If you’re squeamish about growing old, listen up. Joe (Mr. Pilates to you), lived and died by his method. He was convinced that the further we got away from our primitive selves (squatting, hunting, gathering, and well, moving), the further we moved from our health. He used his exercises like medicine and prescribed “common sense remedies for common sense ills”. It’s no shock that Pilates was ahead of his time both in thinking and innovation so it’s a wonder everyone isn’t doing Pilates. Simply put, Pilates keeps you young. Strength and flexibility, coordination (both muscularly and mentally), improved posture, balance and core strength, improved bone density, and joint health – not to mention it’ll make you look damn good. Joseph said it best, “ You are only as old as your spine. If your spine is inflexibly stiff at 30, you are old; if it is completely flexible at 60, you are young!!!” How young are you?
Ok, so now we’re gonna get a little technical here (try not to snooze on me). This is important stuff, the place where you see the light because when you know better you do better. Right? Think about your spine for a moment. It’s the thing that’s holding you up, yo. You have 24 articulating vertebrae and 9 fused that make up your sacrum (the triangle area above your bootie crack) and your tailbone. In between the ones that move, are intervertebral disks, yes the ones that can slip or herniate. This whole show houses your spinal cord which routes all the nerves of your body from your brain and brain stem. If you don’t keep your spine aligned, free moving, and roomy you can experience pain and/or organ disfunction, since your spinal cord sends signals from your mother board of a brain. Simply put, this shit is important so if you neglect your backbone you’ll be sorry. So, what’s a gal to do?
By now you may be thinking, “This is bad news,” or “I’m screwed,” or maybe even “making space in my spine is impossible.” I assure you my friend, it isn’t. We’ll start at the bottom, of your spine and of this process. Pilates, there’s that guy again, said “It’s the mind that builds the body”. With a little faith and lots of conviction envision your spine like a column of french macaroons (deee-licious). The muscles of your abs, back, and sides form a corset around this pillar. You’ll want to wrap those muscles firmly around your macaroons (mine are salted caramel flavored) and lift. That’s right, physically and mentally elevate those cookies so as not to create crumbs and waste those expensive patisseries. While you may not see or feel tangible results immediately, with patience and persistence I promise you’ll see results. Even Joe says so, “Patience and persistence are vital qualities in the ultimate successful accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavor.”
So, let’s begin. Pick your favorite Pilates exercise, such as the neck-pull on the mat, Teaser on the Reformer, or Rolling Back on the Cadillac. Anywhere you do Pilates (and even the places where you don’t, like standing on the subway platform) lift those Macaroons like your life depended on it, because like my mentor Shari Berkowitz says, “it does.” If you don’t know any Pilates moves or have no idea where to begin we are here to help. If you’re in NYC come and visit our lovely little studio and we’ll show you how it’s done. If you’re in some far away land, check out our YouTube channel for free video workouts, and if you want help finding an instructor near you we’re happy to help with that too. Pilates is not just body changing but also life changing. Now let’s live life like we have the spine of a 20 year old!
Interested in keeping your spine healthy and young with Pilates? Live in NYC? Visit our USQ studio and see how one of our amazing instructors can get you moving free and fine! Don’t live in the city? We have videos and audio workouts you can do out home. Check them out here.