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  • Pilates Beginners: The 5 Basic Principles

    Pilates as an exercise method attempts to continuously optimise movement patterns and foster a deep body awareness to enhance the efficacy of every movement in every workout. Most Pilates exercises combine elements of stability, mobility and flexibility to condition the body holistically. At the core of contemporary Pilates lies five fundamental principles: Breathing, Pelvic Placement, Rib Cage Placement, Scapular Movement and Stabilisation, and Head and Cervical Placement. Let's delve into each of these principles to understand their significance and how they contribute to a balanced Pilates practice. 1. Breathing Breathing is the cornerstone of Pilates - Proper breathing techniques can promote both physical benefits such as optimised blood oxygenation and reduce tension in key areas such as the neck, shoulders, and mid-back. It also can promote mental health benefits such as stress release, enhanced mindfulness and greater body awareness. In Pilates, we attempt to adopt a three-dimensional breath pattern, expanding the rib cage in all directions during inhalation including laterally (sideways) and posteriorly (to the back of the rib cage). We breathe in through the nose and out through slightly pursed lips, attempting to make the noise of a wave. This conscious exhalation can also help stimulate the natural stabilisers of the trunk and pelvic floor connection. 2. Pelvic Placement Central to Pilates is the concept of pelvic stabilisation, which ensures optimal alignment of the pelvis and lumbar spine in all positions and during all movements. The two primary pelvic/ spinal positions used in Pilates are the neutral and the imprint. In a neutral pelvic position, the natural curvature of the lumbar spine is maintained, with the pelvis resting comfortably on the mat - I like to use the imagery of having a small butterfly living underneath your lower back, as we move around in a neutral spinal alignment we should never ‘crush’ our butterfly. You can check your neutral alignment by looking at the relationship between the three ‘bony landmarks’ of the pelvis. In other words, we ultimately want to have our hip bones ( front of the pelvis, also called ASIS and the pubic bone in line with one another when lying on our backs. You can check this by placing the heels of your hands on your hip bones and bringing your pointing fingers towards your pubic bone, the triangle made by the hands in this position should be level or parallel to the mat. Neutral alignment is one of the most stable positions for the body and helps to promote correct muscle firing patterns. From a neutral position, one should be able to contract the pelvic floor ( think something like a small kegal exercise) and the TA muscle (transverse abdominis) which wraps around the abdomen like a corset, which can be ‘tightened’ subtly to produce a sensation of stability. Imprint is the second pelvic placement, which involves a slight tilt of the pelvis towards the mat, which is achieved by engaging the abdominal stabilisers. We initiate this movement with a sub-maximal contraction (around 20% contraction) of the pelvic floor, think of narrowing sitting bones together, deep within the pelvis or having a spiral elevator ride up to 20% within the pelvis. Next, we contract the TA muscle, like trying to narrow our hip bones or gently tightening a corset around our abdomen and lastly the oblique muscles (ones which run diagonally down across the waist) begin to connect and help achieve the small tilt of the pelvis. The lower back should start to lengthen towards the mat, it does however, not necessarily have to touch the mat completely, your tailbone ( sacrum) should feel heavy on the mat and the rest of the lower back (lumbar spine) should lengthen slightly towards the mat. Often what I see when clients begin to imprint I see either an under-contraction or an over-contraction of their abominable layers. An under-contraction results in an unstable pelvis and lower back which could result in discomfort of the compromise of the joints during larger movements. An over-contraction of the abdominals could result in the superficial abdominal layer, the rectus abdominis, ‘popping up’ or creating a bulging type of effect which could mean that the deeper connection of the stabilisers has been compromised or released altogether. 3. Rib Cage Placement The alignment of the rib cage plays a crucial role in maintaining spinal integrity and promoting efficient movement patterns. In Pilates, practitioners are encouraged to breathe three-dimensionally into the rib cage and abdomen, allowing the ribs to expand laterally (sideways), anteriorly (forwards), and posteriorly (backwards) with each breath. Proper rib cage placement ensures that the thoracic spine (mid- to upper-back) remains lengthened and supported, preventing excessive flexion or extension that can lead to strain or injury. You can enhance their overall posture and alignment by cultivating awareness of rib cage placement. 4. Scapular Movement and Stabilisation Proper scapular (shoulder blade) movement and stability are essential for maintaining healthy shoulder mechanics and preventing tension in the neck, upper back and shoulders. In Pilates, we focus on maintaining a sense of width and stability across the shoulder girdle, allowing the scapulae to glide smoothly along the rib cage during movement. By developing awareness of scapular placement and mobility, we can optimise our upper body strength and mobility. We should be able to move the shoulder blades independently from the rest of the spine. Meaning that when we attempt to protract and retract our scapulae we can glide them over the upper back without having to move the thoracic spine or the rib cage. 5. Head and Cervical Placement The alignment of the head and cervical spine is integral to overall posture and spinal health. In Pilates, we strive to maintain a neutral alignment of the cervical spine, ensuring that the head is balanced directly above the shoulders. Proper head and cervical placement promotes spinal integrity and prevents unnecessary strain or tension in the neck and upper back. By practising cranio-vertebral flexion ( a Pilates head nod) and extension with mindfulness and control, we can enhance our spinal mobility and alignment, supporting a strong, healthy and pain-free neck. Incorporating these five basic principles into your movements can deepen your understanding of your own body's movement mechanics and enhance the effectiveness of your workouts. By cultivating awareness of breath, alignment, and movement patterns, you can unlock new levels of strength, flexibility, and mind-body connection. Whether you're new to Pilates or a seasoned practitioner, embracing these principles can guide you on a journey toward greater vitality and well-being.

