Ever wonder what your instructor is thinking? Keep Reading
Ever wonder what your instructor is thinking during your session? Chances are you are thinking more about that then they are. We look at alignment, movement, your body and how we can help you meet your movement goals! Not much else. But if there is something else, it might be one of these 5 things. ..
“ How deeply can you connect with your body using the minimal amount of movement necessary?”
1. Amount of movement doesn't mean a better workout
We see and acknowledge all of your efforts. I know you are doing your best, often beyond your best work. Your intentions are to move well. That is honored and appreciated. Please know, though, that how far you move doesn’t dictate how well you move. For example, Spine Twist. Our spines often don’t twist perfectly, vertically, and as far as we would like. So we twist and lean and use our arms to get an extra inch of rotation. The effort amazes me, but the excessive movement is not always needed. How deeply can you connect with your body using the minimal amount of movement necessary? How efficient and effective can we make this for you?
2. Noises Happen
It may sound embarrassing, but in Pilates, everything starts with engaging your deepest core muscle and working from the inside out. Intra-abdominal pressure, combined with movement, can be the perfect flatulence inducing storm. Keep moving. I’ve seen and heard it before. Nothing new. If you need to make a joke about it to feel better that’s fine, I’ll laugh along with you. If you want to pretend it never happened I can do that too. Just know you are not the first or last person to fart while Rolling Like a Ball.
3. Funny Faces
Many movements are complex on multiple levels. Even if not particularly physically strenuous, executing them properly while keeping the integrity of all of the basic principles, can be enough a brain overload that the face starts to contort. I have seen some faces! I love it. I love knowing that my clients are engaged and focused. Unfortunately, those pursed lips or closed eyes often mean that in all of that, someone has forgotten the first and possibly most important principle of all, breath. Keep breathing! Inhale, exhale, through the nose, out through pursed lips etc. These are all cues meant to keep you breathing, yet they are the most un-responded to cues I have used. So often, I jokingly say, “Relax your face” with a smile. Movement is beautiful and focus is essential in Pilates, but none of that movement or focus can go on for long if you are not breathing. Above all else, breathe.
4. Awkward Eye Contact
Where the eyes go, the head follows, then the spine follows. When I instruct a group of clients who would be facing me, the initial instinct is to look down while trying to move something forward or backwards. It is almost always the opposite of what should be happening with the cervical placement, and it often takes away from the exercise. The same things go for exercises that if done correctly would mean staring yourself in the eyes in the mirror. But this is awkward, and so people look away, down, behind and around, or even close their eyes! Clients find any way they can to avoid eye contact with themselves or anyone else. I like to joke to my clients, look up, look straight ahead, if we make eye contact that’s okay, I’ll just smile. Your instructor will not bite, they will be pleased that you are in the proper position and can better connect with your core, or, at least, won’t be falling over trying to stare at the floor. So open your eyes, look forward. Pilates often involves working through, with or against tension. So embrace the awkwardness of eye contact, work with it and watch your practice improve.