Pilates for Beginners – Teaser

This Pilates for Beginners video introduces a Pilates mat exercise known as Teaser. If you have practiced this piece in your Pilates classes, you would agree with me this is a difficult piece to do. The difficulty comes from balancing the strength of your abdominals and back. With the right balance between both, you will be able to do this well. Flexible people have it easy with this piece as they can ‘fling’ their bodies into position. However, what you actually want to focus is to articulate the spine and curl one vertebrae at a time using your core.

My Pilates for Beginners advice for you is

FOCUS on how you FEEL, not how you LOOK in the exercise.

I must apologise for the long wait for this video. I’m sure some of you must be wondering day after day when the next Pilates video will be out. I just shifted to a new place and it took me a while to get settled down with everything working well. In the midst of my shifting, it reinforced my emphasis that our core is EXTREMELY important. I needed it when I carried really heavy boxes and I can understand how many can get back aches without engaging their core when carrying heavy stuff. Please use your core well!

and the 1st step is to watch Pilates for Beginners videos at

Pilates for Beginners

Watching Pilates for Beginners video is fun!

Pilates for Beginners videos beats just reading from books where images are static and movements can be difficult to visualise! Most importantly you can replay as many times as you want if you do not get it right the 1st time which often is the case. Repeating makes the changes that you are experience permanent anyway.

I feel this video is very helpful to beginners when they first learn Pilates online. I would love to hear your feedback on this Pilates for beginners video, so please comment below to share your opinion and experiences.

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Pilates for Beginners – Side Kick

I started to appreciate side exercises a lot more in recent years. I think in our daily lives we do not do much to our sides often and neglect them. I like to think of it as we have eyes on the front of our bodies and so we tend to place more focus/emphasis on our front a lot more than our back or sides. With the side kicks, I think it is a good opportunity to establish some balance to our bodies and at the same time make your work out more varied. I think a balanced physical body translate to balance to the mental and emotional state. This makes your workout even more meaningful to know that your exercise can improve other aspects of your lives! Enjoy and practice more.

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Pilates – Less is More

My Thoughts:

This article really took the words out of my mouth. In the area of fitness, I believe in the word “MORE” and do my most each day to get everyone I’m teaching to achieve that. In my opinion, humans have huge potential in doing so much more that we do not realise that we are only at a fraction of where we can potentially be. We may not see the need to get there if we are comfortable, but when we do get there, the rewards is not just ours but the people around us because we can help others better when we are much healthier and energetic! I think its in my blood to get MORE out of people I teach and hence there are also times I feel frustrated when I know someone can become MORE but he/she is not doing or even trying to do that. And there are also those who just want MORE and MORE and MORE and do not mind sacrificing quality as long as they get more. To this group of people, they think that as long as they exercise more, they would be healthy but I believe injuries happen easily and conveniently when we take things for granted. I always like to say, if you always exercise with misalignment and exercise a lot, you are strengthening your misalignment. So for this group of people, I think LESS is MORE. I would think doing LESS in the correct way will bring you MORE benefits.

I’m convinced a 100% that if we want to reap the benefits of Pilates or any exercise, the first place to start is in our MIND. In my 7 years of teaching Pilates, I have encountered many people with problems in their back. Some are more serious than others. Irregardless of how serious, the ones whom I witness having the greatest and fastest results/changes for the better are those who have reframed their minds at the start of their Pilates journey. Consider this, if I have a problem in my body, and I choose to continue in the same way I have lived or exercised in the past just because I think that is the best way, am I going to recover/solve that problem area now just because I started a new exercise called “Pilates”? My answer is NO. If the way I approach things is the same as in the past, I will have the same results/problems. The ONLY way I can achieve different results is I approach things in a NEW way. My heart gets ripped apart whenever I teach someone who choose to take his/her own way/method into their new exercise regime in Pilates and later question why their improvement is not fast enough. There is no anger on my part but I say this because I genuinely care for the people I teach. The Solution to problem areas in the body is: Accept a new way of exercising it, practise it and start thinking if you are really doing that.

I sometimes say to my students after an exercise “You either feel NOTHING or EVERYTHING, no in-betweens!” Developing an awareness in our brain about our body is really important because we need to wake up muscles that we never knew we had and really focus on making them strong. Only then we can move with efficiency and grace. Remember this, a good work out is not one where you feel pain all over your body. It is one where you feel you have worked and feel good after it! Please feel free to talk to me if you want to discuss further about what I have said about the Mind. I can explain and help you do it right. Enjoy the article.

 

Article:

Anyone who knows me has heard me say this more than once: Pilates is like learning a foreign language. Just as you wouldn’t expect to know German or Chinese after just one class, you can’t expect to have mastered the Pilates method after only one or two sessions. It sometimes takes several sessions to just get the hang of it. When people ask me “What is Pilates?” I explain that it is a method of stretching and strengthening muscles at the same time, that it works the entire body and that Pilates is something anyone can do. This is true, but for most people doing Pilates for the first time it’s sometimes difficult for them to feel graceful and fluid right away. I often hear them say, “Where should I feel this?” and “I’m not sure if I’m doing it right.” As Joe Pilates said, the key is to get the mind to tell the body what to do. Easier said than done!

