"... true rhythm and control is observed both in domestic pets and wild animals - without exception."
quote from Joseph Pilates
We know that many of Joseph Pilates moves were inspired by the form and movement of animals. He frequented zoos, and encouraged students to watch the way animals move. Some Pilates exercises, like seal, swan, and crab are named for animals.
Here we take our inspiration from Joseph Pilates with list of animals we take some lesson from.
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Just as with a horse and rider, we're not out to muscle through a workout. Pilates offers much more nuanced fitness than that.
Whether you work with small equipment or large, there is a relationship that needs to happen between your body and the equipment. Like a good rider, you have to listen. The dialogue between your intention for movement and the feedback the equipment sends to your body will take you deep into your core.
Learn about Pilates for the Equestrian
We could see the butterfly's journey from caterpillar to magnificent avian as symbolic of our potential go through dramatic transformations in our Pilates practice. It's not just that we get out of the gate with fast changes as beginners. We can also make huge transformations throughout the life of our practice.
Powerful legs! The frogs legs are not overdeveloped compared to it's body, but it knows how to align them for maximum power. That's a big part of what we do as Pilates practitioners. We don't bulk up our muscles, we learn to use what we have perfectly for the task at hand.
Try the frog exercise with exercise band
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The giraffe is teaching us something we really need to practice in Pilates. That is, that the neck is a long extension of the spine. Our heads can reach for the sky as our shoulders relax, and all is supported by a strong core.
Watching the long-legged heron gracefully navigate the water's edge looking for fish, one has to admire it's precision, grace, and control. We can approach Pilates exercises the same way. When we set our intention to perform an exercise with precision, we know the choreography, we know what muscles we want to engage, and we go for it with precise commitment.
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got ideas from seal movement. He even named an exercise, the seal. In seal, the exercise, we recreate the amazing flexibility of the seal's spine, and also how independently the flippers (your legs) move from the trunk of the body.
Pilates exercises are very much about moving the core of the body. Looking at the form of a starfish, we can't help but get the feeling of all energy radiating from the core.
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Now, you are invited to write about what animal inspires you to get moving. It could be the grace of a wild animal or the needs of a pet, but one thing is for certain, animals inspire many of us to workout.
What Animal Inspires You to Workout?