FIT FIRST FEB :
STRETCH OUT WITH THE PILATES CLASS
As FIT FIRST FEB concludes, we can think of no better way to round out the month than with a slow and centred focus. For any holistic fitness journey to hold strong and become long-lasting, two key components are required: consistency, and enjoyment. Finding a form of movement you look forward to and feel passionate about is the one true path to forming feelgood habits that become a seamless, second-nature part of your day to day life.
Jacqui Kingswell is the founder of The Pilates Class. A former professional dancer who has practiced Pilates since the age of 12, Jacqui brings passion and a deep understanding of movement, body and breath to her teaching.
Offering a range of at-home workouts and sequences tailored to all levels via her unique platform, The Pilates Class Method, Jacqui firmly believes Pilates to be one of the most transformative practices you can do for your body that helps to create sustainable, lasting change.
THE PILATES CLASS METHOD
BY Jacqui Kingswell
Feeling a dip in energy in the middle of your day?
Try these quick and effective moves to break up your work day. This combination of movements will reset and rejuvenate your day while reconnecting you with your body and breath. No equipment is needed to try out these moves, just your mat.
Stand with your feet parallel, hip distance apart, with knees slightly bent. Clasp your hands behind your back, press the palms away from you, open through the chest and lengthen the chin upwards, feeling a stretch through the front of your chest, and opening your shoulders and posture.
Stand with your feet parallel, hip distance apart, with knees slightly bent. Tuck your chin to your chest and slowly start to roll down, vertebra by vertebra. Keep checking in with your body to make sure that your head and shoulders are loose and relaxed. Really take your time with this movement and send the breath to where you feel tension. Slowly make your way down to your mat feeling an opening and release of tension throughout the body.
Downward dog to four point kneel.
This move will get the blood flowing and will send your body energy. Starting in a downward dog position, pressing through the palms, chest presses through your arms, send your hips up to the sky and press your heels down to your mat. It’s okay to bend your knees as much as you need, just feel a beautiful stretch behind your hamstrings and through the front of your chest. Exhaling as you come into your four point kneel by rippling forward, lining up your shoulders with your wrists, checking you have a long neck, core is engaged, hips are stacked on top of your knees whilst they’re hovering slightly off your mat, and then push back into a downward dog and repeat until you feel the body become warm and energised.
Start in downward dog position. Extend one leg to the sky and bend the knee as you open through the hip to enjoy the beautiful stretch. Don’t worry if your leg doesn’t go too high, as long as you’re feeling a stretch and enjoying the movement you’re doing good for your body. Once you feel the release in this stretch, switch legs and repeat to the other side.
Start on all fours for this exercise with shoulders over wrists, hips in line with your knees, a straight long spine, and core engaged. Inhale as you contract the spine, tuck your chin to your chest, draw your belly button in back towards your spine and enjoy the beautiful stretch behind the shoulders and back. Exhale as you release and press the chest and heart toward the sky, lowering the belly towards the mat and opening through your chest. Repeat the movement and feel free to experiment with movement in cat-cow, if you’d like to take little twists or circles you’re welcome to move however you feel. Enjoy this beautiful stretch and stay connected to the breath.
It’s so important to check in with your breath which helps to calm the nervous system and centre yourself for the day. Take three deep mindful breaths to connect. If you’d like to continue with your movement, head to www.thepilatesclass.com and take one of our Stretch or Calm classes.
To experience a full workout and browse through a variety of different classes, join The Pilates Class for a FREE 7 day trial. With a range of different classes on the platform, you can find something for you, from a 7-minute toned arms sequence to a 30-minute slow burn Pilates session. Connect with Jacqui and The Pilates Class community on the platform and their social accounts to follow their weekly schedules and be inspired to commit to regular movement long-term.