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SPARKLINGME176's Photo SPARKLINGME176 Posts: 3,139
11/20/14 2:03 P

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Days are zooming! & so am I! I'm finding it is SO important to do my plan EVERYDAY, or it will go undone, in the blink of an eye! Do you find it that way, too? emoticon

My new motto: (AS OF 1-23-2014)
"I AM SUCCESSFUL IN EVERYTHING I DO!"
"My religion is kindness; my church is nature; my God is a feeling, lives deep inside; my job is to be conscious; my path is forgivness; my religion is kindness and I practice it everyday"!
Song & lyrics by Karen Drucker


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10/10/14 10:42 P

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Wow! No one has posted in here in a while! I hope everyone is doing well! I'm having a great week! My classes (Pilates and dance) are going really well and I got to speak at a community event this week about my Pilates classes! Yay!

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7/25/14 8:34 P

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I'm doing good and am having a great day.

co-leader of the 30 somethings sparkers team


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6/30/14 11:31 P

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Your workouts are absolutely fantastic.

Did you happen to get a copy of the index for this team? This is the last day I can issue SparkGoodies and I really need to know who was at the top of the two categories. Please let me know.

Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness. --Jean de la Bruyere


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TINIERTINA's Photo TINIERTINA Posts: 4,988
6/30/14 11:17 P

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Glad to finally be back here ... whew! It's been awhile ...

I devised, after seven (7) months, my own classical pilates sequence for a comprehensive mp3 yoga sequence I'd devised (in several modules), that would dovetail with the yoga and the cardio belly dance as I saw fit; interchangeable with either (not sure about if it fits with another workout I do frequently--cardio bhangra bellydance--though) ...This is a 13-minute tough "express" sequence ... maybe a little too tough for a morning ... heh heh ...

I audio-mp3-recorded it into my Olympus VN702-PC, that has lain fallow for most of this time ... putting it to excellent use ... I have to upload the file to iTunes ...

So, what I did tonight:

48 minutes cardio belly dance fusion and

13 minutes classical pilates ...

my midsection is a little tingly right now ...



Lesser artists borrow, great artists steal.

- Igor Stravinsky

Find a way.

--Diana Nyad

(Said after swimming from Cuba to Key West without fins or shark cages)

My blog is at tiniertina.wordpress.com/ (topics vary; words are the most important things)

Now 103 pounds less than at age 24–w/o surgery!
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6/21/14 11:17 P

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Pilates Tendon Stretch Exercise Adapted for Bed

Bring your heels together and push your heels away as you stretch your toes toward your head for three seconds. Then point the toes away from you.
Repeat nine more times.

Pilates Double Leg Stretch Exercise Adapted for Bed
Bring both knees into your chest and hold onto your ankles, stretching your lower back. Hold the position for ten long, deep breaths -- pulling in the abdomen on the exhale to massage the inner digestive organs and to release the gas from the intestines.

Bettie

Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness. --Jean de la Bruyere


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6/18/14 4:18 P

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Did you think Pilates was only for the young?

~Alycea

Here's my break down through the decades.

In your Teens and Twenties:

For athletic and fit young adults Pilates is the solution that helps the active young person remain strong and symmetrical in activities that wreak havoc on a healthy body. During these formative years, the body develops asymmetries through poor habits, over training, a sedentary life or bad bio-mechanics. Pilates keeps young people safe from the onslaught of things that might go wrong and acts as a preventative measure.

In Your Thirties and Forties:

For our heaviest labor years, Pilates makes the biggest impact. These are the decades we bear children or sit at a desk for months or beat up our bodies via continual neglect. Enter Pilates which offers the ideal maintenance program and trains the core of the body to hold our posture strong. It also teaches us to move our bodies safely, to work out in a challenging but safe way and begins to address issues that might become much larger physical problems if left unattended. Just ask the professional athletes that call Pilates their go-to training regimen.

Fifties and Sixties:

During our fifties and sixties, gravity begins to rear its ugly head on our bodies. Our discs compress, our muscles can begin to waste and we become more prone to illness and injury. Beyond serving as a preventative measure, Pilates can also be therapeutic and rehabilitative. Joseph Pilates actually called his system "corrective exercise". Beyond all those benefits, Pilates helps us enjoy movement again, connect to our bodies and, (one of my favorite benefits) improve concentration and focus.

Seventies Plus

Training effects occur across all decades of life. Taking up Pilates in your seventies is completely reasonable. Pilates sessions maintain muscle tone as well as bone density and balance and also improve breathing. These are all key issues as we age.

I don't know many forms of exercise that are truly sustainable through each decade of life. No matter your state of fitness or ability, there is a safe form of Pilates for every one.

~Alycea

Real Pilates, NYC

www.realpilatesnyc.com

Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness. --Jean de la Bruyere


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6/17/14 7:22 A

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Thank you for the 'fyi.' I was out when you posted. I don't see the link for the to "Pilates By Karen Videos." I am looking forward to joining with someone that has many of the same plan for the future with Pilates.

Bettie

Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness. --Jean de la Bruyere


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5/25/14 3:10 P

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FYI - I've started another thread title "Pilates By Karen Videos" that has my videos. Rather than posting them all at once, I'm trying to post one each Sunday. Last week's didn't get there until a few days later. There are currently three up, but I'll be adding more in the future.

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4/23/14 7:47 A

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Thanks for these links. I can use them now. Couldn't for a bit until an injury healed.

