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Let's keep it simple...

Hi there beautiful people, I hope you all had a wonderful January. I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling like it was a slow month, right?

Well, I have totally embraced that slowness.

My main intention for 2019 is to simplify. I want to get on board with slow living. I want to simplify my life in as many ways as possible - by de-cluttering the house, simplifying the way I run my business, the way I eat, the way I relax. I started the process in 2018 actually, so this year I'll be continuing, and looking for more ways to slow down.

This also applies to my Pilates practise. I've talked before about the importance of going back to basics in your practise. Pilates isn't meant to be complicated. It shouldn't be complicated. Really, all you need is yourself and your mat (and strictly speaking, you don't even need a mat). Of course, you can do Pilates with the apparatus (the Reformer, the Cadillac, the Chair, the Ladder Barrel, the Tower) or you can work out on your mat with small equipment (the small ball, the band, the Pilates Circle, the foam roller). I love all of this stuff and I use it often. But however I'm practising, it always comes back to two words - mobility and stability.

Ask yourself - what part(s) of your body are you moving, and what part(s) are you keeping still? When I focus on that, everything becomes simpler. Of course, there are other Pilates principles that I keep in mind during my practise:- concentration, relaxation, alignment, breathing, centring, coordination, flowing movements, stamina. These are all important principles that we need to grasp in order to make our practise more effective. I think of them like the branches of a tree; but remember the tree begins at its roots. For example, what part of your body are you moving? Are you moving in the correct alignment? Is the movement flowing, or stiff and juddery? What part of your body are you keeping still? Are you using an appropriate amount of centring in order to remain stable? Are you breathing effectively?

Next time you're on your mat, slow down. Try to block out any distractions. Are you moving with awareness? Are you really focusing on the movement? Or are you just going through the motions whilst thinking about what you're going to have for dinner when you get home? (yes, I do it sometimes too...). If you catch yourself drifting off, try pausing, and then bring yourself back to those two words. Mobility and stability. They complement each other perfectly.

Something to think about. Here are some of my January moments.

Marina x

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