Establishing your “Movement Practice”
Jul 06, 2021 - Meghan Pickrell
You may have heard me use the term “Movement Practice” and thought, ‘what is a Movement Practice?’ We all know the obvious benefits of exercise. Exercise increases strength of bones and muscles, lowers your blood pressure, maintains heart health and helps maintain a healthy weight. A regular exercise routine has other less known benefits like reducing the risk of chronic disease, improving memory and brain function, promoting relaxation and uplifting mood. It can even decrease levels of pain. That should inspire you to move right now!
If you’re not yet in a regular exercise program, there are so many ways to begin. You could start with a 15 minute walk. If you can’t walk because of pain, you can start moving in your chair or you can lie on your back and begin to move your limbs. This is how Pilates was created. It was created to meet the needs of those with limitations. We all have our set of limitations (even me!). Limitations are great because it gives us a place to begin.
Instead of framing the question as, ‘what you cannot do,’ let’s begin with what you can do.
For close to two decades I have assessed the body of every new client who comes into the M&M studio. I also consider their thought process, approach to exercising and their personality. I assess what they already do and where I can help improve their overall movement and health. This is why I came up with an assessment for the virtual platform. The assessment reveals differing levels of strength and mobility. Therefore, I offer modifications on any exercise which is challenging. By testing out the modifications I promise you will find the iteration that is best for your body. Be encouraged, as there is a modification for each movement which you can do today!
You continue practicing what you have learned, hence the name, “Movement Practice.” During my “Movement Practice” sessions, you practice general movement and/or specific movement skills such as: rolling up from lying down, rolling over, back-bending, planking, transferring our weight in different directions and squatting. I am always mindful of increasing your range of motion. I also encourage you to move in different positions, from lying on your back to standing on your feet. Remember, a modification is available for any movement or skill that I teach you today.
In my full body workout, which I’ve labeled on the site as the ‘Weekly Practice,’ we are moving through many postures and exercises throughout the session. This means we work on all sides and sections of your body. Because we are working on the floor, we are using our body weight and gravity to our favor. In my strength collection we offer shorter videos that focus on one position/orientation – front body, back body and side body. I also offer lower body and upper body strength sessions.
Along with all of the exercise benefits mentioned above, a “Movement Practice” offers us the opportunity to keep movement open and available as we age. This is why I often ask you to practice sitting on the floor. The more you occupy these different postures and practice movement skills, the more you will have ease of movement at your disposal. Trust me, this is essential as we age. Together we will start at a place where you can move today and deliberately progress your body towards a state of limitless movement. I offer a 7-day free trial to begin. I’ll see you on the mat!