A new year is the perfect opportunity to regroup, reassess and bring some balance into your life. Start 2014 with an exercise style that incorporates the idea of balanced fitness. Pilates creates stability by in the whole body by focusing on six solid principles: concentration; control; centering; flow; precision; and breathing.
Do you feel out of balance?
The first step to creating better balance in your body and your life, is to become aware of any instability or imbalance. This could manifest itself in the way you live your life, or through a physical weakness. You may also suffer from muscle imbalance, which arises where you have overworked part of the body and not concentrated on other areas enough. This can also arise because of injury. Sit quietly and scan your body with your mind. What feels out of kilter?
Instilling a sense of stability
You can analyze, consider and cogitate about your life all you like but now is the time to bring that sense of balance if you feel misaligned or lacking stability. As Joseph Pilates, the founder of the Pilates system, acknowledges, “The acquirement and enjoyment of physical well-being,mental calm, and spiritual peace are priceless to their possessors…” Get practical and get involved with some Pilates sessions and rather than haphazard classes, ensure that you integrate this in a balanced way too with any other exercise you do.
Pilates can play a part in balancing your life whatever your age or fitness level. Whether you are a finely-tuned athlete, or a novice when it comes to workouts, Pilates is accessible. It is gentle and low impact, which helps you find your feet with each movement more easily and without the risk of injury. If you have aches and pains as a result of imbalance, then Pilates can bring you back onto a more even keel fitness-wise.
An overall exercise system
Renowned for being a real core-strengthening program, Pilates is a balanced exercise system in that it benefits more than simply your strength. As Joseph Pilates reminds us, “With body, mind, and spirit functioning perfectly as a coordinated whole, what else could reasonably be expected other than an active, alert, disciplined person.” Pilates can improve posture, flexibility and mobility, as well as coordination, alignment and endurance.
The Pilates ‘powerhouse’ refers to the abdominal core. By strengthening this central area of the body through Pilates, you create a sense of balance, as each movement is able to radiate from more solid foundation. The network of muscles are all affected by this central core which creates a the right balance in terms of the position of your center of gravity. As the muscles work in a controlled and coordinated way, the spine is aligned and this has a great impact on how vital and balanced you feel. Joseph Pilates believed that, “A man is as young as his spinal column.”
Not being balanced can create physical problems which increase over time and continue to impact the body. Whether you are taking up a new way of keeping fit or if you want to supplement your current exercise routine, Pilates can bring balance. And, as Joseph Pilates often said, his exercise can transform you entirely: “In ten sessions you will feel the difference, in twenty you will see the difference and in thirty you’ll have a whole new body.”