Summer Solstice is coming and so we are fast approaching the longest day of the year. The day with the most light possible. Gardens and parks are in full bloom, lush, and overflowing with life that’s been emerging since the beginning of spring. It’s been a theme in the work we’re doing at the studio.
Many people come to Pilates because they realize they need to think about their body in a different way – whether that be needing a new way to work out or starting an exercise program for the first time. Often that realization comes from a self-reflecting moment where a person sees that they don’t feel well in their body. Something isn’t right. That realization could be sparked by an injury (from an accident or misuse over time), weight gain, random aches and pains, sluggishness, or diagnosis of disease or disorder. Any of these things can quite literally make us feel off balance or ungrounded.
I was reminded recently at a workshop with Amy Alpers that the whole purpose of the work we do through Pilates is to help our clients uncover their sense of groundedness and align with the center of their bodies again. We work with them to see what’s gotten in the way of efficient movement, and much like moving rocks out of the way so seedlings have room to emerge from the ground, we identify how we can allow more naturally free movement to occur.
When you feel more free in your body, you are more likely to feel good in your body. When you feel good in your body, this has a ripple effect into how you operate in the other areas of your life. More energy and calm clarity leads to more motivation, more productivity, more fun, less sickness, and less pain. A more fully lived life!
When we achieve better functional alignment in the body, we allow improved function of the body to be restored, from circulation and lung capacity to digestion and clarity of thought.
For example, if we have poor posture while sitting at work, there is decreased physical space for the lungs to inflate and bring in oxygen. This slows the amount of energy that can be delivered to all areas of the body and the process of eliminating waste. So we can’t get in the things we need and we can’t get rid of the things we don’t need – we’re stuck.
In every way you could physiologically imagine, lack of breath compromises optimal function of the body. You could argue slouching equals sluggishness. When good posture is practiced, you have space in your torso to breathe, bring in oxygen, fuel the circulatory, nervous, and digestive systems, and allow all these pathways the space to flow at their optimum speed. Think of Pilates as the plumber cleaning out your body’s clogged pipes!
When we do these things in a conscious way we are “returning to life,” as Joseph Pilates said. The more we connect to our body in a conscious way, check in on alignment, and our ability to be centered in our structure, the more light we shine on ourselves to grow. Light is a key element in any plant growing and thriving. In our bodies, the movement is the light!
If you're ready to bring more "light" into your body this summer by exploring a Pilates practice, get in touch. We're so happy to support you.