I just realised last night not all my clients at the studio know my exciting news for November. I thought I had been talking about it so much that everyone knew and it seems this is not so.
My excitement is that in November I am going to the Nappa Valley in the United States to train to be a Yoga teacher with two of the most amazing Yoga Teachers in the world Gina Caputo and Kathryn Budig. It is a 4 week long immersion certification, so when I get back I will be able to add yoga classes to our schedule. Yes I am not sure when but I know that it will sort itself out as everything else along the path has so far. 🙂
Visit Gina Caputo and Kathryn Budig’s website
Gina Caputo: http://www.ginacaputo.com/
Kathryn Budig: http://kathrynbudig.com/
6 ½ years ago I left my job as a Senior Management Accountant with one of Australia’s largest food manufacturers and I said to myself this is just not me. I had a dream of one day owning a yoga/Pilates retreat where people could come to a beautiful space and practice yoga/Pilates. So I embarked on that journey.
As you can see I am not at the end of the journey because the retreat is still a beautiful place in my mind. But I do now teach Pilates at my own studio and now I am off to add Yoga teaching to my skills. Which is the next step in this amazing journey towards my dream career.
As I have mentioned before it could not be further from the career I have already established myself in as a Finance Manager. But these skills certainly do not go astray. I have often asked myself why I went down that path that seem to be wrong, however I am entirely grateful that at least I was on a path and to be honest if not for that career I would not be able to finance my dream which is slowly but surely starting to take shape.
Anyhow essentially I just wanted to let you all know that yes I will be away for 4 weeks from November 7 – December 5, but I also wanted to let you know I am at work in the background talking to some lovely yoga and Pilates instructors who I am hoping are going to join the studio and start taking some classes. Which will mean that you all get more timeslots to fit in some Pilates or yoga and most of all you are looked after while I am overseas get my new skills.
I hope you all are having a lovely week, and thankyou to each and every one of you, because without you, I can fulfil my dreams, which is to share the benefit of mindful movement which is my passion.
Back Extension with Knee Raise
Starting with the foam roller under your mid back, your head gently supported by your hands, raise you right leg towards you nose as you inhale and then exhale to lower.
Then as you inhale extend your upper back over the foam roller, exhale as your return to the starting position inhale as you raise your left knee towards your nose and exhale as you return to the floor.
Repeat 5 times for each leg.
March is a beautiful month in Australia, we get the last of summer and there is a couple of great long weekends. This long weekend is now a long week off for me and I am pretty excited because the weather is going to be some great beach days, one of my favourite things about this time of year and having a week off is that the beach is ever so quiet because the kids are back at school.
There is something about exercise at the beach, one of the things I love about pilates is you can do it anywhere, anytime once you know the basics. On that note just a gentle reminder to make sure that you are practicing your pilates with a trained instructor at least once a week so you make sure that you are learning the right technique. Integrity with your technique will help you grow stonger, leaner muscles quicker and move on to more advanced exercises sooner.
Today’s exercise is part of the side lift series, it will help you build strength in the sides of your abdominals, your inner thighs and help you build balance and control. This series will take place over the next few weeks.
Lie on your left side, with your left arm stretched underneath you following the same line as your torso. Place your right hand on the mat in front of you for support. Your legs are stacked on top of each other.
Breathe in to prepare, as you breathe out lengthen both legs as far away from your hips as far as possible, and then lift them a few inches off the ground.
Keeping your legs together, breathe in as you lower both legs until they hover just above the floor. Repeat ten times, and then swap to the other side of your body.
So last night I proposed a challenge to my Wednesday night pilates class “who would like to try Pilates in the water” says Sonia. Much to my surprise, 3 of my regulars turn up with their towels and are up for it. So we warmed up on our mats, not that it felt we needed to, as the temperature had been well over 30 degrees all day.
Then we took our foam rollers and headed down to the water’s edge.
It was amazing we had such a fun time learning together, I had never taught a class in the water before. Let me tell you this was a challenge for all of us, even though the water was like glass, there was the occasionally wave rolling in from those pesky jet skis buzzing around on a summer’s night.
We certainly used our core muscles, did lots of kicking, balancing on our foam rollers and just generally had plenty of fun. So my suggestion is next time you are in the water actively contract those tummy muscles just like you do on the mat, you will be surprised to feel them holding you afloat and working hard to keep you balanced while you are lazing on your noodle, lilo or anything that floats.
I love the water I believe it is very calming and peaceful and one of my dear clients had not swum in years she informed me, so it was lovely to share the moment of being back in the water with her. Playing at the beach is one of the ways we can remember we are never to old to just hang out and have fun.
Here is a photo for you to check out the happy smiles on their faces, I am so lucky to share my love of pilates with such warm, fun people.
Another one of my favourites on the foam roller as it takes a little more co-ordination. This one is good to work those hamstrings.
Lying on your back on your mat put your foam roller under you feet. Stabilise your shoulders and inhale. Stabilise you pelvis and spine in neutral and the lift your hips up off the ground. Creating a bridge position from your shoulders to your knees. Inhale as you hold the position nice and balanced. Then as you exhale lower you hips back down towards the floor, inhale and then as you exhale repeat.
Repeat 5 times.
After a day out on the bay sailing my little laser I am keenly aware of how lucky I am to have found Pilates. If not for practicing this form of exercise for the past 8 years I would not be able to enjoy the thrills of hanging out on my laser to keep it from tipping over. My back just would not have allowed me to do this before. So even though I am tired and weary here is this week’s exercise for those of you who are keen to keep up your own practice.
The Side to Side
Goal: Strengthen the sides of your abdominals.
Lie on your back, with your legs lengthened straight up towards the roof and squeezed together. Stretch your arms out to your sides, aligned with your chest, palms face down. Visualise your chest as a lead weight enabling you to move only the lower half of your body freely.
Step 2. Breathe in to prepare and as your exhale lower your legs to your right. Inhale and as you exhale bring your legs back to the centre.
Step 3. Breathe in and as you exhale lower your legs to the left. Inhale and as you exhale bring your legs back to centre.
Repeat five on each side.
Week 5 here we are and I thought this week I would share a very simple exercise but yet when done mindfully can be very challenging for the quiet little cores muscles that I like to think of as you shy introverted types. If your muscles had personalities that’s who they would be. The ones who hold you up all day long and don’t necessarily wish to be seen and certainly don’t steal the lime light, and are the first to sneak away when things get loud and boisterous, that is when you superficial muscles or mobilisers take over, you know the personalities that make things happen, that’s them the big muscles that on a well toned athlete you actually see when they move. Anyhow enough of my ramblings let’s tackle this exercise and see if you can feel your core stabilisers working softly holding your body stable will you lift and arm and a leg at the same time.
4 Point Kneeling with Leg and Arm
Goal: Core stabilisation
Step 1. Start in a 4 point kneeling position. Hands underneath shoulders and knees under hips. Draw your navel to your spine and inhale.
Step 2. As you exhale extend one leg behind you, moving nothing but your leg, keep your torso stable with your stomach muscles, inhale and as you exhale gently lower your leg back to the floor. Inhale and then as you exhale lift the alternate leg. Lengthen you leg out as long as you can behind you pointing your toe, but keep your torso nice and stable.
Step 3. After you have done 5 leg lifts on each side, now add in your arm lift as the same time. So gently lift you left leg and your right arm at the same time. Remember to keep your navel drawn in towards your spine and inhale to prepare and then exhale and you extend the arm and leg. Repeat 5 times on each side.