  Joseph Pilates even wrote about the need for patience with Pilates in his book “Pilates Return to Life Through Contrology”–PATIENCE and PERSISTENCE are vital qualities in the ultimate successful accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavor.

Back to that roll down with my client JK.  Let me introduce this amazing lady.. first of all she is a teacher (and I have a very, very special spot in my heart for teachers—they rock!  She is an active woman (she does yoga twice a week, has a personal trainer, enjoys biking, spinning and elliptical work–she is not afraid to go to the gym–love that).  She has tremendous respect for how hard she has to work to keep her body healthy and is coming to me with a great amount of body awareness (such a gift).  She also has ongoing low back pain, muscle tightness, and gets discouraged when working out becomes difficult because of these issues.  Within the first ten minutes of discussing her health (and no disc issues or osteoporosis–and cleared by her doctor) and then her fitness goals and watching her body move in the roll down I can “see” where she is getting “stuck” in her movement.  That assessment is over–and we begin to warm up carefully as I continually interview her about her movement and try to help her mentally connect with her muscles in a way that her experience with personal trainers have never asked her to do.  Through this type of body interview I learn so many things–and notice immediately that she is not only dealing with a very tight low back, but has a glute that seems to be hindering her movement too–interesting how the source of pain may not be the origins of the problem (our bodies are amazing that way).  We are not yet to foot work and I am already testing my ideas of where to begin her programming–and this is where my nerdiness kicks in and the ideas of modifying and my brain swirls with ideas to instruct carefully to reach the muscles that need strength and care for the areas that need special focus.

I always prepare a new client for the many questions I may ask during the first session (mostly to check for possible injuries/pathology that would be compromised by some of the exercises–if your instructor is not checking in with you—PLEASE check in with them) and this is a process that takes time.  Session one at MLB Pilates is mostly about concentration, focus, attention, and deliberate movement focusing on a long warm-up, abdominal work, hip work, spinal articulation (if possible), stretching, lateral flexion, and back work  just in order for me to truly examine how the body is moving through space and help my client truly find their core through controlled breathing. In one hour, I need to note and mentally record postural assessment, movement assessment, core strength, endurance and I do use footwork to look at knees, hips, and axial alignment as well–sometimes a first session is paced with such deliberate movements that the BASI warm-up provides enough work to a newby to Pilates.

I also measure body awareness.  Believe it or not, there are many of us that are naturally very in sync with our bodies, and others that need assistance–and Pilates is such a great way to make that connection.  These questions not only help guide my programming, but they have made my clients really stop and think about their own bodies in motion and at rest. My favorite comment during the first ten minutes of session two–“I thought about my posture throughout the day and stayed lifted and caught myself slouching”.   By the end of session one my client and I have both learned a great deal about their body at rest and in motion–and that body awareness is truly PRICELESS!

With all of  that said:

To new Pilates Students: Never let the breathing interrupt your focus–the breathing will come.  Never hold your breath–turning blue is not a goal, but open your mind and listen closely to what your muscles are telling you–and don’t be discouraged. Being humbled is where we all begin…and it reminds us of how love, passion and dedication are needed to be successful at anything we do–love yourself, find your passion and dedicate yourself to you–listen deeply during those first sessions–your body has a lot to say.

To my daughter/my future Pilates instructor and all new instructors: Be observant and always be flexible to change–a body never moves the same from one session to the next–but dedicate yourself to that “individual” and give them the attention and focus they deserve to move as efficiently and as fluidly as possible.  Spend time communicating, programming and putting thought into your practice–it is an amazing gift to give your client.

 

This year I will do all things with love, passion and dedication!

IMG_8109 (2)yellowHappy New Year!  Nineteen days into 2014 and we feel the new positive vibes around us at MLB Pilates!  Many of us are exploring new ways to improve our health and fitness, and there are so many amazing options out there to choose from–and of course I am totally going to encourage cross training with Pilates–as I should.  I am continually impressed with all of the exercise warriors out there (you know who you are) who really stay focused to reach new health goals and make this the year that fitness and movement become a routine and not just a resolution.  Keep the momentum going friends–you are almost to February–a time when many resolutions quickly dissolve!!

