By Yvette Marcek
Pilates: An Approach to Movement
I have a well seasoned client at the age of 63 who has a great sense of humour and an attitude to match. Over the last few years he’s gone through two knee replacements. He travels the world and travels around Toronto, either walking, cycling, or on the TTC, and keeps further active and well, with some moderate strength training at the gym. He’s far from being pain free, but you can’t keep him still. He says to me, “listen Yvette, motion is lotion.” This gentleman’s daughter is a professional dancer – this is her mantra, and the mantra of all her dance friends. What’s your ‘lotion’? Pilates is one of my favourite ‘lotions’, because that’s what it feels like. Am I right Pilates fans?
Physical movement is vital for our wellbeing: not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally. Maybe you’re already hitting the gym, an avid runner, doing yoga, playing a sport, running after your kids, dancing, walking, cycling, or taking care of your household. Or maybe you used to be active, and you’d desperately love to get some activity back into your life. Or maybe you haven’t ever done much physical activity in the past, but you are ready to give it a try. Whatever stage you’re at, Pilates has a place. Yes, even if you have no history of physical activity. The main goal is just to get moving because Pilates has many modifications that are adapted to each person’s ability.
Pilates is more than a series of exercises. It’s an exercise practice and an approach to movement. It isn’t meant to be the only thing you do, rather a foundation to do everything else better, from sitting to the flying trapeze. The exercises have various therapeutic targets. For example muscle activation, joint mobilization, stabilizing challenges, sequencing, coordination and endurance objectives. The main purpose of Pilates is to restore optimal function to the body by focusing on the core stabilizers which provide support to your body’s center. This is your source of power, balance and movement. The ultimate goal is then to integrate core strength with flexible limbs and joints, not only on the mat, but transferring into your day to day life. With your increased body awareness, you will gain a better understanding of how your body moves and shakes, fostering a sense of connection with your body, and nurturing your mind/body relationship, so you can consciously move throughout the day with better overall support for your precious body. As Joseph Pilates says, “it’s the mind itself which shapes the body.” Instead of being an exercise regime that you simply follow along, it’s an intelligent way to exercise and it is great lotion for motion.
Yvette Marcek is a Registered Massage Therapist, Pilates Practitioner and Reiki Practitioner; she often incorporates each of these modalities with her clients. Recognizing that each person who comes in the treatment room has unique requirements and goals, her priority is to create a therapeutic environment that is safe, healing, and positive.
Despite viewing laughter as the best form of medicine, Yvette sees the healing of massage therapy and touch as an international language, spoken without barriers and greatly benefiting anyone. She is particularly passionate about increasing body awareness, believing that consciousness of our physical body and the world around us is an integral part of maintaining our health and happiness.
You can email Yvette for more info on her Pilates classes, Reiki or her RMT practice here