Indiana Jones faces with the menacing ninja warior. With great fanfare, the warrior flashes his sword, being as threatening at possible. What does Indiana Jones do? With a bored look on his face, he reaches for his gun and shoots the warrior dead.
I like to tell my students Pilates is like that gun shot. It is precise, effective and can be done with such a mimimum of effort.. The ideal Plates movement! But what do our bodies love to do? It wants to make movement with as much fanfare as possible. Our bodies are natural drama queens! The bigger, the flashier the movement the better it is. Done with an obvious show of effort just makes for better effect! Everyone will see how tough and hard working we are!
Sound familiar? This is a common scene in gyms where such drama is glorified. But this is true even in our everyday movements. I ask my students to move, and invaribly, new students will pick the biggest, showiest way of doing that move with the most drama producing muscles. "Lift! " I will say. And the student will extend the arms an impressive length,all from the lifting the shoulders. But it is the lift from the spine I am asking for. Not so showing but oh so good feeling! I ask for a deep breath, and we all instinctively expand our bellies, lift up our chest and even our shoulders(the shoulders are the best for showing effort!) But it is the expansion of the back I am asking for. Again, not as showy, but much more effective in taking in volumes of air.
I could give examples all day on how the body will want to pick the showy but inefficient way of moving over the more subtle, effortless way. Working from the Powerhouse takes precision and control and when done well, the result looks like...nothing. Like cutting butter as one of my students said to me.
So come to target practice here at Pilates Chattanooga. Kill those drama flashy movements that don't do what you need to do.