And a Little Child Shall Lead Them…

“The action of hip disassociation/differentiation happens when you reach your ischial tuberosities or sits bones as you descend to sit in a chair. The pelvis stabilizes and the femur heads scoop out your pelvis creating a deep crease at the front of the hip, as the photo at right demonstrates.”

Say what?

Unfortunately, some key Pilates concepts – such as “disassociation” – can be couched in overly-scientific jargon.  The quotation above, from the pilates-pro.com web site, is but one example.

legolatesFortunately, however, there are plenty of “plain English” explanations out there.  One particularly inventive (and instructive) approach to understanding hip disassociation is offered by Francis Cahill, of the Pilates Fitness Institute.

In her article, “A Lesson from the Lego Man,” Cahill writes:

“We Pilates folk are always searching for ways that we can most effectively describe hard to imagine technical info as part of our education. One of these Pilates technical concepts is hip disassociation.  Whilst this terminology sounds very ‘science nerd’, don’t run screaming for the hills just yet, all it really means is that we are trying to teach our bodies how to move lego-aour legs in isolation to our pelvis. Why would we want to do this, you ask? It is a crucial part of having a strong and stable core….  If you are someone whose hip flexors are often screaming at you during your exercise, this is a sure sign that your muscle balance around your hips is out of whack and this article will help you enormously.”

Importantly, she goes on to say:  “To imagine this concept more easily, we will draw inspiration from our trusty little Lego Man (Our model is a James Bond Lego Man courtesy of Hilary who has these cuff links!!). Check out the picture (above) and notice how he has a hinge at the hip joint where he is able to move his legs without affecting the rest of his torso. Now that is impressive hip disassociation!”

Cahill then offers practical advice for applying what the Lego is showing.  Her step-by-step guide can be found at:  http://www.pfiwa.com.au/a-lesson-from-the-lego-man.

So, the next time you’re picking up your child’s toys (or maybe your own?), don’t forget:  Inspiration – AND instruction – can be found in the least expected places.

lego-b copy

 

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Pilates for Mommies

We hold our selves to such high standards, thanks to the media splashing pictures of bikini-clad, svelte supermodels 4 week postpartum. It doesn’t work like that…If you are newly pregnant, I hate to be the bearer of this news. Your post baby body is likely to take a bit of work to reshape. It’s ok. There are two things you need: One is a profound LOVE AND RESPECT for your body, it has grown and given birth to a tiny human being! The other is PILATES. If you do both, I promise you will be amazed at the results.

Pilates is a fantastic way to keep up with the rapid changes in the pregnant body and prepare for birth. Postural changes, ligament laxity (due to hormonal changes), muscle tightness, a general sense that your derriere will never be the same…

Pilates addresses these changes by helping the client to maintain core strength, flexibility, and alignment during this dynamic time. All exercises are modified to support proper body mechanics and are approved by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

In addition, Pilates aids in the recovery postpartum by training muscles to support you in proper postural alignment, re-introducing the use of the pelvic floor and intrinsic abdominal musculature, and toning those places that shifted around during pregnancy. Every woman varies in her experience of pregnancy and childbirth. The Pilates method can provide the specific attention needed. Take some well deserved “me time” to rejuvenate your body. It will make you a a happier person, and therefore a better mother and partner, when you feel good in your body.

To make 2014 your year to reclaim your body and mind, the remedy is simple:
Love Yourself + Do Pilates = look and feel like a supermodel.

Shanta De Lacrose, Ph.D is an Instructor at Fit First Pilates of Marin, mother of two home birthed babies and has a passion for empowering women in all stages of life, especially motherhood.