I arrived ten minutes late to class due to poor planning and underestimation of traffic conditions. Volumes were surprisingly heavy in spite of the chilly, bleak conditions, especially traversing northbound along Yonge.
Bounding into unit 204 with as much grace as one could possibly summon, I apologized for my tardiness and promptly begun to remove my shoes. This time around, I was greeted by all instructors present in the waiting area, beyond my own. The temperature check was forgotten in the process.
I proceeded through the series of bar-clutching exercises on the Cadillac once again, this time swifter. Imprints and neutral spine terminology grew more familiar, and the body was more likely to adhere upon hearing the keyword(s). That said, the "mind-to-muscle connection" remained weak amidst the flexed foot rollups. From time to time, my gaze was gestured towards one of the mirrors in the room - one that had been stationed strategically for posture checks and to provide visual representations of form when the correct muscles are engaged.
One additional exercise was added to the tension bar series. Rather than a complete rollup, where the body is hinged at the lower back and travels a total of 90 degrees, the exercise was involved lying on one's back and pulling the tension bar down, pressing the shoulders into the platform while maintaining straight arms. Although a minimal range of movement, the action promoted mobility and rectification of rounded shoulders with slight help from gravity.
A familiar physio exercise was demonstrated on the nearby Barrel, with options for home practice on stairs, yoga blocks, and a resistance band looped about the foot. Rotating the ankle was also advised for building strength, and the slower the better. "Control" is the name of the game for pilates.
Moving onto the Ladder Barrel, I was provided a bar to hold above the head. With palms facing away from the body, I was instructed to hold the bar as if with the intention of snapping it in half. Knees bent, an Earthquake-resembling routine was performed. And you bet that I shook more than just with normal Earthquakes.
We ended with a stretch on the Cadillac once again. This time, the legs were placed against the supporting pillars rather than about the platform. This enabled a deeper stretch in both the back and hamstrings.
- Many issues arise due to poor biomechanics, and recognizing these imperfections at an early stage serves to prevent physical complications later in life.
- Pilates as a core-dominant practice holds tremendous truth and is not to be taken lightly. Breathing techniques, though addressed in countless home workout tutorials, is equally as critical as the point of one's gaze and positioning of adjacement muscles and limbs.
- "Breathe in to stay here." acts as the reset button.