It’s almost December! I’m sure you’re aware, but I just had to say it out loud! As I come to the end of my #stressless month, I thought I would share the full relaxing Pilates flow with all of you, just in case you are feeling in need of a little ‘me’ time!
Pilates is a really great way to slow down and focus on your breath, engage your core and feel a connection with your body that can sometimes get lost when rushing around doing one thing after another.
Take some time out for you today (you only need ten minutes to complete this workout… or you can make it longer if you have more time by repeating the exercises). Get in tune with your body. See how it is feeling. Is something tight? Does your back ache? Are you feeling strong?
Complete all exercises with control, remembering to breath slowly, and deeply, allowing the rib cage to expand as you inhale, through the nose, then exhale through the mouth. Focus on what your muscles are doing; are you able to contract your core whilst performing the exercises? Can you contract your pelvic floor muscle too?
Enjoy the time to yourself, and try to clear your mind of anything other than how you are feeling in space and time as you perform the exercises. If it helps to clear your mind, focus on the principles of Pilates as you go through the sequence.
The 6 principles of Pilates are:
- Concentration. You want to have your all focus on what you are trying to make your body do, ensuring your form is correct and being aware of where you are placing your limbs! You can’t do this without…
- Control. Everything action you perform needs to be under control. By engaging your core you will have more control over your body position and placement, and you will execute the moves with more…
- Precision. Pilates is slow and steady. That’s because you need to be precise in order to get the full benefit of the exercise. Not sure if you noticed, but I’ve mention the core before, and this is important because of….
- Centering. An efficient and strong core ensures control and precision. Forget the centre and you will be off balance and cable to work how you want. Take this as a metaphor for life too! And what else do you need for life….
- Breathing. If you ever feel yourself becoming uncentered or distracted, bring your attention back to your breath. Pilates uses lateral thoracic breathing, meaning your rib cage expands and contracts as you inhale deeply and exhale. Breath controls everything. Use it correctly , and you will achieve greater….
- Flow. Finally, the importance of flowing movement. One move should transition smoothly into the next with the connection of breath, precision and control. This is why it is important to take your time, enjoy the sequence, and just keep breathing!
See how it’s all connected?! I love to think of these principles whilst I’m practising, and I feel I get more from the sequence if I do so! Try it now whilst you follow along to the flow:
And just in case you don’t have time to watch the video, here’s a run down of my five favourite moves from the flow: