The time is here when we can describe STL as: grey, cold, windy, snowy….”A-Chew!” And of course the flu. Click here for common symptoms. After the chills and sniffles have ebbed away, when exactly should you come back to your Pilates practice? How soon? Do you stay home under the blankets with your cup of crushed garlic and warm milk (apparently that was a thing!), because you are afraid of the Oov and what may transpire?
I have already discussed the importance of consistency in Pilates here and here. Getting back is key, and how do you do that while bouncing back from sickness? If you exclusively do privates, that’s easy. You tell your empathetic instructor you are getting over the sniffles and together you have a therapeutic session reviving you; sending you further on your path of being on the mend.
But, what if you only come to class? A couple of options:
A: You schedule a private with your empathetic instructor of choice to help get you over the hump.
B: You visit a level of class that would be considered lower than your normal intensity.
But, why? In Joseph Pilates words:
I kind of chuckle when I read that, he didn’t beat around the bush did he! Okay, that may be a bit harsh but he was onto something. He was a Respiratory Therapist before he invented Pilates. He knew a thing or two about the importance of breath and how revitalizing and detoxifying it can be. When you are sick with any respiratory illness, I wouldn’t necessarily suggest your lungs are being lazy. But, they are sick and need recuperation and a return to health.
How can you find that in Pilates? When you visit a lower level of intensity, you are able to concentrate on the elements of movement with a more graduated mindset. And breath is a key element to every exercise.
For example, when you first started on the Tower and you did a Roll Up with the bar in your hands you may have been distracted with thoughts of:
“I hope this thing doesn’t fall on me! Roll UP?!??! I just got down here!”
Even though the instructor was probably saying cues along the lines of:
“Bring your shoulder blades off the mat, breath into the back of your lungs. Open your ribs into a 3 dimensional space to invite breath into the lowest lobe of your lungs. Now exhale deeply and come up one vertebrae at a time.”
No, you probably don’t remember any of that. I remember swearing coming out of few mouths, but I won’t name who….I digress….
But, when you visit a different class, you have the muscle memory of all the consistent work you have done at higher intensity and you can apply all of that knowledge to then get deeper into the therapeutic and mending qualities of Pilates.
Also, as you are recuperating, a Beginner Class will have much more assistance with the spring load. This too will assist you to be able to bounce back to your normal speed of fitness and of life. In a beginner class the extra assistance is typically there in case the abdominal tone is not there. Now when you visit, your abdominal tone is intact so you can then use that assistance to slow down and find that 3D space and expansion of the lungs and ribcage, and deep breathing.
This is just one example with one movement. I could go on and on.
The essence is that Pilates is a great workout yet it can also be exceptional therapy.
See you in the studio,