[PilatesPlus] What is Calisthenics?

Posted by on Jul 31, 2015 in Yan Huang

  Calisthenics or Bodyweight training is a form of exercises consisting of a variety of movements, generally using minimal equipment or apparatus. Calisthenics training are intended to increase body strength and flexibility with movements such as bending, jumping, swinging, twisting or kicking, hanging and pushing using only one’s body weight for resistance. They are usually conducted in concert with stretches. When performed vigorously and with variety, Calisthenics can benefit both muscular and cardiovascular fitness in addition to improving psychomotor skills such as balance, agility and coordination. There are so many benefits to calisthenics training, it gets us fundamentally strong and we can always have a workout anywhere, anytime at all stage of our lives. Come join us at our Calisthenics classes today. We promise you will have fun every time!  An example of a basic beginner level Calisthenics routine by Yan ( our Pilates Instructor) Please rate this...

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[Yan] Let’s talk about The Spine Stretch

Posted by on Apr 10, 2015 in Yan Huang

Disclaimer: This blog post just represents my thoughts and observations from both learning the Classical sequence as well as from my current learning journey with the Polestar Syllabus as a student.   Today, I am going to share a little more about what I have been learning about the Spine Stretch — one of the original 34 matwork sequence in the traditional Joseph Pilates exercises on mat. In relation to the Spine Stretch movement,  I realize it seems to be similar to a daily movement where we are standing upright and trying to reach for your toes. In today’s population, there are  — 1. those who cannot stretch to touch their toes, 2. and those who can stretch to their toes.   The question is what does the Spine Stretch really do ?   I personally believe that when one start to look at the purpose of this movement (or any other movements) — one can then achieve the maximum benefit behind this seemingly easy movement.   In Joseph Pilates’ “Return to Life through Contrology” Book, the Spine Stretch is simply a movement with the following cue sequence: 1. Legs outstretched in front of you, with legs spread apart usually mat-width apart 2. Drawing toes (actively) pointed upward and backward 3. Palms resting on the floor Begin movement by 4. Sliding the palms on the floor, as you reach forward, with CHIN “AIMING” TO TOUCH THE CHEST 5. Reaching forward with 3 successive “sliding” motion-stretch movement together with exhalation of breath. **Taking note of abdomen drawing in as you reach forward, chin pressing firmly against chest and spinal articulation movement**   According to Pilates, there are many purposes to this exercise: FIRST : It obviously stretches the hamstrings and erector spinae (which are located back of thighs and your entire back) SECOND: It improves or increases spinal mobility into flexion ( as well as exposes where your spine may be hypomobile / tight) THIRD: It also improves pelvic stability ( if pelvis is unstable, you may find your body bending or shifting one side when stretching) FORTH: It co-ordinate an entire sequential control of the body from head to toe, thus improving postural awareness. Pilates does not seem to talk about modifications for this exercises during this time. In my learning journey with Polestar course so far, if one is to look at the Spine Stretch deeper and carefully, you will realize, or feel that the Spine Stretch truly works on the Thoracic Flexion mobility work — perhaps because I have a relatively flexible hamstrings, so I will tend to focus on where I am not as “good” at. One major difference I have observed is for this exercise, how the Polestar syllabus focus on 1. Starting pelvis vertical and the spine in neutral, 2. KEEPING pelvis vertical throughout movement — which means modifications become extremely crucial for the perfect execution of this...

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The Importance of Regular Self Practice

Posted by on Apr 5, 2015 in Yan Huang

Disclaimer: This blog post just represents my thoughts and observations from both learning the Classical sequence as well as from my current learning journey with the Polestar Syllabus as a student.   So far in my time of seeking a deeper understanding of the human movement through various methods out there, I realized something — I can know all the deep theories of the experts and gurus in their expert fields — but it is only going to be as good as if one ACTUALLY DOES IT. In the words of a man once enlightened me to some of the most famous quote of Bruce Lee,  Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do. With that said, we as fitness professionals constantly have to do our regular self-practice, before we “can give” back to those who come to us seeking for help to relieve pain or simply to improve themselves to enjoy life through fitness.   our instructors at self practice working on the Sphinx on reformer — it’s the constant consistent daily practice that makes a difference. Enjoy Life Through Fitness. #positive #Pilates #reformer #Sphinx #pilatesplus #polestar #consistent #toesox #biceps #triceps #deltoid A video posted by Pilates Plus (@pilates_plus) on Mar 24, 2015 at 8:30pm PDT Yours, ~ Yan ~ #pilatesplus...

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Movement Lifestyle : An Expression

Posted by on Mar 27, 2015 in Yan Huang

Movement Lifestyle : An Expression

Disclaimer: This blog post just represents my thoughts and observations from both learning the Classical sequence as well as from my current learning journey with the Polestar Syllabus as a student.   To my fellow readers, I do not know how you came about here, but most likely it is your curiosity and love for movement in life that draws you here. I realize movement is life – be it fast or slow, motion or still –  we are all born to move as soon as our heart beats. And even when it ceases to pump, and our physical bodies leave the world, there will be a certain something within us that remains and will merge with the rest of the world, moving on ahead with time. The world we live in now is now bursting with information more so than ever. We have gone past the “Information Age” into the next phase — the “Social Age”. We seem to get all too “analytical” and “overwhelmed” , that we worry too much and move too little. It is no wonder than we are now experiencing more and more diseases and illnesses, as compared to our predecessors. 8 years ago, my own personal experience at the age 22 with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma , had opened my eyes and my heart to search for the resonance within me and to live a purposeful life. And I think I have came a way around in finding it — that is to learn to move all over again in life. And in this pursuit of movement throughout life, I have now re-discovered the Pilates Singapore Method and have never looked back since. And with that, from here on, I like to share with all through my series of posts here on Pilates Plus — my personal findings and thoughts, my humble experience and knowledge with what I am passionate about — ” a lifestyle of freedom of expression through total movement, true fitness and balanced nutrition”– I will also be blogging about my own learning path with the various Pilates methods as I am currently working with the Polestar Pilates Comprehensive course. So thank you for dropping by and let’s Live Life Everyday through Movement. Yours, ~ Yan ~ #pilatesplus #polestarpilates #livelife     Read: Know why you should try Pilates...

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