Pilates 101 – Daily Movement for the Mind, Body and Spirit

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Joseph Pilates once said: “A man is as young as his spinal column.”  Each day brings us an opportunity to move our bodies and this movement should be viewed as the “fountain of youth.”  Daily movement can be defined as a morning walk, swim, bike ride, gym class, stroll around the mall, home workout, or simply making decisions like taking the stairs instead of an elevator or parking the car far away from the entrance of a grocery store.  The key is to move our bodies with regularity and one of the most beneficial and effective methods of movement is a regimen of Pilates.

Through Pilates, one can achieve good body alignment, posture, balance, a strong core and a healthy spine.  One of the many amazing reasons to do Pilates is that it can be done by just about anyone; it does not discriminate against the young, the old, the weak, the strong, the injured or those with some physical limitations.  Applicable building blocks and modifications are tools used to custom design a workout to fit every individual.

Classical Pilates movement sequences involve articulating the spine, which entails moving the spine in flexion, extension and rotation.  Pilates exercises will lengthen muscles and strengthen the core. When we think about movement we must first start from the center of our body, our core.  From our core, we focus on the spine, and from our spine, we can think about our body moving in space. Our body was created to move and not to be sedentary. 

Unfortunately, hand held devices, lap tops and video games contribute to a sedentary lifestyle.  Sitting for prolong periods of time and constantly looking down at your cell phone can help lead to poor posture and tightness in the spine, back, shoulders and hips.  A body in motion is a “happy” body! Movement invigorates the body and mind. When stagnant, the body disconnects from the mind. As the saying goes,“a healthy body, a healthy mind.”

Mind-Body awareness is necessary for achieving optimum health throughout one’s life.  A man ahead of his time, Joseph Pilates also said, “The mind when housed within a healthful body, possesses a glorious sense of power.”  Waking up in a good mood and having a good day can be achieved every day by making time to nourish your body and mind with daily exercising.   

We are given one body in this lifetime.  Maintenance, through movement such as Pilates, will ensure that our body will perform in daily life.  When that alarm clock goes off in the morning ask yourself, “What can I do today to keep my body moving so that I can stay healthy and create mental clarity throughout my day?”

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