The turn of a new year always inspires reflection, change and consequently, resolutions. We’re doing the same at Personal Pilates by launching our own blog. We want to share with you, in writing, the happenings at the studio, our knowledge about the body, and anything else that comes up throughout the year that we know will benefit you!
Meet the Writer
My name is Carissa Ashly and I’m part of the team of instructors at Personal Pilates. If I haven’t trained you, I’m sure we’ve crossed paths at some point. I’m the millennial with perpetually messy and bright red hair. :) Part of what I absolutely love about teaching at this studio in particular, is the way in which each instructor here has a unique perspective and skill set to offer our clients. That being said, as the writer I hope to be transparent about my own subjectivity and do my best to share content that reflects all of us at the studio. Each post will be a little different.
Let’s Start by Breathing
As I racked my brain for what to write about in the first official blog post for Personal Pilates, I was overwhelmed by the inherent pressure. However, the idea came to me almost immediately as it seems to be the essential starting point: breath. I’m not talking about “inhale-through-your-nose-expand-your-ribcage-and-exhale-through-pursed-lips” breath. I’m just talking about breath.
As you read this, just start to notice your chest rise and fall. Don’t try to control it, just simply observe air flowing in an out of your body. This is the very first step to the change and growth you aspire in the new year. Yes, it’s that cheesy, and it’s that simple—and I promise you that after years of combined experience teaching Pilates, most instructors at Personal Pilates would agree. Here’s why:
It’s no coincidence that breath is the foundation for meditation, yoga, Pilates, many martial arts forms, and even something called HeartMath, which is basically a scientifically proven way to reduce the physical consequences of stress. Your breath grounds you. It connects you to the here and the now. Without that, you do not have a strong foundation for growth and change, whether it be physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. It’s simple, but it’s not always easy. Sometimes truly becoming present with where you are in a given moment is the most terrifying thing in the world. It’s easier to keep spinning your wheels in what’s familiar, set goals and promise to attain them by “getting your butt kicked” or starting the latest diet trend. By all means, come take class every day, or once a week, and by all means, eat well and nourish your body—but don’t punish it. Love it first, and I promise the results you seek will come much faster.
Our Challenge to You
This week, three times throughout each day pause and notice your breath. The best thing about this is you can literally do it anywhere, and no one even has to know you’re doing it. Feel your feet on the floor, notice the weight of your bones, and just feel your breath. This alone may bring up anxiety or judgement. Trust me, I speak from experience. When you wish for change in your body because you’re not happy with the way it looks or feels, the last thing you want to do is be “present” with it. Here’s where the work is. If that anxiety comes up, release it. And remind yourself that negative self-talk is not going to help you. Positive self-talk will. If the anxiety doesn’t come up for you, great! Now take this one step further and notice how your breath sits in your body. Is it encouraging stress or relaxation? Is is short or deep? Try to play a little with it and realize that your breath has physiological effects that can transform the way you feel. Play with it! Let us know how it goes. :)