This Summer, I noticed an ache in my lower back while out paddle boarding. As a Pilates instructor, I believe I am fairly body-aware and versed in the knowledge to correct my movement. I made a few simple adjustments to my posture and alignment. I also started to tuck my pelvis on each stroke, and focussed on the resistance between the water and my paddle like in the Shoulder Blast exercise from Essentrics class. These minor adjustments completely relieved the lower back ache and reinforced the importance of correct body movement in everything I do, not just while practicing Pilates.
So, I started thinking…if Pilates helped me with paddle boarding, could paddle boarding help me with Pilates? Since then, I’ve been trying various mat exercises on the paddle board as a way to further challenge my balance. This is also helping me to execute the Pilates movements with greater precision. I’m either rewarded by staying dry or I get wet and know I need further refinement. I’m loving this new-found twist to an old activity.
Now, I’m actively thinking about how I can incorporate movements from Essentrics and Pilates into even more of my everyday activities. I’ve turned routine chores into exercise. Activities like vacuuming, deck-staining, weeding the garden, and washing windows all have new intention and motivation. Result – I’m working out for free! I’m moving my body in a way that makes it stronger and prevents injury. AND I’m getting my tasks done with a sense of pleasure and purpose that I never felt before.
My challenge for you – the next time you’re doing an activity, think about how it mimics an exercise from one of your classes at Lead. Then start doing it with intention and mindfulness. You might surprise yourself at how much more pleasure you find in the activity (and then suddenly it’s no longer a chore)!