So check out this video of my 2 year-old playing at my studio on the foot corrector.
What does this teach us about the way we move?
Well, first of all, Joseph Pilates did study babies' spines and thought we needed to regain the flexibility we had at birth. I think we've all marveled at a child's ability to squat, jump, and move with relative ease. But did you notice how much your child moves throughout the entire day? As I write this, my 5 year-old son is drawing, but as I typed this sentence, he squatted to pick up some markers, walked over to me to ask a question, and is standing up to draw. I've only been sitting since I've started this post. We need to incorporate more movement into our everyday lives.
My daughter used her intuition to explore the Foot Corrector. I didn't tell her how to place her foot, but she placed it squarely under her hip. I didn't tell her to bounce, but the spring gave her that motion and she went with it. She barely bends her knees to bounce - just enough to get the motion going, and then she controls the movement from her center. Her shoulders don't hike as she holds the Cadillac in front of her. We need to listen to our bodes to help us inform how to move. What I love about Pilates is how I feel when I leave - I always feel better. Therefore, do more Pilates. Is your run hurting your knees? Change how you run. It's a short movement poem with one line: Listen.
Kids naturally do interval training. My son at the park will run there, climb, then take a break and do some imagination play, then grab his scooter, take a break and collect some leaves for "spider stew." Nobody told him about the latest HIIT research. His body just knows about taking a rest so he has the energy for quick bursts when he needs it. This is something else I Iove about Pilates. I actually think there is a lot of Interval training built in. Work the tempo on your Footwork and Hundred, then slow down a bit for Short Spine to really get a stretch. How about slow, thoughtful Roll Backs followed with high energy, accented Single Leg Circles to really scoop? Push and pull your tempo, just like you push and pull your springs.
It's been said before, but are we teaching our children or are they teaching us?
And, um, yes, and if you must know, that is mud all over her pants from playing at the park, and now that she's two, she dresses herself, so yes, her shirt is on backwards. But that's the way she likes it, thank you very much.
What if what scares you becomes the best thing ever?
So my son came home the other day and told me that the monkey bars are "dumb." In five-year-old kid speak, that translates as "hard." So I've been encouraging him, when we're at the park, to try them different ways -- with me spotting him, supporting his body, pointing out the finder details of other kids' technique...
Ah, the joys of having a parent that studies movement...
And here's what I've learned - the monkey bars are hard. Really hard. And a total core workout. And kinda, um, scary.
I could see fear thoughts when they would drift into my son's brain because it changed how he moved -- more cautious, less sure. So finally, I asked him, "What are you scared of"
"Ok, so do it."
So my son let go after he hung for awhile, and he landed on two feet, looked up at me, smiled, and said, "That was fun! I'm going to do that again! I'm going to be an expert faller!"
So what is the scariest thing for you right now? Snake on Reformer? Candlestick on Cadillac? Signing up for an Introductory Series? Registering for a Pilates training?
It may be just the thing that you are best at, the most fun you'll ever have.
Just. Let. Go.