Life needs balance


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3/6/14 10:36 P

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I didn't realize that I hadn't posted a video in a while. Here's this weekend's video:

youtu.be/s38CK7ZBQ8k

Is anyone still watching these?

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2/13/14 11:40 P

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Video time again!

youtu.be/IJAlYlpqUGM

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2/6/14 10:40 P

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Here's another video:

youtu.be/HfNI9j7NoOw

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1/30/14 11:53 P

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Here's another video:

youtu.be/pE0hXUkGBLY

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SUSANLYNN51's Photo SUSANLYNN51 Posts: 215
1/26/14 9:49 A

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Thank you for posting the video clips. Definitely worth watching.

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1/24/14 12:27 A

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I'm glad you enjoyed it ECCOVISION1! And I hope you are feeling better!

Here's another video:
youtu.be/6tF9vb6Xi7w

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1/19/14 11:05 P

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Thank you Karen for the great workout!
I had a fun time doing it but I was unable to do the full workout because I am recovering from a cold.

I did learn a great deal from it....I never knew about rolling like a ball without touching the legs. ...I also realized that I forget to flex my legs when I do the side kicks.....

This will help me improve my Pilates!

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1/17/14 12:54 A

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Here's another weekend video:
youtu.be/THL0FveYM50

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1/9/14 11:08 P

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You're welcome, ECCOVISION1!

Here's this weekend's video:
youtu.be/pzsULzLLKLI

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12/31/13 9:41 A

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Happy New year!

I want to thank Bettie and the team members for this forum!
I also want to thank Karen for the videos!

Edited by: ECCOVISION1 at: 1/2/2014 (23:41)
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12/12/13 11:27 P

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You guys are so kind. I'm glad you are enjoying the videos. I'm sorry I didn't post one last week. Things have very busy in my life lately. But hopefully, things are slowing down for a little bit.

Here's this week's video: youtu.be/1HdyKhIDNcA
It will be available until Sunday evening.

Also, check out my facebook page: www.facebook.com/PilatesByKaren

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12/4/13 4:19 A

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I also enjoy the practices that Karen provide. It helps me to get in the mood and physically to start my Pilates practice.

Bettie

Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness. --Jean de la Bruyere


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12/3/13 7:02 P

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Thank you Karen for the great videos. I really enjoy them. I especially like the one that combines Pilates with cardio and the stability ball.

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12/2/13 6:08 A

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emoticon GETTINGFIT4HIM to the chat area. We look forward to your comments, advice, and questions. How long have you been doing Pilates? Do you have any questions about beginner to advance Pilates practices?

We look forward to hearing from you.

Bettie

Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness. --Jean de la Bruyere


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11/30/13 3:38 A

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Hi everyone. New to the chat thread. I've taken a glimpse of the posts and see I need to check this out way more often than I have been! It's truly a wealth of information and advise, etc. Hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving!

Gettingfit4him aka Judy in Nor CA, PST
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Biggest Loser Emerald Winter Warm Up Challenge
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So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV)




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11/29/13 7:01 P

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Here's another video that will be available until Sunday evening.

youtu.be/f2oD1o5jbcM

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11/22/13 12:34 A

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Here's another video: youtu.be/E_KOjT1b0ME

It will be available until Sunday. I hope you enjoy it!

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11/16/13 7:36 P

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Excellent, as usual. Thank you

Bettie

Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness. --Jean de la Bruyere


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11/16/13 12:59 A

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Here's this weekend's video: youtu.be/9UIVQ07ryII

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11/10/13 4:32 P

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It has taken a lot of practice. I've just gotten really good at covering up when I'm out of breath.

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11/8/13 6:16 A

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I am amazed at how you can keep your breath even while exercising. I still can't stay with you when it comes to doing 40 or more minutes of exercise. Thank you. emoticon

Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness. --Jean de la Bruyere


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11/7/13 10:34 P

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Here's a new video: youtu.be/yKFVVWbs-Rs

This one's a beginning mat class. It will be available until Sunday evening. I hope you enjoy it!

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11/4/13 6:13 A

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I missed the last one---but I plan to be in attendance for all future ones.

Bettie

Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness. --Jean de la Bruyere


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11/1/13 11:34 P

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Here is a Cardio Pilates video: youtu.be/KyxZal2cT7s
I hope you enjoy it! It will be available until Sunday.

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10/24/13 10:16 P

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Here another video that will be available until Sunday. This one is an interval workout. Enjoy!

youtu.be/ueBGty7F2Ro

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10/17/13 11:59 P

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Here's another video: youtu.be/OQGiKp5EZPk
I hope you enjoy it! And remember, it will become unavailable Sunday night.

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10/16/13 5:33 P

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I'm glad you enjoyed it Bettie! I'll get another one up tomorrow.

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10/12/13 4:34 A

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That is an excellent video. I can not manage the balls yet, but you gave me a great deal of ideas. I did get to see the first one you put out which was on breathing. I look forward to more introductions/recommendations.

Bettie

Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness. --Jean de la Bruyere


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10/10/13 11:52 P

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Here's the link for this weekend's video: youtu.be/6mezEYe4eHg

I hope you enjoy it! Remember it will only be available until Sunday evening.

