(gtag.js) Why Choose Pilates? How to be Fit and Healthy at Any Age

Stick with Pilates, Reap the Rewards

pilates & consistency May 02, 2021
 
One of the advantages of having had my Pilates studio for almost 16 years now, is that I get to see the all remarkable benefits that people experience when they practice Pilates for the long term.  Pilates is definitely something that requires consistency and as the majority of my clients have been attending classes with me for many years, mostly around the 8 to 14 year mark, they are ideal examples of what making Pilates a way of life looks like.  I had a very interesting experience last year when I received a call from a former client who had attended my studio almost 10 years ago and was wanting to restart Pilates again.  Nicole, as I'll call her, had only attended classes for around 3 months with the goal of overcoming lower back pain and once she was pain-free began cancelling and gradually decreasing her sessions until she left altogether.  We talked on the phone and not surprisingly her lower back pain had returned plus a range of other painful...
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Protect Your Mental Health With Pilates

Photo by Wavebreakmedia
 
Although there is so much more awareness and openness around mental health issues nowadays, there is still a long way to go with this once misunderstood, taboo topic.  It is now widely accepted that a mental health issue is just as valid as a physical one and requires appropriate treatment.  Many of my clients start Pilates with the goal of not only improving their physical fitness but also assisting with the management of their anxiety or depression or preventing dementia as they age.  The stresses of modern life,  particularly with the added strain of a pandemic, can really challenge our mental health and it's important that we monitor our stress levels and seek solutions if needed.  Joseph Pilates said, "It is the mind itself that shapes the body."  He designed his unique method of movement to incorporate a mind-body connection and Pilates is as much a mental workout as it physical.  In his book "Caged Lion," ...
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Take Control of Your Health & Fitness With Pilates

pilates & control Apr 04, 2021

 

We all need to feel that we have a degree of control over our lives, including our health.  Without this feeling of control, we can have the sense that life is something that is happening to us and we are just accepting whatever comes our way. This is a very disempowering way to live especially if you are dealing with health issues or are currently in pain.  If you feel you are powerless to change your situation, your mental health is also at risk.  Lack of control leads to depression and anxiety and feelings of despair.  Pilates is all about control.  Joseph Pilates originally called his method of exercise "Contrology" and "Control" is one of the original six Pilates principles:

"Contrology (Pilates) is complete coordination of body, mind and spirit.  Through Contrology, you first purposefully acquire complete control of your own body and then through proper repetition of its exercises, you gradually and progressively acquire that natural...

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Shrinking in Height as You Age? Pilates to the Rescue!

 
No one likes the idea of shrinking in height as they age but the good news is Pilates can really help you to reach and maintain your full postural potential at all stages of life, especially into your later years. 
We all know the stereotype of the "little old lady" or "little old man" whose body has given in to gravity.  They have shrunken in height with their upper body curled forward, a hump on their upper back and if you add a walking stick and some coke bottle glasses, you have the classic cartoon or fairytale "old person."  Shrinking in height can begin during our 40s, even a little earlier for some people and it's thought we lose approximately  2 cm - 4 cm sometimes more, from our peak height by the end of our lives.  So let's look at why this happens and how you can use Pilates to maintain as much of your peak height as possible, so you can stay, strong, flexible, healthy and lengthened as you age.

Why do we shrink as we age?

There are...
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Client Spotlight - Katy's 12 Year Pilates Anniversary

client spotlight Mar 06, 2021

 

It's hard to believe that 12 years have passed, almost to the day, since Katy first started Pilates with me.  Her Mum had already been doing Pilates for just over 6 months and was seeing great results. She wanted to ensure that Katy improved her posture and reduced her back pain at a young age, so Katy didn't have to deal with these issues, throughout life, as she had.  Katy began her Pilates journey in her early twenties and Pilates has become a way of life for her now.  Having suffered a fall down some stairs during her school years, Katy was left with back pain which had stopped her from participating in some sporting activities and she wondered if she could improve her posture.  She also suffered debilitating foot cramps that came on unexpectedly and were extremely painful.  Katy has a degree of hypermobility in her joints meaning they have a large range of movement.  Many hypermobile people have poor posture because they tend to lock into or...

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Prioritising Pilates In Your Life

prioritising pilates Feb 20, 2021
Photo by IvelinRadkov
  
Almost 11 years ago now I had the unforgettable experience of hearing Li Cunxin speak at my Pilates association conference.  Author of the book "Mao's Last Dancer", which was also made into a film, he shared his remarkable story of being selected at age 11, to leave home and train full-time as a ballet dancer with the Beijing Dance Academy.  He defected to the United States and went on to become one of the greatest dancers in the world, with an international career, including Principal Dancer with The Australian Ballet.  So you can imagine what a privilege it was for Li to agree to speak at our Pilates conference in front of around 200 Pilates teachers.  Why did he agree to do this?  He took time out of his busy life as a stockbroker, because after being diagnosed with herniated discs in his lower back,  he was advised it was the end of his dancing career.  He took up Pilates and attributed this...
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Better Balance With Pilates

 

Maintaining good balance is essential particularly as we age.  I'm passionate about ensuring that all my Pilates clients maintain and challenge their balance constantly during their Pilates training.  In a nutshell, if you aren't actively working on improving your balance regularly you are putting yourself at greater risk of a fall, which could lead to broken bones, paralysis, head injuries and potentially be fatal  This is horrible to think about but is all entirely preventable with balance training in Pilates.  When you focus on it, balance improves very quickly and it can be personally rewarding to see how much progress you can make.  JS Mind Body Pilates my Online Pilates studio incorporates plenty of challenging balance training exercises for all levels, so take the free 10 day trial now to start your training.  Alternatively, please feel free to contact me at [email protected], if you have any questions about...

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Does Pilates Produce Perfect Posture?

pilates & posture Jan 23, 2021

Photo by nensuria

During my early teens, before discovering Pilates, poor posture was a huge issue for me.  Due to a sudden growth spurt, a few months before my 12th birthday I was already 170 cm or 5 feet 7 inches tall when I started high school.  Towering over my friends & classmates, I was incredibly self-conscious & felt like a giant.  I took the one and only option available to me.   Shrinking & looking smaller.  How could I possibly do this you ask?  By leaning my upper body backward and sinking down through my chest and then slumping and leaning at every available opportunity.  Basically, in a ridiculous attempt to disappear into the crowd, I had created a postural nightmare for myself.  Looking back on photos during those years, it's very clear, I hadn't grown into my body yet.  Fortunately, it was reasonably short-lived and starting dance classes at 14 was a big plus for my posture and my confidence. ...

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My Pilates Vision For You

 
When I wrote my very first post blog post & launched my online Pilates studio way back in September 2018,  I was so excited to be sharing the amazing possibilities that Pilates provides with a global audience!  It's my mission to ensure that as many people as possible practice Pilates & discover how movement can assist them to live a healthy, pain-free life & pursue their passions into their retirement years.  In that first blog post, I introduced you to an older woman who I called Eva.  I would see Eva regularly on my daily walks on her way to the local shops with a trolley.  Walking was clearly a challenge and her joints looked painful & stiff.  At every second house, Eva would stop to sit & rest on the front fence for a minute or so before continuing on.  An everyday activity like shopping had become an arduous & painful experience for her.  I haven't seen her on my walks for about a year now.  I...
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Pilates Highlights: Year in Review

 
As we draw to the end of one of the most challenging years in living memory,  it's the perfect opportunity to look back at some of the most popular & powerful Pilates posts of 2020.  As the world is still facing the second and third waves of Covid -19,  let's focus on some of the positives that Pilates provides as we revisit the practical, the educational and the incredibly inspiring!  Click on the headings or the names of the featured clients to read the full original post. 

Breathe & Stay Calm! 

 Joseph  Pilates said "Breathing is the first act of life and also the last.  Our very life depends on it"  He emphasised the importance of mastering correct breathing techniques.  "It is tragically deplorable to contemplate the millions who have never mastered the art of correct breathing,"  he said.  As we face uncertainty in our lives, stress levels start to rise and learning to control our...
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