‘No pain no gain’ is the old adage when it comes to fitness right?
If you are someone who has been injured at gym or has gone too hard at yoga or sustained injury doing pilates (it happens) you will know that pain (and pushing hard through it) is not always the best way towards ‘gain’. So read on to find out about how pleasure can transform your experience of exercise.
The trouble is there are so many ways the idea ‘no pain no gain’ can be misused. There are plenty of situations where pain when working your body gets you no gain at all! When your alignment is out and you are not using the right muscles for the job, or you load your weights to heavy and your neck gets involved. Or when your usual posture means that you strengthen the same muscles and neglect the same muscles so that exercise re-enforces the imbalances.
So what can be the role of pleasure in ‘gain’?
When you can find pleasure in moving your body you can truly bring your attention to the movement. When your full attention is in your moving body you can, with the help of a good teacher, feel where the correct alignment is or might be and work towards it.
When you find your alignment you can feel the muscles working in balance with each other. There is an EFFORTLESSNESS that comes from this deep bodily awareness finding alignment. It is available to every body no matter your fitness level from beginner to elite athlete as long as you have a teacher who can help you find it.
This is why I teach Pilates. To help people find their body awareness, to reach for alignment and find pleasure in moving. Don’t think you won’t work hard, you will. And that work will be connected to your breath and your powerhouse (deep abdominals), it will use the bones to switch on the muscles in balance and that is where effortless movement is. And the more Pilates you do, the more effortless movement becomes part of your everyday.
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