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10/9/13 5:16 P

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It means I have it uploaded, but that you can't view it because in the settings, I've set it to private, which means only I can see it. I make a video available on Thursday night and then set it to private again on Sunday. I do this because my boss doesn't enjoy people being able to get my class for free when they should be coming to take my class. I know you Pilates Lovers aren't able to come to my classes, but I do have students who come regularly who utilize the videos on the weekends when I'm not teaching. I'll get another video available this weekend. Sorry you missed last weekend's video, Bettie.

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10/7/13 12:38 A

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What does it mean when YouTube says "Sorry this video is private. I missed you this past weekend but I will be looking for your next weekend.

Bettie

Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness. --Jean de la Bruyere


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10/4/13 11:49 P

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Hi everyone! My name is Karen and I'm a Pilates instructor. I've video-taped a few of my classes for my students to do on the weekends, when I'm not teaching class. Since I post them on the facebook page each weekend, I thought it wouldn't be too hard to share with you guys here. Please note that my videos will ONLY be available for the weekend when they are posted. Usually I post on Thursday evening, but I forgot this week. And I take it down on Sunday evening. If you would like to check out my facebook page, visit facebook.com/PilatesByKaren .

This weekend's video is youtu.be/EJiQBry7EV8 .

I hope you enjoy it! It's a cardio Pilates workout, which means we do a short warm-up. I pick 8 exercises (generally, beg./int. level) and go over them slowly. Then we see how many times we can go through the sequence without stopping.

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9/30/13 2:49 P

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SP has created two new rewards in their Spark Points section, near the bottom:

Complete Daily Tasks for the 30-Day Skinny Jeans Challenge--
Complete Daily Tasks for the 30-Day Fit Food Challenge--

You can sign up to get daily reminders...from Progresso

Bettie

Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness. --Jean de la Bruyere


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9/23/13 2:52 A

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Who are some of the notables that are doing Pilates?

Reese Witherspoon
Megan Fox
Cameron Diaz
Mandy MooreLiv
TylerKate HudsonKate Winslet
Sandra Bullock
Amanda Seyfried
Vanessa Williams
Anna Faris
Chelsea Handler
Anna Paquin
Ashley Greene
Hlary Duff


Just to name a few...

Bettie

Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness. --Jean de la Bruyere


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9/16/13 1:14 P

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DID YOU HAVE TO ROLL OVER FOR YOUR FINAL GRADE IN GRADE SCHOOL?

Tips for Doing Pilates Exercise, the Roll Over

By Marguerite Ogle, About.com Guide

Pilates exercise, roll over, is not as famous for giving people trouble as the roll up is, but roll over is a difficult, and somewhat complicated, exercise. When all the parts of roll over come together it is a wonderful coordination of stretch, spinal articulation, balance, abdominal control, and breath. The tips below will help you experience the roll over as the strong, flowing exercise it can be.

Warm Up
Roll over is the third exercise in the classical Pilates exercise sequence. However, you have to make sure that you are warmed up enough to do it. Roll over follows the hundred which will warm your core, and the roll up will start articulating the spine, but doing a good warm up ahead of time will help a lot. Wall roll down, supported roll back, and cat cow are good choices.

Modify
You might choose to modify roll over by using the deepening of the lower abs to lift the hips slightly and roll them down. You can do this exercise with your knees slightly bent if that is more comfortable. You can also put a folded towel or low pillow under your hips to give yourself a little boost until you build strength. To curl and unfurl the pelvis.

Use Your Abdominal Muscles
It's tempting to use momentum from your legs to get the hips up and over in roll over, but that's not what the exercise is about. A deepening the scoop of the abdominal muscles makes the move work. Double leg lower/lift is a good exercise for prepping the lower abs for roll over as well.

Use Shoulder Stability
This is a big key to roll over: stabilize the shoulders. Here we are focusing on abdominal strength and the stretch along the back and hamstrings, but what saves the day is keeping the chest open, the shoulders firmly on the mat, and the backs of the arms and palms of the hands pressed firmly to the floor. If you haven't done roll over with this concept working for you, start now. You can even think of pressing the arms and hands down and away from you at the same time with your neck reaching long in the other direction.
Learn more about shoulder stability
Using the Backs of the Arms in Pilates

Articulate the Spine
There are 26 vertebrae in your back. In roll over you are going to flow through each one of them on the way up, and lay each one down, one by one, on the way down. Sometimes roll over makes people nervous so they heave over and plunk down, but you can take the time to to find the opening and lengthening of the spine that is possible. That means that there will be a softening curve of the chest supported by your powerhouse as you roll up and down. Don't get flustered by being upside down. The roll over works with skills you get from many mat exercises like chest lift, the hundred, roll up, spine stretch and more - it's just reversed.

Stay Withing Your Frame
It is tempting to get a little sloppy what with the potential for momentum and all that rolling and unrolling, but do control your form as you do roll over. When the legs open they only open shoulder width apart. When you roll over, your hips go no further than over your shoulders. Do not roll onto your neck under any circumstances. Thank you.

Breath, Rhythm and Flow - Use Your Pilates Principles
All Pilates exercises are informed by the Pilates principles, but some just have to have all of them working together to work at all. Roll over is one of those moves. If you can get your breath working for you it will lead you into a coordination, rhythm and flow in the exercise that will make it make sense on a deeper level.

Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness. --Jean de la Bruyere


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This is an easy (there really are no easy Pilates practices) practice that can be worked up to on the ball. You do not have to start on the ball. You can start on the mat.