For me–I made a promise this year (more than a resolution). I found a quote the day after January 1st (on FB of course), that read This year I will do all things with love, passion and dedication.  It was so simple yet so powerful to me–I had to make it my own.  This year I am not only going to act with love, passion and dedication—I am going to share my love, passion and dedication–Pilates.

For all of my friends who haven’t explored Pilates, I invite you to experience one client’s journey (who is new to Pilates) from session one to session twenty.  She has volunteered her time (twice a week) to help me share with all of you the amazing benefits, but more importantly the incredible transformation of body, mind and spirit.  Thank you dearly J. for helping me share my passion–I could not have picked a better person for the job!

Coming up: Session One–“You want me to breathe AND do all of this?”

 

 

The Power of a Mind/Body Connection

Caralyne in her "Forget Me Not" costume for her first grade performance. SO appropriate and such an amazing celebration.

Caralyne in her “Forget Me Not” costume for her first grade performance. SO appropriate and such an amazing celebration.

Caralyne still smiling during an EEG post MRI.

Caralyne still smiling during an EEG post MRI.

 

“Tell me about your fitness routine”.  This is typically one of the first questions that I like to ask a new client.  I felt confident asking this because I personally pushed myself daily to “move”.  I understood the importance of exercise to cope with stress as well as to manage weight and move throughout ones day comfortably and efficiently.  I knew all of this and practiced what I preached–proudly.  Until one day in March of 2o12 when my movement and routine came to a crashing stop. I was paralyzed with a fear only a parent of a sick child could understand. My daughter, then 6, had experienced significant behavior changes that we monitored since November of 2011.  I slowly found myself spending my post client hours at her school asking for help, or seeking advice from a cognitive behavior therapist, or spending hours researching childhood behaviors.  There was something wrong that we could not manage alone.  I tried working with clients through these months and focused my attention on them, but as soon as my schedule cleared, I was dedicating my extra time to solve the mystery of these odd repetitive movements and tantrum type behaviors my daughter was experiencing.  By February, we noticed her slipping away from us totally.  She would stare into space for minutes and then rock into a ball for hours never stopping.  She stopped making eye contact.  She stopped speaking and only talked in a baby voice or grunts, and she would move through our kitchen opening and closing drawers over and over and over again and flipping on and off the light switch for hours.  She feared water and refused bathing and drinking.  She spent most of her day under a table, chair or anything that would cover her.  She only ate certain foods–if she ate at all.   My Pilates schedule was becoming a juggling act.  I would spend up to 5 hours at a time trying to help her just come out from underneath a table and pray she would before a client arrived.  Once she made it away from her “safe” place under something she would cling to me as if terrified of her own shadow—in her own home.   My clients were so patient and understanding because many days my daughter was glued to me (not talking to anyone) and within a few feet from me, if not on top of me,  while I was attempting to teach.  One day after trying to work with a client, I had to stop to help Caralyne.  She had turned her body upside down on a couch in my studio and began to cry “help me Mama” and then cried as if in shear terror.    This was when I said, enough is enough we need serious help and answers.  A few days later a medical resident at a local hospital insisted our daughter had mental issues and there was nothing to do but deal with it—this was the day I lost my energy.  It had been completely zapped by an a complete insensitive stranger with no concept of bedside manner.  He didn’t have an explanation as to why or what caused it, but that she needed to be admitted to a mental hospital.  If that doesn’t knock your socks off…not sure what will.  I had no response to him but to walk away, and take matters into my own hands. I knew my energy was going to be needed to get to the bottom of this.  I sat paralyzed for  good part of the night, not even sure where to turn for help.  I started making appointments with any neurologist, psychologist and immunologist who would take us quickly.   The doctors were baffled and passed her case on from specialists to specialist. After a few appointments, we found a pediatric neurologist’s  physician’s assistant very interested in Caralyne’s case.  She shared my determination and left no stone unturned.   The neurologic tests started and didn’t seem to stop for almost six months.  Spinal taps, MRI’s, endless blood draws, CT scans and doctor’s appointments, therapist sessions took over my Pilates schedule–writing these appointments down on my Pilates schedule seemed unbelievable–just a month ago it was full of privates, duets, and mat classes.

