Pilates on Vacation
by Shannon Matson
Pilates on vacation? What? Pilates doesn’t take a vacation….it vacations with you! That’s right. While many of us look forward to our vacations as a chance to get away from the city and work we should take Pilates with us.
Every year we spend about a week at our family cabin in Pennsylvania. The cabin sits at the base of a mountain along a trout stream. There is no TV and while we recently gained cell signal about 4 years ago there is no wi-fi. There is plenty of nature and quiet and calm to savor as the creek goes by.
I took the opportunity to grab my flannel shirt and lay it out on the grass by the creek one day. To lay in the shade and work through the mat exercises was so enjoyable to me. I went through all the repetitions and focused on quality of movement. I could hear a little bit of Carla or Julia or Sherri in my head – scoop deeper, shoulders down, lengthen the spine! While I didn’t have an instructor to guide me I know that with enough practice we learn to correct ourselves. I see students do it all the time with their second or third rep. We all know our common mistakes and make adjustments to work towards our full potential.
A couple days later I decided to play around and challenge myself by balancing on the porch hand rail. While I only did a couple of exercises and just a few reps of each I really had to focus on my core and stability and balance. I did theHundred, something we do with every session, every class, and it was a challenge to stay level and engaged and not rock side-to-side. Next, I decided to try the Roll-Up. Feet flexed Pilates stance, hugging my centerline, arms to the ceiling I curled my chin to my chest and began to peel myself up from the handrail. Again, I wobbled a bit side-to-side and heard that voice “scoop deeper!” to continue the roll-up. Once I was all the way up I still had to scoop to keep my balance. I began to roll back down and focused on placing each vertebrae on the rail until I was all the way down, arms back. I tried it again to see if I could wobble a little less. The second one was a little smoother but still required so much control. Control, Centering, Precision, Concentration….those Pilates principles hard at work!
I am so grateful that I am able to take Pilates with me on vacation and try it out in nature. I hope you bring a little Pilates practice with you on your next vacation! #BEonVacation