Bettie
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How To Do Knee Folds on the Exercise Ball

By Marguerite Ogle, About.com Guide


Knee folds is a fundamental Pilates exercise which is usually done lying on the back with the knees bent. Whether you do knee folds on the mat or on the exercise ball, the focus is on abdominal control, and on learning to move each leg freely in the hip socket while keeping a stable pelvis. Taking the exercise onto the ball just adds a little more stability challenge for the abs, and it's fun.

Look to knee folds to train the abdominals to stabilize the back and pelvis as we move in everyday life.

Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 2 minutes

Here's How:

Sit on your exercise ball with your feet flat on the floor.

Check your posture: Sit up tall with your shoulders directly over your hips. Your legs and feet are parallel, about hip distance apart.

You will do this exercise in neutral spine. That means that though your abs are pulled in, the natural curves of your spine are still present and your sit bones are pointing straight down to the floor. It is tempting to roll the ball under a bit to make the back flat, but don't let that happen.

Relax your shoulders and allow your chest to be open. Let your shoulder blades slide down your back and place your hands on the ball as shown. One can also extend the arms out from the shoulders, parallel to the floor.

Make sure your abs are pulled in and your spine is in neutral as you lightly lift one foot off the floor.

When you make this move, the idea is to keep the rest of the body absolutely still (not hard as a rock, just still).

Place your foot back on the floor -- lightly, with control.

Do the same exercise with the other leg.

Repeat the exercise 5 times for each side, alternating legs.

Tips:

If you have difficulties with balance or back problems, do knee folds on the mat.

What You Need

An Exercise Ball (aka fitness ball, stability ball, Pilates ball)

Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness. --Jean de la Bruyere


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Self-Esteem Boosters

Studies have shown that panic disorder sufferers are better equipped to cope with their symptoms when they have improved their self-esteem. Having a healthy amount of self-esteem can help a person with panic disorder accept their condition and more readily work towards recovery. Here you will find 4 tips to help you boost your self-esteem and deal with your panic disorder symptoms.

By Katharina Star, Ph.D., About.com Guide
Improve Your Self-Esteem

Self-esteem refers to the way we think and feel about ourselves. Good self-esteem involves having a personal attitude of self-respect, love and acceptance. To have high self-esteem means that you are able to celebrate your strengths, accept and work on your weakness, and believe in your capacity to achieve. Research has shown that high self-esteem boosts success and satisfaction. People with high self-esteem rely on themselves to find personal happiness and fulfillment.

On the other hand, people with low self-esteem often dislike themselves and look toward external stimuli to find gratification. Low self-esteem has been found to contribute to numerous physical health issues and mental health conditions, including panic disorder, depression, headaches, and substance abuse.

Follow these 4 tips and begin boosting your self-esteem:

1. Pay Attention to Your Negative Self-Talk
Self-talk refers to that inner voice or worldview that makes up your personal attitude and outlook about yourself. People who are coping with panic disorder often experience critical self-talk. For example, you may tell yourself that your symptoms make you appear “weak” or “neurotic.” This negative inner dialogue and labeling can develop into faulty thinking patterns, known as cognitive distortions.

To begin to overcome your negative thinking patterns, start monitoring your self-talk. Notice if you are always seeing the glass as half empty, magnifying your weakness, and filtering out your strengths. Once you have noticed your negative self-talk, try reframing your thoughts. Instead of jumping to conclusions and assuming the worst in every situation, try replacing these thoughts with more pleasant ones. Practice telling yourself more positive points, such as “It is going to be OK" or "I have a handle on my anxiety."

Affirmations can be used to reframe and defeat negative self-talk. To get affirmations to work for you, begin by recognizing your self-criticism. Next, try to engage in a relaxation technique, so that you are feeling less stressed and more receptive to hearing positive thoughts. Then affirm a more positive message to yourself. Some affirmations my include: “I am smart, strong, and capable,” “I deserve success and happiness,” or “I am smart, kind, and talented.” Additionally, it may be helpful to write affirmations down on sticky tabs and keep them in places, such as your mirror, car, or office. That way they can serve as gentle reminders to work on your self-esteem.

2. Practice Self-Care

Self-care practices are all those activities that we engage in to improve our overall sense of wellbeing. Self-care strategies work toward improving the many aspects that make up who we are, including our physical, relational, mental, spiritual, and emotional health.
Addressing your self-care needs is a great way to start building your self-esteem. You may already be engaging in some of these positive activities, such as regularly exercising, participating in a social group, or addressing self-care strategies for panic disorder. Try to build on the practices you already engage in and slowly work toward increasing you self-care.

3. Get Support

People who suffer from low self-esteem are often magnets for other negative people. People who don’t know their own worth may even put up with relationships that are hurtful and destructive. To enhance your self-esteem, try to surround yourself with supportive friends and family. Healthy relationships make you feel cared for and accepted by others.

To improve your self-esteem, also consider building a support network for panic disorder. Your support team can be made up of mental health professionals who treat panic disorder, understanding family and friends, and others who are dealing with similar experiences. Surrounding yourself with positive and supportive people can be a key element in boosting your self-esteem.

4. Assist Others

It is natural to focus on our own struggles and problems. However, at times, it can be beneficial to use that energy to help others in need. Through assisting others, you may find that you are able to get your mind on other thoughts, build your self-esteem, and help improve the lives of others. Helping others can be accomplished in many different ways. For example, you may consider helping an elderly neighbor out by simply checking in with them from time-to-time or perhaps volunteering through a local organization feels best for you.

