Unlike most forms of exercise, Pilates is primarily grounded in precision, control and coordination. Pilates is more then just cracking a sweat and calling it a day. It's about moving your body through the movements with purpose and grace. By concentrating on form in your lessons, you can take what you've learned in the studio to benefit your life and body outside of it.
Some of the most obvious but "not-so-obvious" benefits of proper form in Pilates include, but are not limited to:
Knowing where your hips are in relation to your ankles, what it means to sit tall, how to keep your ribs in are all part of this precision. More precision in the movements results in better execution of the exercises. Purposeful movement, direction and placement the body's parts is key to success inside and outside the studio.
Aiding in a quicker recovery time from injuries
Enhancing body awareness inside and outside the studio
Improving movement quality
Improving focus on how you are using your body in space
Learning to control the body and how to isolate its parts
The truth is, form is hard to master when students are taking group classes because of how different each of our bodies are. In group Pilates classes, you can become lost by exercises that are streamlined for the masses or exercises that are completely wrong for your own body. With a workout that is driven by proper form, don't you think it makes sense to learn how to move properly? My philosophy is that Pilates should be technique driven and catered to every individual. Group classes don't focus on YOU. They can't.
...But YOU can practice your form even while doing nothing. Hey, you can even practice your form while reading this blog post! Let's do it together....
First, take a deep breath and bring awareness to your body, without judgement. Become aware of your alignment. If something is out of whack, try to adjust it, make note of it, and then move on with your day. The more you practice this, the more habitual good posture and alignment will become.
Till next time!