Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Play it up

I know it's been awhile since my last posting, but that is because I have been living the topic of this post. I've been out enjoying the summer and playing as much as possible. Riding my bike, camping out in nature, hiking, swimming in the lake, rowing a boat, jumping in mud, and basically acting like a kid.

Working out can be serious business, but I think we can all get so much more out of our movement if we release the idea of "working out" and take on the inspiration of playing within our bodies. Sometimes we work so hard that we actually have the opposite effect of the movement we are looking for in our bodies. When I was first learning Pilates I would try so hard to "lift up out of the crown of my head" that my eyebrows would constantly lift, causing me to wrinkle my forehead, which may cause me to invest in botox. I was working so hard to do the correct movement that I actually created more tension in my body through not only my face, but my shoulders and neck. What I really need to do was release and play within the movement to achieve a much more authentic movement.

In Pilates no other exercise describes this better than "Rolling Like a Ball". The movement must be playful, fluid, elegant and soft while maintaining a rounded, stable shape. If you work too hard, the ball with flop and bounce. It needs to move playfully on the breath like an evenly balanced scale or a beach ball blowing in the wind effortlessly. While Pilates is about elements like Precision and Control, more and more in our society we need to encourage exploration, release, and childlike curiosity to truly find the depth and beauty of the movement. So stop being so serious and get out there and play a little, you may discover your inner child still lies within just waiting to come out and play.

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