Don't mess with Mother Nature.

cauliflower

Let's say you want to grow a big beautiful cauliflower in your garden. It's easy to understand that just visualizing a beautiful cauliflower will not grow it. Nor will planting the seed and then waiting until harvest time to pull it from the ground. Duh, right?  It takes work. But you can break it down into easy daily activities like weed, water, and fertilize- so it doesn't seem so difficult.

This is also true for looking better, feeling better, or even recovering from chronic health issues.  We've heard a million times that anything worth doing takes work. But if you're tired, stressed, or sick, you're probably not excited about putting more work on your plate.

Here's a strategy for getting what you want. Decide that healthy living is one of your virtues and tell yourself that you are a healthy person. But you can't stop there. That's like wanting to go upstairs and just standing at the bottom hoping to somehow beam up there. If you need to lose weight, know that you are not going to lose weight today. You need to make daily habits. The more days you can string together that contain the good habits that you have defined, the sooner you will be who you say you are. When you do something good for yourself tell yourself, "That's just like me." Positive self thought feeds your ego and helps you make more good decisions. I even like to smile a little smile to myself when I choose to make a good decision- like not reaching for the gf-pretzels and grabbing some fresh raspberries instead. 

So this is all easier said than done right? Well let's assume that your life is one big growing season. As with growing a garden, consistency is the key. When growing a cauliflower it's easy to see that if you miss a day or two of watering, you will still grow a cauliflower, it might just take a little longer. If you don't take time to weed as much as you should, by the end of the growing season, your veg may not be as big and beautiful as you had hoped. It is the same with our bodies. The more consistent you are with the right choices, the sooner you will see changes in the way you look and feel. The more times you slip up, the longer it will take. Often when we "fall off the wagon" we beat ourselves up and quit. If you miss a day of watering your garden does it make sense to give up and quit gardening all together? No. You keep on and learn from your mistakes. There is a lot of growth and good work there even if you don't see the results right away. Remember it will not happen overnight. Just as seedlings and small plants often go days and weeks with out any visible growth, our bodies can be the same way. 

I think most of us know to a degree, what things can help us lose weight, get more energy, and stay healthy. If your not sure about what will and what won't work for you ask a professional. Sometimes people have a "more is more" mentality when it comes to exercise. People think that if a little is good then more will get them to their goal sooner. Does over watering or over fertilizing a plant make it grow faster? Sometimes. But usually this causes the plant to get out of balance, opening it's delicate biological system to damage and disease. Implementing the correct inputs for your individual metabolism can be a daunting task. A good physical therapist or pilates instructor can find imbalances in your structure that can cause hidden stress. A functional medicine/nutrition practitioner can help with proper supplementation. A counselor, coach, or mentor can help eliminate stress in your work and personal life. Don't assume you and Dr. Google can do it alone. There is a lot of noise and lies out there that can slow- if not entirely up root your progress!

So, make health a virtue. Come up with daily habits of the proper inputs and be consistent. If you mess up, keep on! The sooner you get back to watering and feeding your "garden," the sooner you will grow the body you hope to have.

 

Late Summer Studio Mixtape

Music can be a major stress reliever! In this second week of Virgo (late summer) I'm sharing my current studio playlist. It's all music that inspires me to suck the last energy from the sun as the shadows grow longer.
You might not like all of the songs on this list (if any:) but it's ok- pilates on the reformer takes a lot of cueing so it's never very loud. If you've tried mat pilates at a gym and hated every minute or you feel your body can't keep up with your hunger for life- book a appointment. You have to move, see if pilates works for you.
A reminder that the offer still stands, bring me a mixtape and I'll credit you one free class.*


VIRGO MIX

(youtube playlist click here)

Prince Charming/ADAM AND THE ANTS

Lady Shave/FAD GADGET

Spacer Woman/CHARLIE

Warm Leatherette/THE NORMAL

Canteen Fulger/RODION G.A.

Big Electric Cat/ADRIAN BELEW

Hang Up/PETER MURPHY

Carne/VIOLETA VIL

How Killed Six/SEXTILE

A Gift of Tears/JEUNESSE D'IVOIRE

I Want To Touch You/CATHERINE WHEEL

Bigmouth Strikes Again/THE SMITHS

In Another Way/MY BLOODY VALENTINE

Fire Sacrifice/PRINCE RAMA

Electricity/O.M.D.

