Pilates & Fitness
‘Physical Fitness is the first requisite to happiness’
As you read this you may well be one of the estimated 17 Million people globally currently doing Pilates, If your not then read on anyway, you may well realise you should be. Across Gyms, Dance studios, Pilates studios and even in Corporate conference rooms, daily Pilates sessions are improving Peoples lives and fitness, strength and flexibility. Joseph Pilates advocated that ‘Physical Fitness is the first requisite to happiness’ unfortunately with the media emphasis on Pilates used in sports rehab and back pain management the public seems unaware of the original Workout and just how challenging it is. If Pilates was really only about relaxation and Pelvic floor would a man at the peak of his fitness and physical prowess really have devised it? This leads me to my next point, If you don’t know about Joseph Pilates and his original Mat Work you are not doing authentic Pilates, If your not being challenged in your class – regardless of gender, age or ability to co-ordinate left and right, you are not doing Pilates as it was meant to be done. Yes it should be done with full concentration, precision and control but no one gets stronger repeating what they can already achieve. So yes, expect to work abdominals, backs, bottoms, thighs and arms all in one class! after all fitness is about achieving a body fit for purpose, now all you have to do is decide what you would like to purposefully be able to do!
Something to try….
When your standing or sitting can you elongate your spine fully without arching or rounding your back excessively, we are working with the curves of the spine, not flattening them out, some people like to think of a thread pulling from the crown of the head up to the ceiling (feel free to try balancing a piece of paper on your head, a books too easy, and take a walk maintaining the posture). Don’t just think of abs as working front to back but also think of lifting the abs up as well as in, finally, think of your waist pulling in to about 18 inches, all at the same time! Now all you have to do is breathe (yes both in and out). Remember when you force abs outwards they bear down on the pelvic floor and no one wants Pelvic floor muscles in constant need of lifting! And now with your core active you’re ready to Workout…..Do not be surprised if you suddenly realise you have forgotten to pull in and lift up, that’s normal, the key is to practice this simple exercise as often as possible. Then when you get to class you will know where those muscles are and get much more out of it as a result. Nothing substitutes for the watch full eye of a passionate Pilates teacher, they have eyes in the back of their head don’t you know, so be sure to get to class sooner rather than later!
Suzy is a London based Pilates teacher with over 12 years experience teaching and almost 22 years doing Pilates. Prior to becoming a full time teacher Suzy worked in the theatre industry, both as a Dancer, Performer and later in theatre management. Now as well as running her own classes and workshops in North West London she runs regular Pilates Holidays and short breaks in Italy and Cyprus.
‘Suzy is passionate about what she does and is constantly evolving and developing the way she works to get the best results she can. I have been guided through Pilates by Suzy for many years and it has impacted positively on all aspects of my life, I feel stronger, fitter and more supple than I did in my twenties!’ AL
‘Suzy is a great Pilates instructor – she has a wealth of knowledge/expertise and is passionate about what she does. Her classes are enjoyable, enlightening, and challenging (in a good way!)’.LA