Another Step on the Path to my Dream Coming True

Silhouette of woman practicing yoga on the beach during a beautiful sunset.

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/

Meditation

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.

Cheers

Son

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Pilates Contribution to Elite Athlete Success by Simon Forthun

Elite large

The Glasgow Commonwealth games are an opportunity for many to appreciate sporting performance at the highest level. Speed, power, range of effortless movement and mental toughness are on show. Just performing at the games requires intense preparation pushing the limits and risking injury. Elite athletes from many sports have turned to Pilates to help their performance.

Young people doing Pilates exercises

A fundamental objective of Pilates is optimal posture and spinal & pelvic alignment which can prevent or reduce low back pain, hip and knee strain and improve shoulder girdle stability and overall balance.Pilates is about stabilizing with and moving from the core—abs, back, glutes, inner & outer thigh. Pilates is a whole body exercise modality that lengthens and strengthens muscles while building a uniformly developed and balanced body.1This approach to exercise focuses power to come from the core and protects joints from strain and impact. The body is more able to perform movement consistently and prevent injury to joints.

The key principles of Pilates focus on integration of breath, flexibility, strength, control, and precision and body awareness. Elite athletes recognize these “skills” as critical to any sport or functional movement.1Elite athletes may find their body type is unable to achieve their desired performance and turn to Pilates to fill the gap.Australia’s Cate and Bronte Campbell who recently won silver and bronze in the Glasgow Commonwealth games 50m freestyle both recording personal best times acknowledged pilates contribution to their performance. The sisters have been taking pilates classes with dancers from the Queensland Ballet for three or four months to develop a better spring off the blocks. “Our pilates teacher is a ballet dancer and she’s teaching us how to jump like ballerinas so we’ve been working on our starts and trying to improve them as much as we can,’’ Bronte said.

victoria

Victoria Pendelton metro.co.uk

Victoria Pendelton, British track cyclist says “I’ve been doing Pilates for more than a year, and for me, it’s been a real breakthrough in managing back pain and building my postural muscles.”(July 2012 issue of Marie Claire) Like a lot of cyclists, Victoria suffers from lumbar spine issues from spending numerous hours hunched over the handlebars. Those whose job is at a desk or computer often have the same issue.1

Charlotte purdue

Charlotte Purdue purerunner.co.uk

Charlotte Purdue English representative in the 10,000m track event at the Glasgow games typically runs over 100kms per week. Charlotte regularly does pilates as part of her training to build up core endurance, spinal stability and improve posture.

Diverse group of friends having fun at the gym

Pilates is part of many elite athletes training regimes and contributes to the performances we enjoy watching at events like to Commonwealth games.

1Elite Athletes in 2012 London Olympics Credit Pilates for Improved Performance and Injury Reduction – Core Fitness by Jana

Pilates Week 16 – Fundamentals the First of 5 – Breathing

I had a conversation last week with a colleague who asked me whether I got sore from doing pilates she spotted me in our gym at work and said to me it looked easy but she was sure it is not.  I was quite pleased to hear it looked so easy but it got me to thinking about how one learns pilates and how the basic principles are so very important.

I often see people working out and realise that my love of pilates comes from the structure of the exercises and how there is so much to learn, which always keeps me interested as a student of pilates and also as a teacher.

So I have decided to catch up my weeks I am behind in my blog with the 5 basic principles of the Stott pilates that I have been trained in.  Because I again are very present to what can only look easy through proper practice and knowledge of the correct fundamentals on which Joseph pilates and the many variations of pilates are built.

Breathing

Pilates breathing is to inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth with pursed lips, similar to when you are blowing out a candle.

You breathe deeply into the back and lower area of your ribcage.

When you exhale deeply this helps to activate the deep support muscles of your spine and pelvis by engaging the transversus abdominis.

This deep breathing helps to you avoid neck and shoulder tension and helps in relaxation.

As you inhale the ribcage opens out and up whichs helps in spinal extension.  The ribcage closes in and down when you exhale which aids in spinal flexion.

I always like to start my classes with at least 5 big deep inhales and exhales to get everyone focused on their breath.

Pilates Week 10 – The Side Lift

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.

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Pilates Week 2 – Up Stretch

Week 2 of my challenge and the update is that it is really kind of fun to have a challenge like this, not only am I learning new ways to teach but I am also increasing my photography skills which my dear dad would be very proud of.  How good does my local Carrum beach look, I am so lucky to live where I do.

I have had a beautiful Canon Eos that was purchased before he passed away and I go through fads of using it.

Every day I find another reason to be thankful for all the things that I grew up with, my dad and his photography passion is today’s treasure.

Up Stretch

Focus: Core conditioning, strengthening the upper back and chest, and stretching the hamstrings and calves.

Precaution: Stop if you feel any lower-back, shoulder or wrist discomfort.

Pilates Week 2 - 2013 006

Sit back on your heels, with your knees and ankles slightly apart and your toes lifted underneath you so you are on the balls of your feet.  Lay your chest forward over your thighs, and stretch both arms out on the floor in front of your body, with the palms of your hands pressing firmly into the mat a little wider than your shoulders.

Inhale to prepare.

As you exhale, lift your pelvis in the air to form a pyramid with your body, pressing your heels down towards the floor and streching ot the back of your thighs and calves.

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Draw your shoulders down your back towards your hips.  There should be a straight line from you palms to your tailbone and then another straight line from your tailbone to the heels of your feet, like an upside down letter V or a pyramid.

Breathe in and hold this position.

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Keeping your heels as low as possible, breathe out as you transfer your body forward into a plank position, with one long line from the crown of your head to your heals.  You shoulders directly over your wrists.  To align your neck, visualise the heels of your palms as the base of the triangle and your eyeline as the pinnacle of that triangle.

Breathe in and hold this position, keeping your belly button drawn firmly towards your spine.

As you breathe out return the the pyramid position.

Repititions: Five