The weeks dragged on and on waiting for test results and MRI images were constantly “clear” with no signs of seizures or tumors.  SO WHY and HOW is this happening???  This is how we lived for months on end.  I felt myself day by day changing.  My mind was focused on one her well being all the time. I learned how to predict or quickly to react to a tantrum in hopes of diffusing it before it took over for hours, or alleviate her intense fears of the moment.  Every waking minute I was trying to make sense of what was happening to my little girl, so much so that I didn’t see what was happening to me…the Pilates instructor, the group fitness instructor…the one who asks, “Tell me about your fitness routine”.  I couldn’t move. My posture had deteriorated.  My full Pilates lateral breathes had turned shallow and rapid.  Any last ounce of energy I had left I gave to my 8 year old son and husband—I had to remember them too.

I walked through the early days of her illness almost in a trance of complete anxiety and intense adrenaline–it was that sense of exhausted but unable to sleep mode. I remember meandering through a hallway at Children’s National Hospital in DC not able to lift my head.  My shoulders were permanently rounded and tense and fingers constantly clenched in tight fists. My entire body ached and I knew why.   I could “feel” what was happening, and I could hear my own words haunting me…”You need to move Marta, you need to lengthen your muscles to release this stress”.  “You need to breathe”.  I knew I should.  I would attempt to lengthen my posture and focus on my pelvis  in the very uncomfortable chair next to her hospital bed, and then I would cry. This was the extent of my Pilates practice, and I knew I had to make a change.

Between hospital stays I would escape to my reformer during her peaceful times (which were not very long) and begin with my BASI warm-up.  I would work so hard to connect to my tense body and feel my imbalance due to tight muscles from shoulders to toes, and then it would happen.  I would make that mind body connection and I would cry.  This would happen over and over again and frustrate me to no end–I could not focus because of this awful wave of emotion.  I could not get through a workout without a breakdown.  What was happening to me??   I blamed it on pure exhaustion until it turned into pure avoidance.  I struggled to do Pilates. How does this happen to someone who just a few months earlier would eat, live and breathe Pilates.

This torturous journey continued for months until we finally had somewhat of an answer in late August of 2012.  Caralyne had suffered from a type of encephalopathy (a mycoplasma infection that attacked a portion of her brain causing her to have severe OCD, sensory integration disorders, uncontrolled emotional outburts and social anxieties as well as damage to memory and recall–she had regressed academically with her writing skills and alphabet recall).  The doctor’s later officially diagnosed her as having C.A.N.S. (Childhood Autoimmune Nuerologic  Syndrome). It is a very rare and under studied syndrome that is just now becoming recognized.  There was no cure, no quick fix, no explanation as to how–only answer intensive therapy and hard work.  We had an answer.  That answer, and diagnosis, and all of the help from her therapists gave Caralyne the strength and determination to persevere.  Her world would forever be changed, but she knew she would have to learn how to live in it.  I admired her strength and endurance.  She went from being homebound to full time in school and attend dance class two nights a week—because she wanted to have her life back. To me, that is pure strength…a strength from within to fight hard to make a mind/body connection just to accomplish a daily routine without distraction.

On the first day that Caralyne had been away from our house for a full day in months, I made a date with my reformer. Within minutes I was sobbing and angry at myself for interrupting my own practice.  I mentioned this to my own therapist, clearly I needed it to stop and seeking help was my best defense.  She put it into perspective for me.  She said that I understood the power of the body/mind and spirit more than most.  I believed in it, it was my passion, and I instructed others how to find it.  What I couldn’t do for months was help my daughter make that same connection and I watched that connection violently slip away and torture her.  I was feeling guilt that most could not understand…my daughter had lost an amazing gift and that guilt overwhelmed me.  Clarity–what an amazing thing!

Later that day, my little girl came home from school.  She shared the details of her day and nonchalantly danced around the kitchen ending her dance with a hug directed toward me.  She then gave me the most amazing little bit of advice…in the midst of a hug she whispered to me, “I want you to do Pilates again Mama, I know you love it so much and you miss it”.  Hmmm…my little, now 7 year old, just told me it is time to let go of the guilt and move on with my practice.  To some it may seem like she gave me permission, but to me it was reassurance that she had the strength to carry on and I needed to carry on too.

I am still the same Pilates Instructor, but one with amazingly new perspective on the immense power of a mind/body connection and its impact on your spirit.  Thank you Caralyne for lifting my spirit and giving me back that mind/body connection—which by the way no longer makes me sad!  Keep dancing and working hard little Mama…you are my hero!!!

