Pilates Concepts for Beginners
by Laurette Ryan
- Balance Point Studios Pilates Mat Class
Pilates exercises are deceptively simple and yet also complex. When beginning this program of exercises, you may feel as though you’re not quite sure if you are doing them right. This is common. Some important things for you to remember are number one: make sure there isn’t any pain in your neck or back, tension in these areas suggest poor form, and number two: always opt for good form rather than more repetitions.
There are various preparatory exercises which can help the newbie (beginner) learn proper body mechanics before attempting the full Pilates repertoire. Although these may seem deceptively simple, you should try to perfect them in order to have a better workout with Pilates technique. Our societies mind-set is to often work harder and harder, to push beyond without regards to understanding our own challenges and truly surmounting them. We workout mind-less-ly. Pilates asks you to connect your mind and your body, as Joseph Pilates said “It is the mind that builds the body”. You will in Pilates class be asked to listen to the feedback coming from your physical body, and for many, this alone can be hard work .
One way to slow down and listen to your body is to coordinate the breath with the movement. On most Pilates exercises the rule for breathing is to inhale on extension, exhale on flexion and inhale on rotation. Using the breath properly facilitates each movement. Breath can move the movement. Don’t be afraid to breath deeply, expanding though the ribcage, but keeping the navel pulled to the spine. Try to fill and empty the lungs completely while moving through the exercises. You will find this actually helps you perform the exercises with more ease.
Joseph Pilates in his writings advises you to perfect each movement/exercise before moving on to the next. So do not feel rushed or as though you should complete every exercise, some exercises will not work for every “body”. In your first Mat class you may only feel you have done 10-25% correctly, this is normal. You may not be sure you like it….my rule: you should take 3 mat classes before giving up. It takes at least 3 classes for your body and mind to start to “get it.”
The benefits of Pilates are worth it! Besides looking younger, taller and more fit, you will experience an ease of movement and being-in your body which is hard to describe. Your low back pain will be gone, you’ll regain flexibility,you will have more energy and a feeling of relaxation and confidence. Pilates is the fountain of youth, so start slow, keep at it and communicate with your teacher for the best experience!
find me on Facebook ,Twitter and Tipdrop.com too…