Postural Muscles Need Endurance

Our mid and upper back muscles play a major role in maintaining our upper body posture. Because these muscles work all day everyday, they need not only strength, but endurance.   Endurance is the ability of a muscle to extract oxygen from the blood and transform it into muscle energy. The faster a muscle can create energy, the longer it can sustain a contraction. Postural muscles hold us upright for hours at a time! 

A great exercize for strengthening and creating postural endurance in our upper back is The Sphinx.

Lay belly down on a mat, propped up on your elbows.  Widen your collarbones and press your elbows into the mat simultaneously. Hold for up to two minutes. You should feel the muscles across your back from shoulder blade to shoulder blade. Start slow and work your way up to two minutes.

Creating challenging personalized Pilates workouts since 1997.

Please contact me at  719-442-2265      

710 S. Tejon St. Colo. Spgs. CO    80905


A Pilates Paradox

It is through the precision of the breath that you will find the harmony of flowing movement.

 

To explore this concept, please contact me.

Pilates with Suzanne 710 S. Tejon St.  Colo, Spgs. CO  80903

719-442-2265   www.pilateswithsuzanne.net

Exploring the possibilities of Pilates since 1997.


Pilates Reformer Classes Strike a Balance

Balance, with all it’s different meanings, is a key component of a well-designed Pilates Reformer class.

We start a Pilates class with balancing, or centering, our body on the Reformer carriage, held in the parallel environment between the stable shoulder stops and the fixed footbar. As we begin with the foot and leg work, our structural imbalances may show up. Often one leg straightens before the other, or we notice one knee doesn’t straighten completely. Timing is a wonderful indicator of balance.  Sometimes I just point out the imbalance to a client, and without even thinking about it, their body immediately balances their position or the effort of the exercise. Our bodies love balance!  Most often, the physical pain we experience in our bodies comes from our joints, and since muscles move the bones, joint misalignment is often the result of  an imbalance in the muscles that move the joint.  Balancing, or centering, the position of a joint is critical to it’s health, along with balancing the strength and flexibility of the muscles that move the joint. The image of the bodybuilder who cant reach to tie his shoes is a good example of the need for balanced strength and flexibility.

In my Pilates Reformer classes, I create balanced, full body workouts that begin with a spinal warm up, followed by working major muscle groups including legs, hips, core, back, and shoulders. Full body integration exercises bring it all together and help carry the method into daily activities. We finish with exercises to bring awareness and balance to standing posture. No muscle fiber left behind! Clients leave feeling taller, lighter and energized.

Please send your questions and comments to

Pilates with Suzanne 710 S. Tejon St. Colorado Springs CO  80903

719-442-2265 www.pilateswithsuzanne.net

Creating Balanced Pilates Reformer classes since 1997!


Pilates Requires and Develops Awareness

From the first glance at the equipment, Pilates gets your attention.  With the first breath, we are asked to ‘check in’ and feel what your body is communicating. This is awareness. Heightened receptivity. Attuned and listening. Often people are surprised at the level of  ‘mind’  involved in this ‘mind~body’ work.  Attention, awareness, concentration, and focus are all mental qualities. As you learn to move your anatomy correctly, the mental effort equals the physical effort! We’re asked to maintain awareness of our entire body while fine tuning our muscles to execute the movement pattern correctly. In the beginning, maintaining generalized awareness and focused concentration is exhausting! Clients often comment on how exhausted they feel relative to the work they performed, and how the hour flew by. The physical benefits of the Pilates method alone can change your life. Combined with the mental practice, the results include increased self-confidence, mind~body harmony, and a calming sense of well-being. 

Please leave a comment!

Pilates with Suzanne  710 S. Tejon St. Colo. Spgs. CO 80903 719-442-2265

www.pilateswithsuzanne.net


The Anatomy of Pilates Breathing

Breathing is the foundation of Pilates exercises. Joe Pilates said, “Above all, learn to breathe correctly.” That statement is even more relevant in today’s sitting society. When we’re sitting, it’s more difficult to get a full, diaphragm-expanding inhale. This leads to and encourages shallow chest breathing. Deep, full breaths cleanse and rejuvenate our bodies, power our movements, and is the pathway to relaxing the mind and calming the spirit.

The main muscle of breathing is the diaphragm. This double-domed muscle lines the lower half of the inside of the ribcage. Like an umbrella, the muscle fibers radiate down all around from a round, flat central tendon, to the lower edges of the ribs.

With normal, relaxed breathing, as we inhale, we contract the diaphragm to lift and expand the ribs like an umbrella opening, and as we relax the diaphragm, the umbrella closes, helping to push the breath up and out of the lungs. The transverse abdominis muscle meets the diaphragm all along the edges of our ribs, connecting one side of the ribcage to the other. With a forced or complete exhalation, the diaphragm and the transverse abdominis work together to empty the lungs completely. This complete exhale creates a ‘springing open’ effect on the lungs, diaphragm and ribs, creating a more full inhalation.

I’d love to hear your comments, or answer any questions you may have!

Pilates with Suzanne  710 S. Tejon St. Colorado Springs, CO  719-442-2265 www.pilateswithsuzanne.net


Happy 2013!

Happy New Year! Thank you for visiting the new PWS website! I hope you find it easy to read and navigate, as well as informative.

I want to start off this new year and new blogging endeavor with a huge “Thank You!” to all my clients for your patience through 2012 as I found, remodeled and moved the studio, followed by developing a new logo and website. Your understanding, wisdom and advice were priceless!

I’d like to acknowledge a few very special clients who gave of their professional skills.  Architect Susan Kossa looked at more than one studio space before agreeing that this space was perfect.  Archtectural Interior Designer Patrick Eastlake assured me that the equipment would fit with ample elbow room.  Artist Kimberly Brown drew the endanced infinity symbol for the logo, and longtime client/friend Pat Pehler made my dreams come true with the Garden of the Gods photoshoot.

One of the best decisions I made last year was to work with my client Patrice Rhoades-Baum, whose business is Branding and Websites for ‘Solo’prenuers, like me! Through a series of interviews she helped me hone in on what it is exactly that I want to offer my clients. Together we came up with the tagline “Get results. Get back to Life!”, which is proving to be more and more perfect everyday. Patrice then wrote the text for the website pages, held my hand and gave me great advice while the web designers at Lauren Graphics developed the website. Priceless!!

One more special “Thank You!!” to all the clients who so generously gave of their time to be the models for the website photos. You all worked with such focus, precision and control to produce the stunning photos showing the strength and grace that is Pilates. I am deeply humbled by your efforts, and  forever grateful for the results.

Malia A, Carol BG, Dale B, Deb BC, Ed B, Ginny B, Kathy B, Mary B, AnnaMarie C, Jenna C, Jessica C, Virginia C, Adelia F, Jody L, Noell M, Victoria N, Pat P, Patrice RB, Steve R, Claire S and Tanya W.

With the work of 2012 behind us, I’m excited to turn my full focus back to the art and challenge of teaching Pilates. Let’s all enjoy a healthy 2013!