If you have 5 minutes a day, you can do some life changing Pilates! Sure, a full hour workout 3 times a week is ideal, but Joe’s work is so powerful even 5, 10, or 15 minutes a day can make a difference! Mr. Pilates himself said “ Make up your mind that you will perform your Contrology exercises without fail. Amazingly enough you will subconsciously lengthen your trips from ten to twenty or more minutes before you even realize it!”
Here are some basic exercises that you can do if you’re like me and only ever seem to have minutes in your day:
The Hundred: This is the quintessential Pilates exercise. It’s a great warm-up. Gets the blood pumping, the breath moving, and puts you right in your powerhouse.
Start lying on your back. Bend your knees into your chest. Curl your upper body off the mat. Stretch your legs out 45 degrees and begin pumping your straight arms up and down. Inhale for 5 counts, exhale for 5 counts. 10 sets of this make 100. Keep your eyes focused on your abdominals pulling your powerhouse in and up the whole time.
The Roll-up: Pilates is all about stretch and strength. This exercise is the perfect marriage of the two. Always remember to keep pulling your abdominals in strongly even when you go for the stretch. Balance is key here.
After your hundred, extend your legs along the mat. Squeeze your legs together and dig your heels into the mat. Stretch your arms above your shoulders. Curl your chin to your chest and roll all the way up, reaching to your toes. Pull your powerhouse in and roll all the way back into the mat, articulating one vertebrae at a time. Do at least 5 reps.
While 5 minutes is definitely better than nothing it’s not a replacement for a full workout! Make sure to get in a full 55 minutes at least once a week. And, while mat work is a perfect practice for what you do in the studio- it’s not mat Pilates or machine Pilates. You need to get your butt on the equipment to get the full results. We can help. Get the full experience of the method at our boutique studio in NYC. Click here for details!
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I was recently in Los Angeles for the Thanksgiving holiday. For me, going home means many things, reconnecting with best friends, eating insane amounts of amazing Mexican food, sitting for HOURS in traffic to go two miles, and the beach (why did I ever move again?). However, the most exciting times are sessions with my Pilates mentor. I always forget what a fantastic teacher she is. She has the perfect balance of drill sergeant and nurturer while somehow emphasizing both technique and flow simultaneously. After our sessions I leave filled with new found strength, knowledge, and inspiration. On this trip, over lunch she continued to mentor me, “Lindsay, you know you can do anything you want to.” I smiled and maybe even blushed a bit, but wasn’t able to quite take it in. In my naïve youth I thought anything was possible, but now? Now that I know all I know about this cold cruel world could I still do anything I wanted, if I really wanted to?
Lately, I have been feeling like I’ve been stuck in this weird limbo -stage in my life. I’ve had a pretty successful life. Had my own Pilates studio, danced in major motion pictures and on Broadway, moved to NYC, but what’s next? What could I accomplish if I really wanted to and put all my power behind a single goal? Shouldn’t I be doing and knowing what that is already? I know from experience that the universe’s support follows affirmative action. If I can commit to following my dreams and be true to myself, I will be supported. Ambivalence is met with more ambivalence. But how do you sharpen your views and find your buried dreams?
In my experience as a Pilates instructor I have learned that the process of growing and becoming stronger comes with surrender, not control. I have to relinquish my control over doing everything right. I don’t know all the answers so I have to trust my instructor. Trust is not always an easy step, but it is a necessary one. The less I try to intellectualize my corrections and lessons, the more I learn. Period. Learning to play and enjoy the process- however uncomfortable it may be at first, is the key to my success.
Eventually I’ve let go of my type A personality and can feel my way through life. I do myself the favor of following what feels right, being a student of life, and allowing what is meant to come to come. Inspired, I show up to my sessions as I show up for life. With an open mind, a learner’s heart, and my mind set on working hard. With my ego in check my whole world opens up. I’m excited to see where this will lead me on and off the mat.