How the gift of self-care can be the best gift you give yourself this year
This article originally appeared in Atlanta Daybook
Pa-lahtees, is that a new latte? Pa-lahtees, Pa-lease!
If you’re at all familiar with Pilates, you may be thinking, “The last thing I want is to strap my ankles into cables and have someone stretch and pull my legs over my head!”
But, in the world of fitness enthusiasts and, more recently, physical therapists and exercise physiologists, this method is becoming more common in helping clients improve breathing, re-adjust posture, strengthen muscles around the joints and obtain those long, lean muscles we all dream of, while gulping down that 390 calorie mocha latte.
Of course, this isn’t news. Unless you’ve been dating a caveman, this information probably doesn’t surprise you. But there’s another well-known, quietly kept benefit of regularly practicing Pilates; it’s Pilates Peace. A good Pilates “tutor” will consistently remind you to sync your movements with your breath and to increase the overall breath intake, while completely “emptying” the lungs on the exhalation. This harmonious union of movement and breath not only makes the exercises easier to perform, it also is said to be useful in preventing stress-related illnesses like heart disease. It helps to connect the inner and outer consciousness, heightening concentration and focus, creating a calmer mind and more relaxed body.
As we approach the holiday season, which is traditionally a time that generates not only “cheer” and “goodwill,” but stress and frustration, Mary Jo Falvey, of the center in Marietta, GA suggests practicing the stress-reducing aspects of STOTT PILATES to ensure a less stressful holiday season.
“People are becoming increasingly more interested in fitness modalities that help relieve stress, protect against injury and support graceful aging. STOTT PILATES will leave you looking toned, feeling revitalized and moving with ease,” says Mary Jo.
Pilates, embraced first in this country by the professional dance community, helps prevent injury and improve strength, while nurturing the body with increased oxygen, essential for the integrity of the brain, nerves, glands and internal organs. Oxygen is essential to our well-being; increasing the body’s supply could result in numerous benefits, like increased energy, for holiday shopping, purifying the blood stream, clearing the complexion, decreasing the appearance of wrinkles, whether for holiday photos, enhanced memory, or simply supporting the body’s ability to rejuvenate itself.
So, in the midst of party-planning, gift-giving, party-hopping and making travel plans, add a personal STOTT PILATES class to your list and give yourself the gift of “Peace through Pilates.” It will help clear the cobwebs from the brain and the dust mites from the blood stream and give you the chance to energize and rejuvenate your mind, body and soul…without the extra calories of a mocha latte!
Mary Jo Falvey is the STOTT PILATES’ certified owner and personal tutor of the center Studio, located at 255 Village Parkway, Suite 240, Marietta, GA 30067