You know what I love best about our sessions? When you correct your renegade shoulder creeping up to your ear without a cue. When you "do-over" Hundreds prep because you knew you could have reached more through your legs (and perhaps you knew I would ask you to do it again anyway because I knew you could have reached more). When we’re working on plank, and I say, "Ok, come on down" but you hang on for an extra extra 10 seconds. When you finish leg series on the Spine Corrector and sigh with a big smile on your face. Or you come in and tell me that you used your abdominals yesterday while gardening.
It's amazing for me to watch you grow into your own awareness, take pleasure in movement and feel satisfied after the intensity that comes with this incredible bodymind work.
Because Pilates helps us take steps toward joint health (because we work through their full range of motion), positivity (because exercise releases endorphins), and overall feel-good-ery (have you seen my recent instagram posts??) and metaphorically taking steps toward deeper life goals (hey, if I can survive Hundreds, I can survive anything life throws me!), here's some more "small" ways to add mindfulness in body and spirit into your day:
Park you car farther away. Wherever you drive, park your car farther away. I know some of you have a FitBit, so this is a simple way to reach those 10,000 steps!
Keep a Roller in the living room. I lay on my roller every single day. Sometimes I watch TV on it. Sometimes I check my messages on my phone. Sometimes I listen to a podcast. If we have to trip over it, we'll probably acknowledge and then use it.
Stand on one foot in line (at the grocery store, movies, DisneyLand...). I know most of you come in with preconceived and pretty negative ideas about your balance abilities. No wonder - we live under the weight of gravity! That's OK. But get the "My balance is soooo bad!" mantra out of your head. You are where you are, and if you find yourself in line somewhere, definitely stand on one foot and practice. Repetition is key in getting those balancing muscles to fire!
Pack your own lunch. My stomach rules my life. It always has. And my mama instilled the habit of bringing my own lunch and snacks everywhere. It saves me money, I feel good about what I eat, and I never feel like I'm without.
Make a goal to plank for 1 minute every day for an entire week. I've been meaining to set this up on Istagram (keep a lookout!). A plank, while not easy, is simple to do - no equipment necessary. Try it at work, at home, before bed, before lunch. Don't forget to put a reminder in your phone. Chances are, you'll simply keep it up after seven days.
Before you look at the phone in the morning, take 5 deep breaths and stretch. That text or e-mail can wait 5 minutes. Build this healthy habit into your life, because not only does it help you focus, it can help you deal better with challenging things that pop up during the day.
Work on your posture in your car. There's a lot of traffic out there on the road. So that leaves time to practice your posture. Arch and curl your pelvis away from and into your seat. Gently nod your chin and press the back of your head into the headrest to lengthen those neck muscles. Practice unclenching your jaw. Roll your shoulders. And breathe through it all (even that person that just cut you off).
i'm stephanie. my last names mean "hedgehog" in Czech and "pretty calf" in French. i have an MA from Oxford in English lit, and a MFA from Riverside in experimental choreography. i like to write. i have lots of thoughts on the body. and i want to help you understand your own better. oh, i'm also plant-based and love to bake with vegan ingredients.