Pilates is a method and a process that compounds in your mind and body overtime. When Joseph Pilates created his method he believed that in “10 sessions you’ll feel different, in 20 sessions you will look different and in 30 sessions you will have a whole new body.” People often forget that last part which says you have to do it four times a week! But, as we know practice simply makes habit. And, Pilates is more than choreography. It’s truly the ability to connect and maintain that connection as you move. So, how do you reach in Pilates?
First, we have to discuss what it means to “reach.” As you read this you can take your arms overhead and try to reach as much as you can. What will probably happen is that your shoulders come into your ears, you are reaching but you are completely disconnected. But, what if you drew your shoulders onto your back. This will feel as if your shoulders are drawing down your back. But, just as you can reach too far up you can also reach too far down.
There is a sweet spot, a goldilocks spot so to speak. Where your arms are connected to your back and you can still reach your arms in all the various directions.
And, now that you have felt a glimmer of this connection we can talk about the reach from this spot.
When you reach from your back it’s much lower than where our minds-eye picutures it. As you reach up with your arms if you maintain this connection there is a lift in your back, a space that is created. Your reach with connection literally helps you get longer. Isn’t that so cool?
You can also reach from your lower half. Your seat is quite a powerful peach. Just like you can overreach with your arms you can also over reach from your seat. Connecting to your seat is not the same as cracking a walnut. Instead, it’s the activation that as you reach away you create length in your back.
Get both reach’s going and you are literally moving in two directions at once. AKA the 2 way stretch that my teacher Jay Grimes like to talk about.
But, while you can read this and get an idea of the reach. It’s a whole other thing to embody it. This I cannot teach you through a blog. It’s something that you will have to experience in person or online in a private session or on one of my retreats.
The upcoming Maui Pilates Retreat workshops will focus on both of these reaches. So, if you’re ready to feel your reach and lay on the beach you should pack your bags and join me for a little Aloha!
Until then, which reach is easier for you to connect to?