This is the second post in a series called “My Pilates Journey” where Mary writes about her experience as she begins Pilates sessions with Chris Blagdon at the Edinburgh Pilates Centre. Click here to read about last week’s class.
Taking Responsibility For Your Body
On the second session out of ten, the overarching theme was to take responsibility for your own body. Chris’ teaching is very unassuming and he is frequently saying throughout the sessions that although he is the one that is able to guide your body, it is your own. You know your body better than he does and you should be working on it for yourself not because someone is telling you to.
Instead of doing 10 of each movement on each side, Chris told me to listen to my body and to switch it up if need be. On one move, for example, my left leg was stronger than my right. I was, therefore, advised to do 7 movements on the left leg and 10 on the right to help build strength on the side of the body that needed it the most. We progressed from the previous week with some new exercises and also the introduction of moving into the sensation of the movements rather than to pull away from any perceived discomfort. A small mental tweak to working with your body instead of fighting a movement, but one that made the process a lot easier and more enjoyable.
What I noticed that was different from the first session was that I felt more comfortable with the processes within each movement. I wasn’t worried that I had skipped a bit or that I was doing it wrong as I was starting to remember the movements and knew that Chris would be able to point my in the direction if need be. This made it easier to focus on getting the maximum out of each movement. At the same time, I could start to feel a difference from the previous session in the areas that were tight. After having a cold the previous week, this was the perfect way to boost my energy.
Exercise of the week
Each week, I will share an exercise that we did in the class so that you can get a taster from the comfort of your own home. This week, it is one of the final stretches we did in the cool down that has been making my upper and middle back feel incredible this week.
Step 1: Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, breath in and out.
Step 2: Whilst exhaling, pull your tummy into your spine as much as you can.
Step 3: Put your arms behind your back and wrap your right hand around your left hand’s wrist.
Step 4: Lift both arms up as high as possible and then pull your shoulder blades down. Hold for a couple of seconds, breath out, relax and then do it again. When ready swap over with the left hand holding the right hand’s wrist.
Please get in touch if you have any questions about Pilates or are interested in beginning your own Pilates journey.