Because Jennie has such a vast amount of knowledge with her osteopathy, dance, and even psychology background, here's some simple takeaways to remember and practice. Everything I'm about to share with you is from that workshop, and it includes the newest research and protocols on stretching. Enjoy!
What a simple, supportive and effective piece of equipment a chair is! Yup. We love ourselves some chairs for sitting, lounging, laying, relaxing. I'm afraid, however, research shows that sitting for extended periods of time is just not that great for our health. In fact, it shows that sitting is the new smoking. Sitting too much is linked to a host of serious diseases and overall is detrimental to our health. The good news? As long as we get up a few times each hour and simply walk around for a few minutes, we'll do our body a host of goodness. We can all do that, right?
Sitting too much affects our upright posture. Typically we sit comfortably, and that means with a bit of a curl in our low back and a hunch in our upper back. It's not really our fault. The body takes the path of least resistance. No need for blame; but now that we know, we can correct our posture all day, every day. YAY! Plus, remember what the research says? All we need to do is get up and walk a little bit, and now that spring has indeed sprung, you may feel the pull to be outside more. Walking outdoors is a great way to get in some cardio, some Vitamin D, and to feel the flow and counteract all that "computer posture". Today, I'd like to focus on specifically how the hamstrings (yup! we have 3 on each leg) help us to walk better.
When you think of Pilates, you generally think of exercises that build core strength. When you think of core strength, you think of flat, firm abdominals. But we are missing a whole lotta core if we limit our definition to the front of our torso! There is a whole beautiful backside just waiting to help us to build core strength, stand taller, and look and feel longer. Core strength is about three-dimensional balance, and that means the abs and back must work together as a team.
I've discovered over the years of moving and teaching movement that when it comes to waking up the body, nothing beats the bodymind work of Pilates. It comes down to this: some exercises and ways of moving simply are better than different kinds - especially in the morning. Now, I need to qualify that word, "better". By "better", I am referring to methods of movement that engage our body and wake up neuromuscular pathways in a more mindful, efficient, and holistic way. I love cardio. I love riding my bike and getting outside. But Pilates, though quite intense, as you well know, is designed to use the least amount of energy to achieve the deepest work. That's why I practice mat Pilates in the morning to wake up my body, I take deep breaths before I look at my phone, and the first thing I ingest is H2O - and lots of it! And you should too. Yup. Here's a few more tidbits why being good to your body in the morning sets you up for the rest of your day - let's make it a good one.
It amazes me to think that as a child during the summer I would wake up, be driven to Elite Gymnastics in Waldorf, MD, an hour away from Columbia where I grew up, and proceed to bend, flex, arch and curl in extreme ways as part of the warm-up that bodies go through when training in gymnastics – and then spend another 6 hours practicing skills.
Or even that not that long ago I would wake up at 5:30 am and get my run on throughout the neighborhood, pounding the pavement in an effort to get my 5K under 20 minutes. Which I did, thank you very much. :).
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.
Mon-Tues & Thurs-Fri: 9am - 7pm
Saturday: 9am - 3pm
Wednesday & Sunday: Closed