Electricity/SPIRITUALIZED

Seven Kinds Of Wonderful/B.J.M.

I'm Goin' Mad/SCORPIONS

Ripple/JANE'S ADDICTION

Long Long Way/JAH WOBBLE

Pablo Picasso/THE MODERN LOVERS & JONATHAN RICHMOND

Sultan's Orders/FLAVOR CRYSTALS

Die Herrscherin/WALTER WEGMÜLLER

Spectre/NON

Upside Down/DIANA ROSS


What music do you love to listen to this time of year?



*one per person, per lifetime :) …and it better be good..

 

 

O.R.K. H.Q.

  Me as an Ork from the Hobbit. (Also spelled Orc.)

Me as an Ork from the Hobbit. (Also spelled Orc.)

What is O.R.K. H.Q.? It is an acronym for how I set up perfect posture for any exercise. You may have heard in a reformer class to "zip up your abs" or "stack up one vertebrae at a time." These cues help you get into the right position to get the most out of your workout and avoid injury in our classes. Did you ever think about using these cues in your everyday life? How about when you are teeing up on the golf course, working in your garden, or even just going for a walk? Especially when you go for a walk. Walking with intention can be a more powerful workout for your core than any crunch class. Train your stabilizers to do what they do best. Just remember O.R.K. H.Q. to set yourself up for perfect posture everytime.

O stands for OPEN UP THROUGH YOUR HIPS. Sitting at a desk, driving and watching movies can really take a toll on this area. Engage your opposing muscles. This is your glutes' moment to shine!

R stands for ROLL YOUR SHOULDERS BACK. Our whole lives are in front of us. Working on the computer, checking the phone, holding babies… When was the last time you swung a mace behind your back? Tried a back-hand spring lately? How about crab walk across the room? (Crossfitters don't answer that last one.) Oh those poor neglected traps and lats.

K is for KNIT YOUR RIBS DOWN INTO YOUR ABDOMINALS. I love this one. The more you do it the more you can feel your abs drawing up to secure your whole front side. So powerful!

H is for HEAD PLACEMENT. Bring some attention to your head. Is your chin reaching forward? Imagine increasing the amount of space between each vertebrae in your neck. Now is your head centered over your shoulders? 

Q is for Quiet. Keep your torso as quiet as possible. Imagine you have headlights attached to the front of your hips and shoulders. Would they be safely showing the road ahead or wildly checking out the ditches? Unless one day you find yourself in a three-way walk off with Giselle Bundchen and Naomi Campbell- you better keep it quiet.

Try this the next time you go for a stroll. Check in when you start and when you're half way home. It's easy to let your mind and posture drift if you haven't been practicing this long. Neurologically it takes 50,000 repetitions for a pattern to become automatic. After a while it will be second nature. You might even think you've grown taller. Better get going!

Better in the morning?

Ok. So there is no scientific proof yet that it's better to work out in the morning. How about three pretty good reasons why I do.

1) One question I stared asking myself first thing in the morning is, "What one thing if I did it right now, would make my day easier? A.K.A., "What is the one thing on my list that I least want to do or am avoiding? Checking email? Easy. Chill with a bowl of Coco Bobs? Yum. How about exercise? It naturally releases feel good hormones like serotonin and dopamine. Get exercise off your list for the day early, then, if you end up going for a walk or a bike ride later you can give yourself a bonus gold star.

2) A study from pubmed showed that working out in a fasted state improved metabolic performance. In other words- more bang for your buck. The group that trained on an empty stomach gained the least weight and increased their glucose (sugar) tolerance. So do pilates, then have a smoothie.

3) Alright. This one is kind of personal but maybe you can sympathize. When I'm up early I'm alone. Now that my kids are 6 and 8 they actually stay asleep until at least 6:30. :) So I get to the studio before they're up and when I get home they are (usually) dressed and fed and we are all ready for the day.

So my new summer schedule at Isaak Studios is M-F at 6:30. Come and try a Reformer/Stability Chair Circuit class!