Category: study of movement


Are you an advocate for mirrors in the studio?

When it was time to decide, whether to install mirrors in my home studio, I decided to go sans.  From experience I’ve learned, that while a mirror can be a helpful tool, when we consciously focus on our inner experience, progress and retention are more significant.  I am for learning muscle firing and movement patterns from an inner seeing.  I believe in finding it in our own body. Feeling it is owning it.  We then experience the movement kinesthetically.  We deepen the mind body connection.  We have the eye of the instructor to help guide us into better alignment, better execution of movement, through verbal, tactile cues, and mental imagery.

Viewed mindfully, a mirror may be mover’s most honest friend, but more often it can be distracting.  We can catch a glimpse of our reflection, but what exactly crosses our minds in that split second view?  Some movers become fixated.  Are we judging ourselves?  Love the skin you’re in!  I encourage my students to respect and honor their bodies, and to be true to their bodies TODAY.

Some students are visual learners.  They see what they are doing, and that helps them begin to feel it.  For those I keep a portable mirror in the studio.  I have one student though, who prefers to keep her eyes closed throughout most of the session.  She does that not for the sake of adding challenge, but it helps her concentrate, focus, and get deeper into the mind body experience.

What is your preference?  I’d love to hear about it!

We enroll in Pilates primarily to strengthen our core, increase flexibility, and improve our overall well-being.   In the journey, we’re being made aware of our posture and our movement patterns.  We work so hard to improve both.   So what happens toward the end of the day, when we’re ready to hit the sack?!   Are we forgetting to apply everything we’ve learned to our ZZZ hours?!

Learning to sleep in correct posture is just as important!

Research has shown, that all that the human brain needs is for us to maintain a certain position for a minimum of twenty minutes, for it to be labeled as the new norm.   Are you a stomach sleeper?  Do you sleep on your side in the fetal position?  On your back with your head resting on a mountain of pillows?

How do you wake up in the morning?  Are you aching anywhere?

If you sleep on more than one pillow, you are possibly contributing to a forward head posture by allowing the neck flexors to excessively stretch.  If  you favor sleeping on your stomach,

this might cause back strain and can be uncomfortable for your neck especially if the mattress is sagging.  Do you like to sleep with the bed sheets tight over your feet with your toes tucked into a

pointed position?   You might be limiting your  ankle mobility, which then extends to your entire body mechanics, and will affect standing and walking.   And if you sleep on your side with one leg

bent and across your body, you might be contributing to or causing your back pain 😦

What is then the best position for sleeping or laying down?

No matter what position you lie in, the pillow should be under your head, but not your shoulders, and should be a thickness that allows your head to be in a normal position.  The aim is to elongate the back side of our neck, and to strengthen the deep neck flexors.  Ideally, sleep on a firm mattress and cover with loose and comfortable sheets and blankets.  Try to sleep in a position which helps you maintain the natural curvature in your back, aka neutral spine.   On your back with a pillow under your knees or a lumbar roll under your lower back for lumbar support; or on your side with your knees slightly bent, and a pillow between them.

What is your preferred sleep position?  Care to share?

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