You can also assist others by teaching them what you know. Everyone has some knowledge or skill that they can teach to others. For instance, you may have a knack for cooking, gardening, or other passion that you can share with your loved ones. Sharing your skills or teaching others helps you witness your talents and boost your self-esteem.


Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness. --Jean de la Bruyere


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8/12/13 9:02 A

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Unwrap the Ordinary

Holiness comes wrapped in the ordinary. There are burning bushes all around you. Every tree is full of angels. Hidden beauty is waiting in every crumb. Life wants to lead you from crumb to angels, but this can happen only if you are willing to unwrap the ordinary by staying with it long enough to harvest its treasure............................Macrin
a Wiederkehr/in a Tree Full of Angels
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Spend a weekend afternoon on a treasure hunt for the sacred in your experiences of the past week. Where did holiness shine through?

Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness. --Jean de la Bruyere


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8/10/13 7:27 A

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Six Pilates Principles
Centering, Concentration, Control,
Precision, Breath, and Flow

For many, these six principles are the foundation of the Pilates approach to exercise. Their application to the Pilates method of exercise is part of what makes it unique in the fitness world.
It is important to note that Joseph Pilates did not directly set out the Pilates principles. They are concepts distilled from Joseph Pilates' work by later instructors. Because of this, there is not always agreement in the Pilates community about the order of the principles, the specific words used for certain concepts, or the number of principles. Nevertheless, you will find some version of the Pilates principles--similar to what I present here--to be part of almost any Pilates training program you pursue.

Joseph Pilates originally called his work "contrology." He considered this to be a body/mind/spirit approach to movement founded on the integrative effect of principles such as centering, concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow. Whether one is working out on a mat or using Pilates equipment, like the reformer or cadillac, these basic principles infuse each exercise with intention and fullness of expression:

1. Centering: Physically bringing the focus to the center of the body, the powerhouse area between the lower ribs and pubic bone. Energetically, Pilates exercises are sourced from center.

2. Concentration: If one brings full attention to the exercise and does it with full commitment, maximum value will be obtained from each movement.

3. Control: Every Pilates exercise is done with complete muscular control. No body part is left to its own devices.

4. Precision: In Pilates, awareness is sustained throughout each movement. There is an appropriate placement, alignment relative to other body parts, and trajectory for each part of the body.

5. Breath: Joseph Pilates emphasized using a very full breath in his exercises. He advocated thinking of the lungs as a bellows -- using them strongly to pump the air fully in and out of the body. Most Pilates exercises coordinate with the breath, and using the breath properly is an integral part of Pilates exercise.
Learn more: Breathing in Pilates

6. Flow: Pilates exercise is done in a flowing manner. Fluidity, grace, and ease are goals applied to all exercises. The energy of an exercise connects all body parts and flows through the body in an even way. Pilates equipment, like the reformer, are very good mirrors of one's flow and concentration as they tend to bang around and suddenly become quite "machine-like" if one loses ones control and flow.

The Pilates principles may sound a bit abstract, but the integration of these principles accounts for the balance, grace, and ease that one can experience as a result of practicing Pilates.

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Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness. --Jean de la Bruyere


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The Joys of Learning Pilates at Home
5 Benefits of Pilates Home Workouts
This article is about the benefits of Pilates home workouts, but it is not about encouraging anyone to go it alone without in-person instruction. Pilates classes, and the help of a Pilates instructor are invaluable. However, there is something very special about working out alone. It can improve your Pilates practice immensely. Here are some reasons to get inspired about Pilates at home:
1. A Good Environment for Self Awareness
Pilates is a body/mind fitness method. As such, an inner attentiveness is integral to the practice. In Pilates class a lot of attention has to be focused on the instructor, a less familiar environment, and being part of a class. At home, you have the opportunity to truly focus your attention 100 percent on what you are doing and how it feels. This is the perfect set-up for discovering deeper levels of Pilates movement within yourself - making the exercises even more effective.
2. You Can Take Your Time
There is a lot to be said for moving through a workout at a steady pace. But sometimes that means we skip the parts we're not good at or don't understand. You can take advantage of being on your own time to get clear on things you need to work on. Experiment with an exercises that haven't been working for you. Try to figure out for yourself what they are supposed to do, and they might not be working. Many discoveries can be made this way that will take your practice to the next level.
Home practice is also a great time to indulge yourself in studying the written exercise instructions online and in books, and to watch and re-watch portions of DVDs and videos.
3. Nobody is Watching
Have you ever had an instructor correct you even before got a chance to find out what a certain exercise is? Annoying, isn't it? Well, we need our instructor's x-ray vision (a quality that never ceases to amaze me), but sometimes, we also need the freedom to look a little goofy before we get something right.
At home, nobody is going to nit-pick your movement, no other students are casting side-long glances at what you're up to, and no teacher in training is taking notes on the sidelines. Home is your chance to work up to your edge, and maybe even push past it without worrying about looking silly! Don't try anything dangerous (as in advanced moves if you are a beginner), but what the heck, do go for your next level.
4. You Can Embody Your Pilates Practice
Embody: to make or include as part of a united whole (Websters Dictionary).
Sometimes, going to Pilates class is like a little slice out of life; then we go on about our daily lives hoping the effects will last. But when you take your Pilates home you weave it into a more personal part of the fabric of your life. That can make a huge difference in how you see yourself as a Pilates student. It's like claiming Pilates as your own and allowing yourself to fill out your practice from the inside -- an empowering and strengthening move I guarantee will increase your fitness.
5. You Get Consistant Pilates Workouts
If you get used to working out on your own, you won't be dependent on anyone else for your fitness practice to stay on track and progress.
A very nice Pilates schedule is two classes a week supplemented by one or two home workouts. But if your budget isn't up for frequent Pilates classes, or the studio is closed on holidays, or you travel a lot none of that will throw you off if you're comfortable with practicing Pilates on your own.



Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness. --Jean de la Bruyere


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8/9/13 11:31 A

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What is Meditation?

Deepak Defines Meditation – Everyone thinks that the purpose of meditation is to handle stress, to tune out, to get away from it all. While that's partially true, the real purpose of meditation is actually to tune in, not to get away from it all, but to get in touch with it all. Not to just de-stress, but to find that peace within, the peace that spiritual traditions talk about that passes all understanding. So, meditation is a way to get in the space between your thoughts. You have a thought here, a thought here, and there's little space between every thought.

According to wisdom traditions, this space between the thought is the window, is the corridor, is the vortex to the infinite mind – the mystery that some people call the spirit or God. We don't have to use those terms, but it's your core consciousness. And the more we learn about this space between thoughts, we find certain things to be true of it:

It's a field of infinite possibilities – infinite possibilities, pure potentiality.
Everything is connected to everything else.
It's a space of infinite creativity, infinite imagination.
It is a place where there is something called observer effect, or the power of intention, which means intention is very powerful when brought to this space and it orchestrates its own fulfillment – what people call the law of attraction – so those are wonderful qualities of your own spirit.

In meditation, we get into this space so we find ourselves infinite possibilities, infinite correlation, infinite creativity, infinite imagination, and infinite power of intention. That's what meditation is really about.
Where to Meditate

Since these are guided meditations, you can plug in, close your eyes, and go within in any safe place you choose where you will not be disturbed.
When to Meditate

Morning and evening coincide with our body's quieter rhythms. Our body knows how to be still; we just have to give it opportunity. Studies show that routines begun in the morning last the longest, but any time you look forward to meditating is the right time.
Body Position

Being comfortable is most important. It is preferable to sit up straight on the floor or on a chair to help cultivate alertness, but if you are ill or need to lie down, that is fine. The mind has been conditioned to sleep when the body is lying down so you may feel sleepier. Your hands can relax on your lap, palms up or any way that you feel most open.
Thoughts

Thoughts will inevitably drift in and dance around your mind, but that's normal. Don't try to do anything with them – let them be. If you find yourself thinking about what's passing through your mind, just return to focusing your awareness on the mantra or your breath – you will soon slip into the space between thoughts.
Breath

When we pay attention to our breath, we are in the present moment. In an unforced, natural rhythm, allow your breath to flow in and out, easily and effortlessly.
Meditation Length

The effects of meditation are cumulative, and setting aside as little as 15 minutes a day to retreat and rejuvenate is beneficial. Many schools of meditation prescribe 30 minutes of meditation twice a day, and as your meditation practice evolves, you can extend your time. It's better to spend just a few minutes meditating every day rather than meditating for an hour a week.
The Five Things That Can Happen During Meditation

During meditation, five things can happen:

We can experience thoughts.
We can mentally repeat the mantra.
We can have thoughts and repeat the mantra at the same time. If this happens to you, place greater attention on the mantra.
Our thoughts and the mantra can cancel each other out, and we can slip into that place of stillness between our thoughts, the "gap."
We can fall asleep. If you fall asleep, when you awaken and if time permits, allow yourself about five or ten minutes to complete your meditation.



Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness. --Jean de la Bruyere


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8/9/13 10:51 A

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So how important is the roll up and what does it mean about your Pilates practice if you can't do one? Here's my opinion and I welcome yours: I say it's not that important, and whether you can do roll up or not doesn't mean your Pilates practice isn't good.

To me, Pilates is about each person working with their own body. Some bodies take to certain exercises better than others. Of course we develop flexibility, strength, and skills and the performance of our exercises always improves; but some remain more challenging than others. Those exercises are often our great teachers, but they are not the sum of our Pilates experience.

Let's take roll up for example. It is a great articulation through the core. It works the abdominal muscles very deeply. It makes you work with your breath. It makes you differentiate your abs from your hip flexors. It's got a coordination element as well as a stretch element. It's a fabulous exercise for some people. But roll up has some complexity of sequencing that doesn't always come together easily for certain people, maybe you.

Even if you can't do the full version of an exercise, you want to look into what it has to teach you. In roll up, for example, they are much of what Pilates is about -- the core strength, the use of the powerhouse, the ability to sequence, the breath, the flow, the spinal articulation etc... but if those are not coming together just so for you to do a roll up, it's OK. Pilates has hundreds of exercises that help you develop those skills and benefits. It doesn't necessarily mean you are not benefiting from your Pilates practice.

To me, the real ways to evaluate Pilates training are more along these lines: Am I improving? Am I more flexible and strong than I was or would be without this? Is my posture better and is my core supporting my spine? Is my practice helping me develop my body uniformly and do I feel a greater integration of body, mind, and spirit because of it? I've written and read lots of lists of the benefits of Pilates and I have never seen anyone put the ability to do a full roll up on one.

