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Essence of Pilates

Bill McDowell

Author: Bill McDowell

Article:
Mind/Body, Spirit/Body, Mind/Spirit, Spirit/Body/Mind, interesting isn’t it? No matter which word you place first, depending on your focus of the day, the other two must follow for one to become complete or whole within oneself.

As many thinking people have discovered, we are but a speck of dust, resting for a short period of time on the edge of this amazing globe we call earth! What a privilege! However, we learn over time, with every privilege comes our (oh oh, here’s that word!) "RESPONSIBILITY,” for our minds, our bodies and our spirits. This is where, what I teach comes into action.

PILATES, pronounced (Pah la tees),is relatively new to mainstream fitness but has been around, mainly in the dance community since the early 1920’s. I’m often asked, "What is Pilates and how is it different from other programs?” My response is, it’s a program that helps you develop body awareness of your structural muscles and how they work or coexist with the movers or movement. Pilates isn’t necessarily the movement of the exercise, it’s the support system used throughout the movement. With Pilates, we purposely challenge the support systems with the movement of the exercise and, yes, it does matter if the exercise is executed properly. The end result is precision in movement.

Working with new clients, I receive strange looks and comments when I ask them to think of their shoulder as a non-entity, or a figment of their imagination. The muscles that move the so-called shoulder area, are actually attached to your scapula (shoulder blade), not the complex unit referred to as shoulder. To demonstrate, try lifting your shoulder to your ear. Next, try lifting your scapula to your ear. Feel how foreign or uneasy the latter movement is? The muscles that move your shoulder really move your scapula but we are not patterned there. If I can change the pattern (neuromuscular connection) then the client begins to move with ease and support through daily activities. In essence, we are breaking a habit, which most know is not an easy task. If by now your mind is, like the confused shoulder and you are asking yourself "What is he talking about?” You’ve got it, it’s called Pilates. Pilates encourages you to be aware of the movers, the supporters and teaches you the difference.

I truly believe this type of mind body program should be taught in our schools. With better understanding of our body mechanics, we could prevent many injuries and alleviate much discomfort.. It is our responsibility after all, to maintain good health through what we eat and what we do for exercise. With gained knowledge from programs like Pilates you can develop the tools needed to accomplish this.

Our health care system is presently overworked and as the population ages the workload will only increase. Many say, "I WOULD TRADE ALL MY RICHES IF ONLY I COULD HAVE MY HEALTH BACK.” Our body design is truly ingenious as is all creation. Unfortunately, we have more information on how our cars operate than how our bodies function. What a pity. Think about it, your body is your vehicle, designed to take you through life. You can’t trade it in but you can make it the best it can be. Look into mind-body programs. Learn how our wondrously created structures work. It’s fun and you will reap many benefits like ease of movement, great posture and that all around GREAT feeling. What could be better? Careful, it might even put a smile on your face! Stay healthy and walk proud.

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This entry was posted on Friday, September 5th, 2008 at 2:35 pm and is filed under HEALTH & WELLNESS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Synergy Magazine: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada