It can be easy to spot dancers in our midst. They tend to be very aware of their bodies, the positions of their limbs and their overall presence in the space in which they are in. It makes sense, considering just how much effort must go into one’s posture to be a great dancer. The rest of us…well, we might look more like a stumbling baby deer on ice rather than a graceful and powerful entity. But don’t worry; you don’t have to be a dancer to hone this dancer’s trait.
All you need is Pilates.
What is Pilates?
Pilates is a practice that focuses on the mind’s connection to the body, and how specific movements can strengthen our bodies and make us more aware of the muscles that carry us around in our daily lives. This practice places emphasis on the abdomen and trunk muscles-which you may have heard referenced to as “the core” before. Pilates has been practiced by dancers and athletes all over the world to help them to improve their posture and increase the amount of control that they possess over their movements.
What does Pilates do?
Even though it might look easy to the unfamiliar eye, Pilates is far from a simple discipline. Movements that might seem small and inconsequential actually improve one’s balance and core strength in ways that you probably won’t realize until you try it for yourself.
In addition to strengthening the body’s core, Pilates has also been found to help people who suffer from back pain, especially chronic lower back pain. Seasoned enthusiasts may also notice improved flexibility, trunk stability, injury prevention and athletic performance. Even some former and current NFL players have picked up this practice for these exact reasons.
Even though there are numerous physical benefits that accompany Pilates, it can be damaging to do it incorrectly. For this reason, it is a requirement to have a good teacher, like those at Motion Matters Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic in Ottawa. A certified instructor can best guide you and your body through the muscular motions of Pilates, while helping to sharpen the mind’s focus on these movements.
Many people who partake in Pilates notice changes in their bodies that they didn’t see when they went to a conventional gym. Pilates activates muscles that are usually not used during conventional exercise routines. A toned stomach and a smoothing out of asymmetrical qualities in the core can be noticed if one sticks with this discipline.
This isn’t to say that Pilates is going to get you a flat stomach or be the vigorous workout that you might be looking for. While some might experience a loss of weight or a loss of inches around their waist, many do not-but they feel stronger and are more aware of their bodies, which is great!
The Body-Mind Connection of Pilates
A significant portion of this practice focuses on the mental self, through a concept called “centering.” Centering is an understanding that all of your body’s movements originate in its center-the core. Effective centering can help a person to feel more at ease with an improved mood and less stress.
If you are looking to hone your body, and not just from the shoulders-down, Pilates is a practice that you should at least consider. There are classes for people of all ages and experience levels in Ottawa, and at Motion Matters Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic.