We love working hard in our Pilates sessions at Pilates Unlimited, but we also love to embrace stretching as this holds such strong relaxation properties. Today we want to introduce you to a varied version of the Pilates ‘Mermaid’. There is something really soothing and special about stretching the muscles in your body, especially in your torso.

Why Should I Stretch?

We hold so much tension in our bodies, especially during this time. But somehow this tension manifests itself in all kinds of ways. What if we could just focus on taking a time-out to allow our body to move freely and release? In my 20 years of teaching movement, I have come across individuals who are naturally flexible (which are the minority) and then those who really struggle with flexibility. The dilemma that we face when we are tighter than what we should be, is that our functional daily movements are restricted and the tension that we hold, transfers to all areas of the body affecting our mind, body, and soul.

During this lockdown, I took the opportunity to offer free RELAXATION BLISS classes. I wanted to help as many people as I could to just break away from the stress and feel an embodied state of release. It was the most valuable hour of the week for me and for those who attended these online relaxation classes.

stretch | Longevity LIVE

Photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash

I loved all the messages that I received afterward. These messages showed me that we really do need a bit of relaxation love in our lives. What if you had an hour a week that was dedicated to allowing your body to REALLY DE-STRESS? What if this had such a positive impact on your life that you realized that you could not live without it? I am an avid lover of movement, and I was absolutely loving the freedom that my body felt as if I allowed it to let go.

We always want to tone and get stronger, which is really important for our well-being, but what about the absolute release of our body?

Pilates and Stretching

Today’s video is a simple stretch that you can do at home. I would encourage you to do this stretch daily as we hold far too much tension in our torso. As you do this stretch, think of reaching as far as you can with your arms. Keep the movement slow. Think about opening the chest, thinking of wide movements and really feeling what this does for your body. Be present, embrace the stretch, and feel how the stress leaves your body with every repetition.

How many times should you do this routine?

This movement feels so good that I would encourage you to do 10 of these on each side. If it feels great, then do even more. If it feels uncomfortable, then you probably need it more than you know. If you feel restricted in your hips, then sit on a small cushion. Do the movements a little slower, and feel each breath. This is the Beauty of Pilates.

Guess what? I will be introducing you to some more yummy stretches that you can do at the office, at home, or even in the garden. If there is a floor then you can do it.

Please be aware if you have any spinal or shoulder injuries, you will need to get consent from your Health Care Professional in order to ensure that your safety comes first.

BREATHING TIP

Inhale as you reach your arm up and over, exhale as you rotate your spine down to your knee. You will see that you are always inhaling on the large movements where you open or stretch your torso. This allows all the muscles to pull away from the ribs, pelvis, and spine and it makes the stretch even more powerful.

Take a mind-body journey with Pilates. I would like to invite you to discover the movement differently. Take this time to be still, feel, and embrace what your body has to offer you. This week we will be looking at how you can release stress in the comfort of your home. There should be a minimal effort in this movement. It is all about creating BIG movements that are free, flowing with deep relaxing breathing. It is about letting go, being present, and sending all the held stress away from your body. The movement should be calm, the exercise should look effortless and the relaxation should be transferred throughout the body. As we embark on this Pilates journey, we will introduce you to both Pilates Mat and Pilates Equipment repertoire. Enjoy!

mm

Tanya Thompson

Tanya Thompson is the owner and founder of Pilates Unlimited. Tanya has been in the wellness industry since 1998. Her company has over 180 000 hours of experience in movement and rehabilitation. Pilates Unlimited has helped thousands of people achieve a holistic approach to health. Pilates Unlimited is blessed with clients that have been with them from the first day that they opened their doors. They are committed to offering a warm and inviting environment for all their clients in their beautiful studio. Tanya has also developed and presented specialized courses to assist health care professionals, Pilates instructors and personal trainers improve their patients or clients results through movement and exercise. Her company has launched a new product called Of-Courseonline.com, which is focused on post education for all movement professionals across the globe. Of-CourseOnline currently has members in South Africa, USA, UK, UAE, India, China, Australia, Namibia, Botswana, Switzerland and Belgium.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.