Of course we don't want to be complacent about our practice. If roll up is a challenge for you, you might want to continue to work on it and learn from it. For many people there is a sudden Ah Ha and up they roll on up. I'm just saying that no one exercise defines Pilates, your ability to do it, or even your expertise in it. It's certainly not worth letting roll up difficulties overshadow the rest of your practice or make you think you have somehow missed the boat on Pilates training.

Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness. --Jean de la Bruyere


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7/23/13 6:56 A

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The White House, Washington

Hi, everyone --

If you want tangible evidence of the way that the new health care law is already helping ordinary people, it's worth having a conversation with one of the 8.5 million Americans who received rebates from their insurance companies this summer. Just ask the folks who got checks in the mail.

Because of the Affordable Care Act, insurers are required to spend at least 80 percent of premium dollars on medical care, instead of overhead like salaries or advertising. And if an insurance company doesn't meet that standard, it has to provide a rebate to its customers.

It's a really big deal, and we want to make sure everyone understands how it works.

Here's a graphic that breaks things down. Will you share it to help answer questions in your community?

Check out this graphic about health care rebates.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/share/health-c
are-rebate

Thanks!
Tara

Tara McGuinness
Senior Communications Advisor
The White House
@HealthCareTara
Visit WhiteHouse.gov

Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness. --Jean de la Bruyere


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7/22/13 11:47 P

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Evaluate Your Pilates Training

6 Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Pilates Workouts

To enjoy the full benefits of Pilates training, you need to know what the signs of a genuine Pilates workout are. Beyond the exercises, there are qualities to Pilates training that that set Pilates apart from other types of exercise. Below are five questions you can ask yourself about the classes you take or the workouts you do at home, just to be sure you are on track to getting all that Pilates has to offer.

Are You Achieving Your Goals?
I put this question first because it needs to be asked about any workout, Pilates or not. Sometimes we get in an exercise rut and literally forget to evaluate whether or not what we are doing is meeting the goals that inspired us to work out in the first place. Particularly in the case of Pilates, you want to stay on top of this issue because Pilates changes bodies and it should do so fairly quickly.
You might be familiar with this quote from Joseph Pilates: "In 10 sessions you will feel the difference, in 20 you will see the difference and in 30 you will have a whole new body" (consistent sessions, of course). You can hold your Pilates training accountable to that.

Is Your Body Developing Uniformly?
The uniform development of muscles and the body form in general is one of the hallmarks of Pilates training. To develop a uniform musculature, which is most attractive and functional, your workouts need to be full-body workouts. They can't just be about certain body areas. For example, the abdominal muscles have become an obsession in our culture and Pilates certainly is top-of-the-line abdominal exercise; but abdominal work done out of context with a fully integrated approach to body development is not Pilates and will never produce the kind of efficient, graceful, movement that balanced Pilates training will.
The other side of looking at the uniform development of the body is that sometimes certain areas are underdeveloped and do need extra attention. In this case, it may be wise to add body area focused exercises to an overall routine. This is still different than doing a routine that is entirely skewed toward a certain area of the body, which can ultimately lead to debilitating imbalances.

Is Your Pilates Training Based On the Pilates Principles?
The Pilates Principles take Pilates workouts out of the realm of general exercise and into the realm of body/mind/spirit integration which is one of the goals of Pilates as described by Joseph Pilates himself. The Pilates principles are centering, concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow.

These principles were distilled from Joseph Pilates' teaching, and there is some variation on the theme within Pilates, but generally speaking, these six principles are inherent in Joseph Pilates method and should inform every Pilates workout. If you do not at least sense an underlying foundation of these principles in the classes you take, you might be doing exercise, but you are not doing Pilates.

Are You Breathing Fully?
Yes, breathing is one of the Pilates principles above, but learning to breathe well is so essential to Pilates workouts that we need to examine its role in our workouts separately. Joseph Pilates is known to have said: "Above all else, learn to breathe...". Yet some Pilates classes gloss over the breathing part of Pilates workouts. They may say "inhale do this, exhale do that" but is there really an appreciation for the power of the breath -- the way it pumps the circulation of the blood and lymph and oxygenates every cell? That's what we need from our breathing.
More about Breathing in Pilates Exercise.

Are You Doing Spinal Articulations?
Attention to a flexible spine cannot be overlooked in evaluating Pilates workouts. The benefits of Pilates for the back muscles and spine do not come only because Pilates exercises develop core strength thereby stabilizing the spine -- often cited as the primary way Pilates helps with back pain. Keeping the spine flexible is a top priority as well. The many rolling and spinal articulation exercises are somewhat unique to Pilates. They are intended to stimulate the spine and increase flexibility. If your Pilates workouts don't include a lot of spinal articulations you are missing out on some of the great benefits of Pilates exercise.

Examples of articulations and rolling: roll up, roll over, rolling like a ball

Rolling is not always recommended for those with spine or neck issues, but some level of articulation, even if it's just a small extension, can always be part of a workout and should be a hallmark of Pilates for those who have healthy backs.

Does Your Workout Leave You Feeling Good?
Pilates is not just exercise. It is a program of fitness meant to enhance your body, mind, and spirit. Your workouts should leave you feeling good, and better able to accomplish not only the physical the tasks of daily life but also to take joy in living -- in working with a clear mind, in rest and relaxation, and in play which Joseph Pilates defined in his book Return to Life Through Contrology as "every possible form of PLEASURABLE LIVING."
Daily Life Benefits of Pilates
Better Sleep with Pilates

Of course there is much more to Pilates than this but if your workout don't measure up to the possibilities introduced here, please be encouraged to look for training that allows you to experience the full potential of Pilates.


Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness. --Jean de la Bruyere


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7/22/13 3:49 P

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trivia

1. What was the name of the magazine that John F. Kennedy Jr. co-founded?

2. Dr. Bruce Banner is the alter ego of what character?

3. What is the highest number on a standard roulette wheel?

4. Who was on the first cover of Rolling Stone Magazine?

5. How many people have walked on the moon?

6. How many spikes are on the Statue of Liberty's crown?

7. Which fast food chain used the advertising slogan, "You Deserve a Break Today"?

8. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were members of the Apollo 11 mission. Who was the third member of the misson?

9. Which cable TV network began broadcasting on this day in 1996?

10. What is the only state that grows and produces coffee?

11. Edward Jenner discovered a vaccine for which disease?

12. Which bank went on to become the Bank of America?


Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness. --Jean de la Bruyere


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7/22/13 7:01 A

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Six Pilates Principles
Centering, Concentration, Control,
Precision, Breath, and Flow

For many, these six principles are the foundation of the Pilates approach to exercise. Their application to the Pilates method of exercise is part of what makes it unique in the fitness world.
It is important to note that Joseph Pilates did not directly set out the Pilates principles. They are concepts distilled from Joseph Pilates' work by later instructors. Because of this, there is not always agreement in the Pilates community about the order of the principles, the specific words used for certain concepts, or the number of principles. Nevertheless, you will find some version of the Pilates principles--similar to what I present here--to be part of almost any Pilates training program you pursue.

Joseph Pilates originally called his work "contrology." He considered this to be a body/mind/spirit approach to movement founded on the integrative effect of principles such as centering, concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow. Whether one is working out on a mat or using Pilates equipment, like the reformer or cadillac, these basic principles infuse each exercise with intention and fullness of expression:
1. Centering: Physically bringing the focus to the center of the body, the powerhouse area between the lower ribs and pubic bone. Energetically, Pilates exercises are sourced from center.
2. Concentration: If one brings full attention to the exercise and does it with full commitment, maximum value will be obtained from each movement.
3. Control: Every Pilates exercise is done with complete muscular control. No body part is left to its own devices.
4. Precision: In Pilates, awareness is sustained throughout each movement. There is an appropriate placement, alignment relative to other body parts, and trajectory for each part of the body.
5. Breath: Joseph Pilates emphasized using a very full breath in his exercises. He advocated thinking of the lungs as a bellows -- using them strongly to pump the air fully in and out of the body. Most Pilates exercises coordinate with the breath, and using the breath properly is an integral part of Pilates exercise.
Learn more: Breathing in Pilates
6. Flow: Pilates exercise is done in a flowing manner. Fluidity, grace, and ease are goals applied to all exercises. The energy of an exercise connects all body parts and flows through the body in an even way. Pilates equipment, like the reformer, are very good mirrors of one's flow and concentration as they tend to bang around and suddenly become quite "machine-like" if one loses ones control and flow.
The Pilates principles may sound a bit abstract, but the integration of these principles accounts for the balance, grace, and ease that one can experience as a result of practicing Pilates.


Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness. --Jean de la Bruyere


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7/9/13 4:28 P

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2. Which of the 5 Great Lakes is farthest west?

3. Which president was offered professional football contracts by the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers after college?

4. Who is the famous mother of CNN journalist Anderson Cooper?

5. How many white stripes are on the U.S. flag?



Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness. --Jean de la Bruyere


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7/9/13 4:16 P

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calvin cooldige

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7/5/13 4:58 P

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Calvin Coolidge



----------
I don’t want to live my life as an unhealthy person.
I will do whatever it takes to receive OPTIMAL HEALTH.
...............
I can have anything I want --- I just don't want that.
...............
Keep your eyes on the PRIZE @@
~3T~
...............
My Recipes
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7/5/13 4:08 P

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Which President was born on July 4th?

Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness. --Jean de la Bruyere


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6/21/13 8:50 A

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Find Your Inner Feline

You know how your muscles feel cramped and stiff when you wake up in the morning? After a night's sleep (or another long period of inactivity, like a car trip or plane ride), the parts of your fascia that wrap around and through your muscle fibers, which are normally stretchy and flexible, can stick together like previously chewed Hubba Bubba.

The fix: The best way to release the fascia is to slowly and luxuriously stretch out your arms and legs and roll slowly from side to side before getting out of bed. This will gently pull the muscles apart and separate the connecting tissue, says Wilmarth. To get at the fascia in your calves, ankles and arches, sit on the edge of the bed and flex and point your feet before putting the pressure of your weight on them.




Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness. --Jean de la Bruyere


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6/19/13 8:07 A

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No matter what you are doing for your body you need to be tense free. Try the following from bed:
Try This: Muscle Relaxation



This simple pattern of tensing and releasing each muscle group can create a sense of calm.

Lie in bed and take a few slow, deep breaths.
Begin to tense and relax every muscle of your body one at time, starting with your toes and feet, your calves, thighs, butt, abs, hands, shoulders—all the way up to and including your face. Tense and release.
Then, tense all of your muscles at once, hold for a few seconds, and release it all. You’re teaching your body what it means to relax.


Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness. --Jean de la Bruyere


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6/16/13 7:17 P

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How is everyone doing?

Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its shortness. --Jean de la Bruyere


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