  • The Pelvic Floor - What is it and how can Pilates help?

    Imagine your pelvic floor as the unsung hero of your body—often overlooked but indispensable for overall health. Your pelvic floor plays a vital role in maintaining pelvic organ function, core stability, and movement efficiency. Yet, its significance is often underestimated or misunderstood. Today, we'll explore how Pilates can be a game-changer in strengthening this essential part of your anatomy. What is the Pelvic Floor? Your pelvic floor is a dynamic system intricately connected to your core, hips, and spine. This hammock-like or dome-shaped structure forms the foundation of your core and cradles your pelvic organs—the bladder, rectum, and uterus (in women)—while providing crucial support for everyday activities. Its role is multifaceted and indispensable, from maintaining continence to supporting spinal alignment during movement and acting as a ‘shock absorber’ during certain movements. The pelvic floor operates in conjunction with other muscles and organs within the body, for example, the urethra and anus to help move the bodily waste out of the body. Well-functioning pelvic floor muscles should be contracting and releasing at different times throughout your day, operating without conscious input, much like our other internal organs like the muscles of the heart. However, unlike the heart, we can also consciously contract the muscles of the pelvic floor, much like ‘flexing’ any other muscle in the body. What can go wrong with the Pelvic Floor? So what happens if these muscles are not ‘well-functioning’ or have been weakened or injured? Dysfunctional pelvic floor muscles can create problems such as incontinence, discomfort during intercourse and in severe cases organ prolapse. The pelvic floor muscles can become slightly compromised in various ways, some of the more obvious ways include; injury, pregnancy, childbirth and surgery. However, there are other factors which can influence the functioning of the pelvic floor, these include; frequent constipation, too much heavy lifting, hormonal changes for example menopause and even some diseases that can play a role in weakening the pelvic floor, such as diabetes. One of the lesser-known elements that can impact the pelvic floor is stress. The pelvic floor is controlled by the automatic nervous system which is influenced by moments of high stress, and more importantly chronic stress. Being able to release or relax the pelvic floor is as important as our body's ability to contract it. Having a tight or hypertonic pelvic floor comes with almost as many conditions as a weak pelvic floor does. How can Pilates help? Pilates, with its emphasis on breath control, mindful movement and core engagement, offers a perfect synergy for pelvic floor health, addressing both a weak or hypertonic pelvic floor. It has been proven that the contraction of various core muscles, such as the transverse abdomins while coupled with breathing techniques and awareness around the diaphragm can assist in improving the functioning of the pelvic floor. Unlike isolated exercises like Kegels, which focus solely on pelvic floor contractions, Pilates takes a holistic approach integrating breathing patterns, alignment, and full-body awareness to address pelvic floor stability and functioning. It is important, however, to seek a medical professional’s advice if you have experienced a major injury or chronic pelvic floor dysfunction. Benefits of Pilates for Pelvic Floor Health: Whole Body Integration: Pilates views the body as a unified system, emphasising the connection between the pelvic floor, core muscles, and breathing muscles. Rather than isolating the pelvic floor, Pilates exercises engage multiple muscle groups, promoting balanced strength and stability. Breath Coordination: Proper breathing is fundamental in Pilates, with each movement synchronised with inhalation and exhalation. This rhythmic breathing pattern not only enhances oxygenation but also facilitates optimal pelvic floor function, combining the movements of the diaphragm and the pelvic floor to promote relaxation and activation as needed. Postural Alignment: Pilates promotes optimal spinal, hip and pelvic alignment and emphasises posture and alignment while moving, reducing undue pressure on the pelvic floor. By cultivating awareness of alignment cues and movement patterns, Pilates helps alleviate strain on the pelvic floor, contributing to long-term health. Mind-Body Connection: Pilates fosters a profound mind-body connection, encouraging mindfulness and body awareness. By tuning into subtle sensations and cues, clients can develop a deeper understanding of pelvic floor engagement and function. Incorporating Pilates into Your Routine: Whether you're a seasoned Pilates enthusiast or a newcomer to the practice, integrating pelvic floor awareness into your workouts can yield significant benefits. It is important to start with beginner sessions or individual introductory sessions to start with the basic movements and gain an understanding of these more intricate areas. Remember, consistency is key—commit to regular practice, and you'll soon reap the rewards of a stronger, more resilient pelvic floor. ARE YOU READY TO START PILATES? Pilates offers a holistic approach to pelvic floor health, emphasising integration, breath, and mindful movement. By incorporating Pilates exercises into your routine, you can strengthen your pelvic floor, enhance core stability, and promote overall well-being. So, why wait? Take the first step towards a healthier, more vibrant you with Pilates and unlock the potential of your pelvic floor!

