As teachers of movement, Liz and I do honestly get a proper thrill from watching the ripple of a spine in a Roll Down, or the controlled gliding movement and rotation of a Bow and Arrow. You may hear us squeak or sigh in delight as our clients’ confidently flex and extend, rotate and twist, controlling the marvellous and complex joint that is the spine.
So, this February we are embracing the idea of F for Fearless – fearless movement. Encouraging our clients to trust their joints and explore the full range of movement (ROM) in the spine and all the other joints. We have such a range of clients in our Matwork classes, and often new clients come to us having not really ‘moved’ freely for a while; often to help back issues caused by years of not moving enough or being tentative about moving and tweaking a sensitive back. Patterns of movement become habits and once we lose the habit of twisting and flexing and extending our spine and other joints, we can be fearful to see how far they may still go. But once we begin to find those patterns again, we can become fearless, more confident and trusting of our bodies and bones.
In every Pilates class we always aim to move the spine and indeed all the joints in all possible directions, and for many this may be the first time in a while they twisted and flexed and extended in such ways. So how can you be more fearless?
Well, trust us and trust your body. Listen to us and listen to your body.
We always warm up the shoulders and spine first, before building up to more challenging moves. Ensuring that you follow the warm-ups properly will give you the confidence to move a little further every time you move the spine. A standing warm-up waist twist can lead to a splendid side lying Bow and Arrow and into a tremendous Threading the Needle – all spinal rotation but each position allows you to explore the twist in a new way. But we don’t just want to stop there…we want to keep combining these moves and allow ourselves to be a little more dynamic….
So, enter the Lizard, the Ninja Cat and the Body Roll. Not a Kung-Fu movie but some of many great moves where we combine extension, flexion and rotation. So allow your body to move freely around your axis, supported by conscious recruitment of the core, and carry those moves with confidence out of the class and into your February and beyond!