Mommy on a Mission - Pilates - Week Two

September 20, 2012

Posted By: Shaunescy


This is how I am:

I am busy, organized, hectic and I have a lot of things in the air at once. My morning starts with coffee. I feed, shower and dress my smalls while somehow getting myself together as well, Hubs gets a coffee too and kiss at the door. Pile into the car, drop one kid at Kindy, drop the other at pre-school, go back home to gather the things I have forgotten - the library books, my yoga pants. While there check email, put out immediate fires, have another cup of coffee (bad-bunnyfufu!) and head out to Pilates. Cursing PMS. 

Call my mom for advice on how to be mindful. She suggests that I sit quietly and clear my mind and we talk about her yoga practice and how she tries to stretch her whole body when she rises in the morning, before she's even out of the bed. I love my mom and imagining her mindfulness while she begins her day does calm my spirit and make me smile. I am not one of a quiet mind but this will suffice as my pre-workout meditation.


After my first Pilates session at Functional Form  I asked the gals if there were any books I should look at to broaden my understanding of Pilates. Jan handed me her copy of Brooke Siler 's, The Pilates Body and pointed out a few things from the intro in regards to the philosophy of the Pilates Method.

"I know that quite a number of exercisers have grown accustomed to the soreness associated with working out and find it rather addictive, but such soreness is not an indication that the workout is actually efficient. Muscle soreness is a direct result of lactic acid buildup in the muscle, improper stretching, or tearing of the muscle tissue. The energy your body needs to expend to repair damage or counteract fatigue is precisely what takes away from the efficiency of the workout." ~ Brooke Siler

Well, folks . . . I fall solidly in that camp and am trying my level best to change that attitude but, I have always liked the Navy's take on it that "Pain is weakness leaving the body." I think that's why I like running. It hurts and it's hard but the results are undeniable. Until of course you get shin splints from over training.

Another thing that Siler points out in her book is that there is a truly powerful connection between your body and your mind. "Essentially, when you work your body without engaging your mind, you are preforming only half a workout."

Try this:

"If I tell you to sit up tall as if your head were touching the ceiling, not only are you using your mind's eye to visualize that sensation, but you have also employed a myriad of muscles you probably never knew existed. You are presenting your mind and your body with a challenge that unites their efforts to achieve that goal" ~ Brooke Siler

Ok, so this is where having a trainer is of the most benefit. I could muscle through most of the movements. My body's natural inclination would be to find a way around proper form. Shoulders sneaking up toward my earlobes or changing the curve of my spine to touch my nose to my knee. The goal isn't to actually sniff my knee, the goal is to lenghten, strenghten and tone my whole body.

The trainer is key. Meg is really talented and able. She makes me laugh and notice when I am scrunching up my shoulders when the work that I'm doing in the pose has absolutely nothing to do with my shoulders.

I really had no idea just how often I was hunching my shoulders up. It's not surprising that I do given my vocation as a blogger who crouches over a computer like Golem and his precious. But I am far more aware of it now after a very short time with  Functional Form . And I am actively refocusing and correcting myself throughout the day.

I'm going to leave you with one final tidbit. So after my hour-long session of lenghtening, of being aware and graceful and tall, mindful as I possibly could be the whole time, I stepped into the changing room to get into my street clothes. Put on my skinny jeans and they feel great, slide into my fairly worn out flip-flops, take a couple of steps and feel like a duck.

Note to self: Don't wear crappy footwear anymore.



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