  • 7 Tips for Getting Started with Online Pilates Classes

    So, you've decided to dive into the world of online Pilates – congrats! Maybe it’s because you've heard about all the amazing benefits: better posture, a stronger core, and a focused mind. And you have chosen to start your Pilates journey online - and why not, it’s convenient and affordable. You gain flexibility and autonomy over your workouts by working out online rather than in a traditional studio setting. Say goodbye to lengthy commutes and hello to the freedom of fitting in a session whenever it suits you best—during breaks between work meetings, while your little one takes a nap, or even during your daily chores. Plus, online Pilates tends to be more budget-friendly compared to studio classes. So how do you get started with your online Pilates journey? Getting to Know Your Technology One of the first steps in starting your online Pilates journey is to ensure you're comfortable with the technology required for virtual classes. Most online Pilates sessions are conducted through platforms like Zoom or Google Meet. Take the time to download any necessary software and familiarise yourself with the platform your instructor will be using. At Inspired Movement, we use Google Meet, which can be easily downloaded here: https://meet.google.com/ By familiarising yourself with the technology beforehand, you'll feel more confident and prepared for your online workouts. Setting Up Your Space Creating a dedicated space for your at-home Pilates workouts is essential for a successful practice. While you don't need to replicate a professional studio, ensure you have enough room to move freely and comfortably. Lay out your exercise mat in a quiet, clutter-free area, and gather any props or equipment you'll need for your workouts. Position your computer or device where you can easily see the screen, allowing you to follow along with the instructor's cues effectively. Having a well-equipped and organised workout space sets the stage for a productive and enjoyable Pilates session. Choosing Between Live Online Classes and Videos on Demand When beginning your online Pilates practice, you'll have the option of participating in live classes or accessing pre-recorded videos on demand. Live classes offer real-time interaction with the instructor and other participants, providing a sense of accountability and community. They also allow for immediate feedback and adjustments to your form and technique. On the other hand, videos on demand offer flexibility and convenience, allowing you to work out on your own schedule. Consider your preferences and schedule when choosing between live classes and on-demand videos, and don't hesitate to experiment with both to find what works best for you. Start at the Beginning Before diving into your online Pilates workouts, it's essential to familiarise yourself with the basic principles and fundamental movements of Pilates. Consider joining an Introduction to Pilates workshop through a live online session or a pre-recorded video available in the library. These workshops provide a comprehensive overview of Pilates, helping you understand the core concepts, terminology, and proper techniques. By mastering the fundamentals, you'll lay a solid foundation for your Pilates practice and set yourself up for success in future classes. Equipment While Pilates studios boast a range of specialised equipment, you don't need much to get started in the comfort of your own home. The backbone of Pilates lies in mat exercises, which require nothing more than a soft, supportive exercise mat. As you progress, you might consider investing in small handheld props like a Magic Circle, a mini ball, an exercise band or light hand weights. However, don't underestimate the power of everyday items as substitutes. Tin cans or filled