I put off writing my blog this week as I couldn’t decide what to write about, but today, finally the inspiration came. Its really useful to know what’s going on with our bodies, however it equally useful to notice what’s going on with your language in your mind and the thoughts you think in relation to your body.
For example, yes I did receive a diagnosis about my back of a moderate spinal stenosis (narrowing of the nerve root) and past prolapsed discs which is useful for me to know, as this means Pilates exercises wise, I know exactly which exercises do help me and also I know of many exercises that are best for me to avoid (such as the more advanced bending pilates exercises). I have shared this with you as I have written it in the past tense which helps me detach from this so that I can focus on what positive things I can constantly do to improve and help my back and entire body. You can too.
I said to a class today, it’s not necessarily about curing something in particular, it’s about doing the best exercises and Pilates for you and making the most of what you’ve got to have the best quality of life possible, and it isn’t always about doing things we used to love, but about enjoying and benefiting from the ones that you can. Once again with the gratitude coming in.
It’s really useful to look at what language you use in relation to past and present aches, pains, stiffness, past operations or stress and look at what you’re saying to yourself in your thoughts.
Of course clients have to fill out a health questionnaire in my private work and let me know all past injuries, aches and pains & let me know any of this prior to a session. I get countless clients saying things like:
‘I have a bad back’,
‘I have a weak back’
‘My back is vulnerable’
‘My back ‘goes’ two to three times a year.’
‘I have a delicate body & back’
Now I probably could write a whole book on this subject and how it can help you feel better and how it can build your confidence in your back, body and mind. Yes it’s useful as I said to have a diagnosis. Yes it’s useful to know what’s weak and needs more work in Pilates.
For example my left leg, buttock, feet and toes did become weaker on the left side of my body due to sciatica, nerve pain and the muscles not working as efficiently on this side. However I use this information to my advantage by practicing more on this side to gradually help build up more strength on this side of my body. So for example I will do a few extra repetitions on this side to help build up more strength. Mentally this helps build confidence that I’m doing something about it. It makes a difference but by bit, day by day.
Practice really is key.
Do you practice your Pilates exercises inbetween your classes or one to ones? This can make such a difference. Treat yourself
Do you incorporate your Pilates into your daily lifestyle?
For example, you can think about how you sit, stand, walk, move and get out of bed in the morning.
Have you ever set an alarm when you’re on the computer and done a few neck stretches and gone for a little walk and made a cup of tea, then we’ll done!
A few shoulder circles and a little 30 second neck stretch can really make a difference. We aren’t designed to just be stuck in one position.
Something that’s really great about going to regular pilates classes or one to ones is that you really can confidently start to change your language and what you’re saying to yourself about your back and body in general. If you’re saying you’re delicate or vulnerable then more than likely things will continue to be delicate and problematical, if things keep re-curring and you keep pulling muscles as you sneeze and cough then you really might want to think about doing more for yourself than you’re doing at the moment. Your body is literally screaming, look after me more. Often it’s about simply doing that little bit more for you & luckily that’s a really enjoyable thing.
When you’re doing your back exercises, you might like to say to yourself:
‘my back muscles are getting stronger’
When you’re doing a core stability exercise, you might say to yourself:
My core stability is improving
When you achieve a whole hours class or 5 minute practice at home, say to yourself:
‘Well done, I’ve strengthened and toned my whole body. My posture has improved, my alignment has improved, I’ve stretched and feel better, I feel happier and am able to relax more easily.’
In 2015 I created some positive affirmation cards for children called Happy Kids Cards ®. At that time I’d become very ill as half my vocal cords had paralysed and I’d experienced a large growth on my thyroid, fatigue & feeling low had crept in.
luckily I healed after several months off work and I’d created something amazing for both children, families, schools, Pilates clients and my little family (I’m a completely single parent to my 13 year old son, yet we still use the cards most days). They really encourage both children and adults to pick one of the 52 cards and think about what it means to you, talk about it and absorb it’s positivity and allow your language, thoughts and happiness to naturally improve. (ideal during the good, challenging and sad times of life). They are positive & worth a try!!
Once better, I taught quite a lot of Pilates in primary schools combining positive affirmations in the actual exercises. Children loved it. I naturally incorporate this into my classes for adults in a subtle but powerful way, you might like to also incorporate this into your lifestyle too. A Pilates class for most people is just one hour a week. There are 23 other hours in a day and another 6 days in a week, so you might like to treat yourself to some regular daily practice and relaxation (even 5 minutes is amazing) plus watch your language in relation to your body, keep remembering that practice makes improvement.
Be kind to you.
Here’s one of the messages from the happy kids cards that you too can apply to your daily life. Have posted the affirmation below to help you say it to yourself during the week to help you improve your posture
Really hope this weeks blog helps you in some way. Comment if it does help or inspire you in any way that would be lovely.
Love from Bev
Pilates to feel good