Fluidity with Injury

Joseph Pilates wrote in his book, Pilates’ Return to Life Through Contrology,  Contrology develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind, and elevates the spirit. What more could you ask for with your daily training?  To me, it is a powerful and a personal approach to my daily wellness. But, what happens when injury interrupts?  Recently, my daily fitness and Pilates instruction has been challenged by a recurring overuse injury (Piriformis Syndrome)—reminding me to stay humble and true to my own practice.  Continue reading

Back to Basics

t-nation.com (image)

The start of the new year, for some, is the time to jump start a personal wellness/fitness program.  The seasoned fitness guru may want to take their program to new levels or spice things up with a variety of exercise trends this season. I admit some of them sound very interesting–anti-gravity yoga?? Something I have found beneficial is taking a couple steps back in January. Continue reading

Concentration

Happy New Year!
This year on New Year’s Eve, I took a private moment to reflect. I am a wife and mom first, but this private moment was purely about my identity as a Pilates instructor. 2011 was a monumental year for me

  • I completed my BASI training (where I met some of the most amazing, intelligent and gifted women (most of them shown above)–and was challenged beyond body, mind and spirit–and somehow came out stronger in both mind and body)
  •  I applied for my first LLC and MLB Pilates was born–my passion was now my private practice
  • I have my first website–thank you Gabe Harris for creating this for MLB Pilates
  •  I traveled to California for my first Pilates Method Alliance Conference, where I met Rael Isacowitz (centered among all of us above), Mary Bowen , and an amazingly long list of leaders in the Pilates field, and just since the fall of 2011
  • I have met amazing Moms who creatively rearrange their schedules for Pilates…that I teach…me–I am honored. 2011 was a great year, at least from my perspective as a Pilates instructor.

How in the world do I even begin to top a year like that??? Hmmmm….Joseph Pilates…give me one more of your principles–I’ll take….Concentration!

It may sound silly, but I often turn to Joseph’s ten principles when I feel “stuck”…and why not??? They just make so much sense (Awareness, Balance, Control, Efficiency, Precision, Breath, Concentration, Center, Flow, Harmony). Yes, Joseph was considering these principles for his Pilates instruction, but he also acknowledged the power of applying them to your daily life–genius!

Concentration can be defined as, the action or power of focusing one’s attention or mental effort. You can achieve anything with focus and attention. The toughest obstacle for New Year’s resolutions…distraction! This year…I almost made a checklist of possible distractions along with my resolutions…I fear those sneaky distractions even the little ones. It is much more work to overcome them, than to continue on your merry way toward your goal. This year, I used my reflection of last year to pull out my weapon against distraction—my concentration. Once I have it…look out!!! I won’t really let much get in my way—but life happens and that is what challenges me the most…those unexpected road bumps.

So, to those road bumps filled with distraction in 2012–I say bring it!!! This Pilates Mama is loaded with Joseph Pilates’ ten power packed principles and she is applying them to much more than just her Pilates practice–Pilates Mama’s number one secret weapon—CONCENTRATION (aka FOCUS)!

I wish you a happy 2012 and I hope that if you made a resolution that you are able to focus on not allowing any distractions interfere with your journey to success this year! Happy New Year!!!!

Precision

Precision–Another principal of Joseph Pilates. Precision can be defined as the state or quality of being carefully distinct. As a Pilates instructor, my eyes are continually looking for precise articulation of the spine, the precise fluidity of limbs, the precise alignment of the shoulders, the pelvis, the knees, the entire body etc. Precision takes practice and is challenged by muscular imbalances and weaknesses–which we will have as athletes, fit gurus, weekly warriors or newbies to the fitness world. Consider yourself normal if you fall into a category of being “imbalanced” physically–it’s a very popular club to be a part of (can you catch my imbalance in the picture to the left?) Now, how do you find your balance? How do you acheive precision? Continue reading

Efficiency

Back to school–back in the groove–back to schedules and routines. What a wonderful time to implement fitness back into your routine or take it up a knotch. This is my plan–and now it is time to organize! With Mommy tasks and roles on the rise with each grade level, organizing time for “me” to stay well and balanced is important, but tricky. It is time to “think” and brainstorm an efficient plan! Continue reading