water bottles can serve as makeshift weights, offering a cost-effective alternative to specialized equipment. While these small props may seem insignificant, they can add variety and challenge to your workouts, enhancing your Pilates journey from the comfort of your home. Building Connections in a Virtual Environment Although online Pilates classes offer convenience, affordability and flexibility, building connections in a virtual environment can sometimes feel challenging. To overcome this, aim to join live fitness classes whenever possible and arrive a few minutes early to chat with fellow participants and your instructor - or stay after your class and let your instructor know how you feel. Staying engaged during and after the class by asking questions and sharing your experiences can help foster a sense of community and connection. Additionally, consider sharing your progress with a friend or your instructor, as accountability and support are key factors in staying motivated and committed to your practice. Embracing Variety and Exploration One of the most significant advantages of online Pilates practice is the abundance of class options and formats available. From mat Pilates to Barre and equipment-based workouts, you can explore a variety of styles and intensities to suit your preferences and goals. Don't be afraid to mix things up and try new classes to keep your practice fresh and engaging. By embracing variety and exploration, you'll stay motivated and inspired on your Pilates journey. Embarking on your online Pilates journey is an exciting opportunity to prioritise your health and well-being from the comfort of your own home. By starting with an Introduction to Pilates workshop, familiarising yourself with technology, setting up your workout space, choosing between live classes and videos on demand, building connections, and embracing variety, you'll set yourself up for a rewarding and fulfilling Pilates practice. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned practitioner, the world of online Pilates awaits, ready to support you on your journey to strength, flexibility, and vitality. Want to start online Pilates but not sure where to go from here? Contact me: Call: +27834095833 Email: info@inspiredmovement.co.za Check out the website: www.inspiredmovement.co.za

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Programs (200)

  • Fit & Festive

    Stay active and (mostly) healthy this festive season with our Inspired Movement Festive Season Fitness plan. I have put together a realistic and achievable workout plan with follow-along videos tailored for beginners, intermediate bodies or advanced Pilates ninjas. The structure of the plan helps keep you accountable and focused on your goals, while the videos allow for flexibility if you have some parties planned. In addition, you will have access to the full Inspired Movement workout library so you are spoilt for choice when it comes to workout type and intensity. Lastly, I have put together a recipe handbook with some quick and easy meals for the festive season, plus some swops for our traditional (calorie-rich) indulgences. So let's stay fit and healthy together this festive season.

  • Welcome to your Festive Season Pilates Program

    Greetings and welcome to our Festive Season Pilates Program! 🎄 As we approach the holiday season, December often becomes a time when many would ease up on their workouts or stop altogether. But not you! Because you are here to keep that body moving right through to Christmas! Our program is your secret weapon to maintain your fitness journey with accountability, exciting workouts, and easy-to-integrate daily movements. Get ready to stay active, energised, and in the holiday spirit. Perhaps take a moment to read my blog on 10 Tips for a Healthy & Happy Festive Season.

