Here we are already into February when it feels as if the year has just begun especially with the schools only just going back. We also have our two long weekends one after another which I hope you all enjoy so a couple of short weeks too. With the weather the way it is, summer feels pretty endless up here and makes it hard to get back into a routine. Some of you will only just be making your way back to class so if you are returning after a long break, please work a little more carefully till your body is back into its Pilates rhythm.
As you all know, Jie is on maternity leave and will be until at least Easter which has resulted in me taking over most of her work but that is about to change as we have been lucky enough to have a new instructor come to work with us.
Mia has moved from Muriwai to the north and brings a lot of Pilates experience with her including teaching in Finland where her son and grandson live. It will be great to have her as part of our team now and she will gradually take over some of Jie's old classes that I have been teaching since Jie went on leave. This will be very helpful as I am away for a week at the start of March and it will mean minimal class disruption.
I have been trawling through some of the research into Pilates so you don't have to (!!) What follows is just a tiny bit of the research that has been done, there are pages of it so I will continue searching for more and share it over the year in these newsletters. What there is, is all very positive.
Pilates has been shown to improve low back pain and help to straighten out curvature of the spine. It improves spinal flexibility.
It improves both static and dynamic balance and increases endurance. Activation of the power house increases the contraction of other muscles and this is one way it helps improve strength. In cases of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, it helps maintain function and reduce the pain associated with these conditions.
The American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends Pilates to improve strength and flexibility so they also endorse the benefits of Pilates.
As I always say when quoting research is that Pilates is practiced at least twice a week over a long period to gain the benefits shown in the studies. It needs to be done more than once a week. If you can't do more than one class a week, a little homework is good. We have the class exercise sheets or can suggest a few of the exercises to do at home.
Mindfulness and centreing are two of the principles of Pilates and we should pay attention to these as we get into back into classes and be very aware of how our bodies feel. If an exercise feels wrong, uncomfortable or downright painful, please stop and alert us straight away so we can modify it for you.