Have you ever watched a building go up from the very beginning? Chances are, if you live in Coconut Grove, you’ve at least seen a little of that lately as you pass all of the construction sites. Those beginning phases of construction are fascinating to me. That is the foundation that will support the whole building and if it is made well it will ensure a safe, sturdy building for many years to come.
Your Pilates practice – or really any skill you are building – is the same. Creating a solid foundation will help you build a strong base for years to come. It’s easy to rush through exercises and lose the focus of how/where we should be feeling the work.
In my classes, I enjoy spending a little extra time breaking down some of the basics, like footwork, that can often be overlooked when we rush. I enjoy starting with the breath and simply focusing on bringing as much air into and out of the lungs as possible- when was the last time we focused on such an automatic behavior as breathing?
Each and every exercise in your practice has a specific goal and often more than one. A slight change in position or spring tension can drastically change the objective of the exercise. Challenge yourself to find that exercise that you struggle with and ask your instructor for some tips. Of course, it may surprise you how detailed seemingly simple exercises can be. As one of my private session clients say, “it’s like Whack-a-Mole.” Once you get one body part in the right position, something else pops out of place and now requires your attention and focus.
If you’re not sure where to start, you can usually find lots of room for improvement in that exercise you silently wish your instructor would forget to include in class. We tend to not like the exercises that we are either not very good at or those that we’re just not feeling in the right places. Ask for a breakdown or, better yet, schedule a private session so you can get that detailed bump up to your next level.
Happy detail hunting!
Ronda Livingston, PTA, LMT