I have been doing Pilates for 10 years and I still feel challenged by the exercises. Having not been a dancer the exercises seemed easy at first, but to do them correctly was a challenge. When I discovered Pilates, I was curious to see if it would help my back pain. A client of mine who was taking Pilates lessons told me about a studio and I scraped together enough cash to commit to a few sessions. I remember during one of my first Pilates sessions my instructor told me to use my stomach, and relax the muscles in front of my thighs to do Leg Circles, one of the beginner exercises. I thought she was crazy! “How am I supposed to hold my leg up in the air without clenching my entire thigh?” I thought. She kept moving through the exercises without stopping, which was great teaching, I now realize….because had she sat and tried to explain to me intellectually how to use certain muscles and not others, we would have wasted half the session. Thankfully, I stuck with Pilates. Why? Not because I found it easy. Not because I felt like I was good at it. Not because I felt like an acrobat in Cirque du Soliel hanging upside down off the Cadillac with my feet hooked into fuzzy straps. It was because I had fun and felt so great after each session- energized, invigorated, focused, and calm. I always looked forward to my next session. I never bought into the “it can change your body” claim. I didn’t really think my body was changeable. Plus, I didn’t really mind my body too much before Pilates, so I didn’t think much about that part. But, after a while my body really did change, clothes fit better and I felt better; pain free, more flexible, more fluid.

One of the things I truly believe is that changing your body with exercise (Pilates in particular) is absolutely within your control. But it needs to start in your mind. Not the way you might be thinking, in terms of motivation, which, of course, is important to keep you interested. By “in your mind” I mean that you need to develop awareness in your brain about your body, with real focus on what you are doing. This happens by waking up muscles that you never even knew you had (literally) and making them strong. It also happens by simply paying attention. By taking note of the subtleties of the movements you make with your body. By using imagery to place and position your body correctly so that normal movements feel effortless. By quieting your brain, listening to your own breath, noticing your habits, tendencies and weaknesses and working on them. This is what Joe Pilates had in mind when he came up with his principles, Concentration, Centering, Control, Precision, Fluidity, Breath. All of these principles are what make a Pilates exercise. Performing exercises with all of these qualities in mind is the challenge and also what separates Pilates from other types of exercises that address “core strength”. For instance, you can do the (relatively short) stomach series using all of the seven principles (no matter what your level, by the way) and still get more out of it than doing one hundred crunches without focus or control.

When you watch an experienced Pilates practitioner do a workout they make it look effortless. I can understand how many people think that Pilates is meant to be relaxing, like a massage or a soak in a Jacuzzi. After all, it’s known as a “spa”-ish exercise. The word “gentle” is often used to describe Pilates. You might even be able to get a pedicure, facial, buy organic cotton slippers and do Pilates at the same place! So it’s not a wonder I have clients who have said to me at the first session, “I actually have to do something? I thought it was something that was done to me!” One of my favorite mentors, Bob Leikens, used to joke about this all the time. He used to say, “Yes, that’s why they call it a WORK-out!”

But the reason it looks so effortless is because he or she is a) using muscle strength but not to the point of exhaustion b) doing no more than 8-10 repetitions of each exercise, c) breathing and d) probably having fun too! The truth is, you don’t need to feel a “burn” or pain every time you exercise in order to get benefit from it. That is a myth. Certain training methods, like bodybuilding, heavy weight lifting, and/or strength training, require that the muscles work until failure. This is because the goal is for the muscle to break down and rebuild itself and hypertrophy, or grow bigger in size. The people who do these types of training programs could probably benefit greatly from Pilates too. (Really!) There is really no physical activity that can’t be improved by the mind/body connection that Pilates develops. From horseback riding to swimming to simply walking, by changing the way you carry your body, Pilates makes your movements easier, more comfortable, and more efficient. I often have the opportunity to work with clients who are already clearly very fit, strong, agile and athletic. They might even have six-pack abs on the surface. That doesn’t always necessarily mean they have deep, inner strength or awareness or even control. You will find that although you might not feel pain or discomfort during your session, a Pilates workout is challenging. However, you can’t space out or talk on your cell or read a magazine while you are doing Pilates either. The exercises only REALLY begin to work when you can concentrate enough to do them as correctly as you can. So much of the “work” is just as much in your brain, and takes time, patience, learning from mistakes, and persistence. The results are well worth the effort. Just check out anyone who does Pilates regularly and watch how they move, what physical activities they enjoy, and how much time they don’t spend in pain!

There really is no end to what you can learn in Pilates….it is a practice that you can build your whole life. The deep core strength and control that you develop in Pilates are not just simply for the sake of learning more exercises and becoming a more advanced Pilates student. What you learn in Pilates should and will carry into every aspect and activity of your life. Even sitting in a chair working on a computer will feel better, easier and more efficient to you. Having more energy and feeling good and moving with ease can’t be bad for your confidence, self-esteem, even relationships. You will feel more positive about your body, and you will have more fun. All reasons why it’s worth the extra time put in, even if in the beginning you don’t know if you’re “doing it right!” So if you are one of those students who asks themselves if Pilates is really working, know that you are teaching yourself skills that you will be thankful for later!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Danielle_O’Connell

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Pilates for Beginners – Spine Twist

This Pilates mat piece is a good piece to add especially if you practise Pilates at home. I personally think Mat Pilates lacks rotational pieces which is important for most desk-bound people. Desk-bound people are generally tighter in the upper back as a result of a fixed position in front of the computer for long hours. Rotation exercises like the Spine Twist allows you to target the upper back and help increase range of motion and flexibility.

In addition, if you are into rotational sports such as Golf or Tennis, you will find this Pilates mat exercise extremely useful as they improve your rotation which can help improve the Power to your swing or stroke. I also think adults need this exercise because most people generally move lesser than when they were a child (one who jumps around and twist and turn etc. )

Have a good time with this piece!

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