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Pilates Frequently asked questions

  • I am spending more time exercising outdoors these days - how Pilates can enhance my other activities?

    Pilates Matwork provides the perfect complement to most outdoor activities, such as running, cycling and rowing. You can do your Pilates practice anywhere (now with Pilates On Demand you can literally take your teacher with you anywhere on your mobile device!), before and/or after your cardio session. Practicing before a cardio activity will help warm you up, tune you in, improve your form and alignment and enhance your performance. Practicing Pilates after the cardio session will help you bridge the gap between the high level of intensity you have just been through and your normal everyday activities; it will help you focus yourself back on correct form and alignment, help you stretch and re-balance your whole musculo-skeletal system and will aid in cross-training (working on the elements missing from your preferred cardio activity).

  • The area between my shoulder blades gets tired and tensed when i work long hours at my desk. What can I do?

    Sitting at a desk is not optimal for any spine! The pelvis, hip joints and lower back become compressed; the upper back and rib cage tend to collapse into a slumped position and the head tends to move forward towards the computer screen, compressing the upper vertebras of the spine and leading to tension in the neck and shoulders. In this position the breath is very much compromised, leading to tiredness and adversely affecting digestion and the function of all the internal organs.

    Regular Pilates practice before and/or after work will keep your spine (and the whole body) stronger, more mobile and more balanced. It will decrees tension levels from your thoracic spine and rib cage, keeping them free to move and improving your capacity to breathe deeply which is so vital to your general health.

    What will equally help you overcome the problem is attacking it at the source- changing your work station habits and improving your posture throughout the working day. The following tips may help you accumulate less tension in your body and feel better throughout the day:

    Sit all the way back in your chair, leaning gently against the back of the chair

    Make sure to sit on your sit bones and not on your tail

    Place a small cushion or wedge on the back of the sit in a way that keeps your pelvis slightly tilted forward effortlessly.

    Keep both feet on the ground at all times (or at least most of the time...)

    Sit tall but make sure NOT to stick your chest out. Allow the ribs to rest comfortable in the body

    Bring your chair as close to the desk as possible and rest your arms on the desk while typing.

    set up an alarm on your computer, reminding you to take a minute or two break once an hour. Just get out of your chair for a moment, walk around, stretch your arms out and take a few really deep breaths.

  • Do you have any classes aimed at helping upper and lower back pains? My problem isn't chronic; it’s a pain that comes and goes.

    As long as your problem is not chronic and you have not been diagnosed with a condition that stops you from exercising then I would assume that your pains are related to posture and habitual movements (how you sit, walk etc). This is very common and these kind of pains tend to go away when we start moving well and get stronger and more flexible.

    I would suggest starting from the basics- the Pre-Pilates classes and the First Steps Beginners Course, and work your way from there. Take it slowly and make sure to do at least a couple of classes per week. If anything is straining your back at first then back off and do less. This way you should be getting better from week to week and should feel much better within 8-10 weeks :-)

     

    http://www.yoopod.com/levels/pre-pilates/

    http://www.yoopod.com/levels/beginners-course/