In our last blog on breathing, we touched upon how in this day and age most of us are normally in a slight state of over-arousal, which can influence the way we breathe. Well, it also influences the way we move.
Everyone seems to be in a rush these days. We could mention the example of rushing to a lunchtime meditation class, only to leave ten minutes early to make it back to a meeting. It seems a bit ironic that we are often stressed or in a rush to ‘fit in’ relaxation time.
Why such a rush?
We have observed this more often than not through our experience participating and instructing different disciplines of movement/exercise that a majority of people are ‘rushing through’ the session. A lot of this stems from the common thought that ‘more’ is ‘better’. But another side of this is that many of us find it difficult to slow down (both physically and mentally).
- If you don’t practice it, how do you get better at it?
- If you are not into the whole ‘mind-body connection’ way of thinking, you can view it as a form of ‘sport specific training’.
- If you only train sprinting you get better at sprinting you do not necessarily get better at endurance or vice versa (in fact you could argue the more you specialize the less well rounded you become).
Therefore if you are constantly moving quickly you get good at moving quickly. It can often be hard to ‘slow down’ and ‘control’ your movement.
Control is the key
At The Body Refinery, we believe the great benefit of Pilates is improving our control over our bodies. As physiotherapists and Pilates Instructors, the focus on slowing down and the controlling of movement are often to avoid injury. In general, we injure ourselves when we ‘lose control’ of our bodies (outside factors often influence this loss of control). However, control is not just important to avoid injury it also improves your performance.
Don’t get us wrong, we are not against fast or quick moving exercise, we are against poorly performed fast exercises. Putting intensity over technique. In order to progress, you do need to challenge yourself, push past that comfort point. But there is a difference between consciously pushing the boundary versus carelessly running off the edge of a cliff. You need to slow down enough to see the edge.
Some tips for slowing down:
- Remember it is not a race. More is not necessarily better
- Use your breath to guide your movements not vice versa
- Be aware of what you are doing
With practice and experience, you will develop your awareness of your body’s limits and therefore be able to constantly push that edge. You will be able to push harder with less risk of injury and get more out of each session.
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