Something I hear often from people when they know I own a Pilates studio is, “I am soooooo unflexible, I really need to take Yoga.”. It is true that that many people could use more flexibility in their bodies. And a mind body practice like Yoga may help. But I find that most people don’t understand the process of how to gain that flexibility.
I get the impression that many people believe they need to sit around and stretch more and that would do the trick. That if they just sat on the floor with their legs in a V and leaned forward into a stretch on a regular basis that would make them more flexible. (And it might help a little!)
So How Do I Gain Flexibility?
Just stretching is often not the answer. In the Pilates method of exercise, we work on creating uniform development in the body. In simple terms this means we create balance in the body around our joints. This is by not only stretching what is tight, but also strengthening what is weak. Joseph Pilates knew that the best way to create this balance in our body was not by isolating a stretch or a single strength training exercise (like a bicep curl). But, ideally, we teach our body to move as a whole. At the same time using our mind to fine tune our alignment and keep our body in balance. You see, this is how our body works on a day to day basis.
We don’t stop and think about picking up a bag of groceries and what muscles we are going to use. We just do it. If we are healthy, and our body is pretty balanced, this movement happens easily. Without too much effort (which is ideal) and truly engages the whole body.
The Pilates method of exercise is designed to teach you how to move your body through various planes of movement with ease, balance and proper alignment so that you can re-create those patterns of movement in your life. By practicing your alignment and balancing your body in your Pilates practice you will find that your muscles naturally lengthen. Your spine moves with ease, and you’ll have flexibility you never dreamed of (without having to sit and stretch for hours.)
If you’re ready to try Pilates, call us at 518-18-7467 or email us here!