I’ve lived in my body my entire life. I know it well. Yet, I am continuing to discover knew things about my body through my Pilates practice. That might sound odd that I am still learning about my body. As a Pilates instructor, I am in tune and aware of my body so how could I not know me?
I think the answer is simple. We are all always evolving, growing and discovering. Or we should be! I recently had the opportunity to do a weekend of training with Cara Reeser studying Kathy Grant’s foundation elements. As we worked through these small building block movements, I discovered new things about my body. I’ve known my hip flexors can be tighter but did not realize just how much this was impacting me. I did not realize my tight hip flexors were what was making it so difficult for me to extend through my low spine. My tight hip flexors were the root of my roll-down difficulties! My tight hip flexors were causing my on-and-off low back issues. In the two weeks since this discovery, I have practiced a self-prescribed set of exercises regularly and eliminated my low back issues! I’ve also significantly improved my hip flexors and my roll-down is coming along. I still have work to go but I’m thrilled to have an answer and such early success.
I’ve seen a chiropractor periodically for several years as well as a physical therapist a few times and neither of these two men made that connection either! I was told I had a weak core and needed to work my core. As a Pilates Instructor, that’s a hard pill to swallow and one that seemed at odds with the work I was regularly doing and my body. Without another answer, however, I continued to work my core in hopes of mastering the roll down and keeping my back in check. I more than likely worked to make my hip flexors even tighter following their misguidance! I continued to have intermittent sore low back and on-and-off issues with my running plus my roll down never improved much to my dismay.
Today I ran in a 10K race with very limited training. I anticipated I would have an achy back or unhappy hamstrings during or after the race … and I did not. I truly believe the work, I have been doing these past two weeks on my hip flexors was the key all along! That is the beauty of Pilates! Simple, small controlled movements have balanced my body and relieved my issues in a short period of time.
Next time I have an ache or issue, I’m turing to Pilates first!