Pilates

6 Things In My Pilates Workout Bag.

You signed up for your first Pilates lesson, and you're wondering what to wear? That's a great question! Training Pilates on the apparatus will dictate some of your training clothes options. Also, how your body regulates while working out, and your comfort level will also help you make those decisions. 


As a Pilates student, I've changed what I prefer to train in over the years. When I first got into it, I thought Lululemon tights and Pilates were synonymous (LOL). As I've progressed in my own Pilates, I prefer to train in "booty" shorts and a sports bra simply because I like to feel my body connecting to the equipment without restriction. 


BUT, if being half-naked isn't your jam here are some suggestions as what to pack or not pack in you Pilates workout bag:


  1. Leave The Runners At Home.

    In some studios, rubberized toe socks are required, at Aligned Pilates, our students are encouraged to train with CLEAN, BARE FEET to connect with the apparatus.

  2. MC Hammer Wants His pants Back.

    Training Pilates in tights is not mandatory. However, form-fitted bottoms will ensure that our clothing will not get caught in the moving parts of the apparatus (If you don't get the MC HAMMER reference, CLICK HERE.)

  3. A Common Sense Top.

    Our limbs need to move without restriction in Pilates. Choices for tops may include; a t-shirt, tank top, sports bra, or even bare-chested for the men like Joe trained in the day.

  4. Pack The 70's Sweatband.

    Flow is vital in Pilates; a hair-tie or sweatband can eliminate the distraction of loose hair. Ideally, our muscles should obey our will, and that includes the temptation of a head and hair flick.

  5. Skip The Body Butter.

    We want to feel the equipment with our body and assist ourselves. There's nothing worse than trying to execute Tree on the Short Box with a cocoa-buttered creamed leg.

  6. A Good Attitude.

    Each training session will be a new experience so packing an attitude of willingness to explore a different way of moving your body is a good idea.

Well there you have it! 6 things to think about before going to your first Pilates lesson. And even if it's your one hundred thousandth lesson, I guarantee #6 is the only absolute you need to pack in your Pilates workout bag. 


If you haven't checked out our YouTube channel, hop on over to it HERE.



Keep moving,


Carmen

My Back Aches Even Though I Do Pilates!

Yes, it's true even my back feels pain as a teacher and practitioner of Pilates. When I can relate those achy feelings with students, their first response is, "but; you do Pilates, it shouldn't ache?"

At this, I get an opportunity to share how life is going for me. 

Things that will come up are quite similar to what they have or are currently experiencing. 

I have a backache because I'm teaching too much. Basically, I’m working too hard.

Many of my students can relate to this. Yes, our jobs require a certain amount of input, and when my back starts to complain, I know that I've pushed myself too far. 


Sometimes my back will ache because I’m a female.

I don't go sharing this with my male clients, but, certainly with my female clients. Our female body is unique as it ties into our center, and so yes, my backaches because I still have somewhat viable female organs and hormones.


My back will be achy because I pushed my body too far in training.

Really? Is this possible? Actually, yes, it is. What I train one day may not be appropriate for another day. So, what's the lesson learned? I need to be more observant and better yet patient with myself. 


My back will ache because I changed the bed sheets.

Even a mundane task can still set me off once in a while. Just because I do Pilates doesn't mean I'm infallible to a tweak here or there. 

So what's the solution? Well, if I do some reflection on my past day or week, I can usually figure out what to do next. 

  1. Schedule a more extended break time in between clients.

  2. Be aware of what's going on in my body, and provide it the rest it needs.

  3. Understand that not all Pilates exercises are necessary at any given time.

  4. Let my angel (Candy) help me with the bedsheets and among other housekeeping things.

If you haven't tried Pilates yet and you have a backache check out my YouTube Channel, where I offer tons of Pilates information that may help give you some relief. 

Keep moving,

Carmen 

Spring Into Action!

It's finally spring here in Edmonton! I see many people (myself included) out and about on the trails walking, hiking, running, and biking which feels so great after a long winter. With this short warm season, I also know there is the tendency (myself included) to go a bit overboard in our activities because let's face it, we don't know how long the nice weather will last! Sometimes this can lead to unnecessary injury and actually prevent us from enjoying what we set out to do. I thought I'd share with you what kind of action I take to stay injury-free so my body can thoroughly enjoy each day.

1. I take one private lesson a week with my Pilates teacher(s). This experience helps me to stay on top of my Pilates game and ensures that I will train wisely when I workout on my own.

2. I also participate in other movement modalities like walking or doing some gymnastic/yoga-like stuff. Sometimes I just need to mix it up! 

3. When I need a rest, I will rest. My body is not the only thing that gets tired. Sometimes my whole self just needs some downtime. Honoring the rest rather than pushing myself through another workout is a wiser choice in the long run.

4. When I do start up the summer activities I love such as walking, hiking, and riding my motorbike, I will work into it slowly so as to build up the stamina in the body over time. 

Remember that being injured sucks, so take it easy!

Enjoy the nice weather with meaningful movement experiences.

ox

Carmen

Paul, Pablo and I enjoying a springtime walk along the Red Deer River.

Paul, Pablo and I enjoying a springtime walk along the Red Deer River.

Patience Is A Virtue.

As a teacher of a particular physical fitness regime such as Pilates, I see many people come into it with a mindset that Pilates will be the “quick fix.” I have wonder what it is that gives someone this impression? We don't need to look to far! We live a society where quick, easy and minimal effort seems like the norm. 

Take social media for example. It presents us with this idea that to “look good” at something, one needs only a kick-butt social media campaign, savvy filter apps, and some cute slogan. Suddenly that person is at the top of the chart, looking like it. And that image that society is given is what I believe drives people to come to me and say they want to look like this, be like this, have a body like this. However, after ten sessions with pilates, a person will usually see that perhaps the learning of Pilates is going to take a bit more time. 

It takes a long time to change our body.  Let’s face it! Some of us want to change a body of 40 plus years. Well, news flash! We didn’t develop a sore back, a weakened core, and our body imbalances overnight! We don’t usually hire a trainer, seek out the physiotherapist, and visit the doctor’s office when we are on a body-winning streak. We have problems! And it’s going to take some time, probably a lot of time, to work through these problems. 

I believe the practice of Pilates will bring change and balance back into the body in time, but it does require both patience and time for that to happen. So the next time we want to be instantly good at something, we might want to consider how long it took us to get really bad or in need of a tune up in the first place. 

With practice and patience comes change. There are no quick “instant fixes’ for our bodies; otherwise, why would we even be given a body and mind to learn how to change. We’d be perfect, and I’d be out of a job. 

- Keep moving

Carmen Lanteigne.

My first teacher training program circa 2003

My first teacher training program circa 2003

In The Moment

The summer is coming to an end, and for a commitment to blog every month (my last one was on June 1st FYI),  I seem to have fallen short. Or did I? Instead I like to think that due to circumstances beyond my control, I was asked by the universe to take life one day at a time, let my days happen, blog or no blog. You see I have always been one to set lofty goals, have HUGE expectations or plan my life weeks, but I'm starting to learn (SLOWLY) that sometimes things must happen on their own and my best living is when I let life unfold naturally.

 

If it's one thing that Pilates is teaching me is that staying in the moment focused is where I will have the most success. Instead of having expectations or preconceived ideas of what my pilates is supposed to feel like, be like, look like, I will most likely gain the trust in the work of Joseph Pilates if I just let it be. The work is teaching me to take it easy, be in the moment and control what I can control -- like questioning "how is this good for my body right now." 

 

Indeed, I try to do my best at most of what life brings me, but I am learning that I don't need to have this all figured out, perfectly, in fact, it might be somewhat messy, and so might my Pilates. But with time and practice, I'll get things done just the way they're supposed to be. 

 

There is something magical that happens when one lives in the moment as if it all comes together perfectly. Here's a picture from my recent training in August at Vintage Pilates with my teacher Sandy Shimoda. I feel it captures myself being in the moment and knowing exactly how awesome this exercise is for my body.

 

    Photo credit Vintage Pilates

Life is good. Pilates is great!

Carmen Lanteigne