  • Get Back To Basics

    I always suggest that everyone go back to basics by watching the Introduction to Pilates video again. Even if you are a seasoned Pilates fundi it's always beneficial to run through some of the fundamental principles from time to time.

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Services (6)

  • Intermediate Pilates

    Enjoy the benefits of a structured and instructed Pilates class, from the comfort of where-ever you are. Our instructors are able to see, instruct and correct just as if you were in a real life class but you are able to have kiddies, doggies and life going on around you. Or take us with you when you travel for work or for leisure.

  • Beginner Pilates

    Our beginner groups are kept to low numbers to ensure that each participant receives personalised care and expert instruction. Participation is encouraged. Perfect for any Pilates newbie or someone looking to improve their home practice with a qualified instructor.

  • One-on-One Pilates or Yoga Class

    This is a great option for anyone who is unable to or uncomfortable with jumping into a group class.

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Other Pages (16)

  • Plans & Pricing | Inspired Movement

    We understand that everyone has different lifestyles, schedules, and budgets, which is why we offer a range of options to suit your needs. Whether you prefer to work out in your own time with a video or join us for live online classes, we have a plan that will work for you. Our plans include videos on demand only, a combination of videos on demand and live online classes, and our unlimited option, which gives you access to videos on demand and daily live online classes and all of our available challenges. No matter which plan you choose, our goal is to help you achieve your fitness goals and become the best version of yourself. To play, press and hold the enter key. To stop, release the enter key. Choose your pricing plan 8 Class Pack R 350 350R 8 Live Online Classes + Videos on Demand Valid for one month Select Videos On Demand Membership Cardio Barre Live Online Pilates Beginner Pilates Videos on Demand R 290 290R 1 Month Subscription Valid for one month Select Videos On Demand Membership Videos on Demand R 199 199R Every month 3 Month Subscription Valid for 3 months + 7 day free trial Start Free Trial Videos On Demand Membership Original 34 Moves Challenge R 299 299R 30 Days of Pilates | Live Online Classes | Videos On Demand Valid for one month Select In-Depth Instructed Video of the 34 Movements Short Videos Explaining Each Movement Live Online Classes Pilates Videos On Demand Community Engagement Unlimited Membership R 490 490R Unlimited Live Online Classes + Videos on Demand Valid for one month Select Unlimited Live Online Classes Videos on Demand Library All Current Challenges One on One Session R 550 550R A private online session perfect for post-rehabilitative Pilates or those wanting personalised class Valid for 2 weeks Select One on One Pilates or Yoga Session Fit & Festive Special R 149 149R Stay fit and healthy this festive season - with workout videos & healthy festive recipes Valid for 32 days Select 30 Day Pilates Program Videos On Demand Healthy Recipe Ideas Community Motivation Virtual Coaching

  • Loyalty | Inspired Movement

    Let's Get Moving Earn points and turn them into rewards Become a Member 01 Sign Up Sign up as a member to start enjoying the loyalty program 02 Earn Points Earn points by signing up to the site and by placing orders. 03 Redeem Rewards Redeem points for various discounts. Program tiers Reach new tiers as you earn more points. Basic 0 total earned points required Earn Points Buy a ticket Get 1 point for every R 1 spent RSVP to an event Get 10 points Sign up to the site Get 50 points Order a plan Get 1 point for every R 1 spent Redeem Rewards 10% off all events 100 Points = 10% off for all tickets SUPERCLIENT 1,000 Points = R 75 off for all plans

  • Inspired Movement | Live Online Pilates | Videos on Demand | Personal Training

    Live Online Classes Book Now Workout with me Videos on Demand Watch Now Anywhere. Anytime. FAQ About Me Challenges Are you in ? It's time to level up Events CONTACT US info@inspiredmovement.co.za +27834095833 Name Email Phone Subject Message Submit Subscribe Form Join Thanks for subscribing!

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