The other day as I was finishing my workout a client came into the studio and asked if I ever get bored with my workout. This really got me to thinking about what Pilates is and how it can challenge. It really does bring the discussion to the Principles, but there is more to it than that.
Commitment & Concentration: Come to your session on time. I always start my session on time so I can get the full allotted time for my workout. I have an agenda and when I start late or stall during the session I will not get through the agenda. When clients come late for their session they are only cheating themselves. Unfortunately I have to see several clients a day in order for my business to succeed which means scheduling people back to back. I have to end on time to start on time. When a client comes late I cannot get through their agenda for the day.
Breathing: There is more value to breathing than just oxygenating the blood. Like just about anyone my mind will wander, when it does I come back to my breathing to quite my thoughts. I workout where I work; there are distractions, the phone, I hear an email come in, I think of something I need to address in scheduling… When these things come to my mind I just focus on breathing and let it pass. I have an allotted time to email and phone, whatever it is can wait. I also think of nearly every exercise as a breathing exercise and I construct the movement around the breath. All I have to do is breath and the exercise will follow. Focus on The Breath.
Precision: In order to be precise with the movement I need to be focused. Yes breathing creates focus, when focused I can be precise and from that comes the challenge. You get out of the exercise what you put into it. When the client comes back to their body and the exercise they can create quite a challenge. If they are not present they can just fluff over the move and get nothing out of it.
The other principles Control, Centering and Flow follow easily with this focus. With Flow I like to think of Pilates as a dance efficiently moving from one exercise to another.
Now to the question: Do I ever get bored? No, I commit to the exercise 100%. With the commitment I can challenge myself and as an athlete I enjoy being challenged. As I progress to advanced exercises I can further appreciate the basics. I come back to the basics often. I find them restorative. With the focus on Concentration and Breath I find the basics challenging and the advanced exercises become a breeze.
Incidentally this focus can be brought to other areas – for me: Cycling and back to my business.