From the Greek translating to - monthly pause
Menopause naturally occurs for every women around age 51 although some experience it earlier. It's the cessation of monthly menstruation for a 12 months. This happens when your ovaries stop producing eggs, as a result levels of hormones Oestrogen and Progesterone fall. Pilates & Menopause are an excellent partnership.
Pre-menopause: When no menopausal symptoms are noticeable
Peri-menopause: When symptoms begin to develop due to hormone changes - you still have your periods although they are changing in nature and frequency
Menopause: You've not had a period for 12 consecutive months
Post-Menopause: The rest of your life - without a period for 12 consecutive months
With life expectancy increasing into the 80's this can mean you could be post-menopausal for a third of your life! Pilates & Menopause is the answer.
It seems 2022 was the year of talking, writing, making TV programmes and many other public platforms about the Menopause. Every day saw more articles, books, films etc., on the topic whereas before it was mainly a handful of female writers discussing it.
Hallelujah! it's out of the closet but if you're reading any of the posts on Facebook, or looking at any Menopause support groups it looks like the consensus is - Menopause sucks big time. Symptoms from anxiety to Paranoia appear to be common.
Everyone's experience will be different and how we cope will vary too but my experience with clients going through the stage of the M word is - exercise helps.
Pilates is a system of movement that focusses on quality of movement according to the Principles:
When working with these principles in mind a Pilates class whether it's for beginners of more experienced practitioners is a calming, focussed place where time spent is beneficial when Menopausal symptoms come calling.
Pilates is a full mind and body programme, there are no fast-paced exercises although a free-flowing natural rhythm is encouraged. Every exercise begins with attention to the deep abdominals that stabilise the Pelvis and Spine. As movements develop to include larger muscles and limbs attention to Breath, Control and Precision are the objectives of the class.
The result of such deliberate concentration throughout the session either on the mat or using the Professional Pilates equipment is a session that is effective without stress, a definite bonus for the women going through the stages of Menopause.
I hope you now have a sense of the benefits a Pilates class can bring to your concerns during all phases of your Menopause journey. Whether you attend a class specifically for women dealing with this stage of life or a general Pilate class you'll find an outlet for symptoms you're experiencing as well as a place to talk should you wish to. Taking control of your situation always feels good. You don't need to be a victim of this natural although at times challenging life event.
Should you want to discuss the possibility of taking classes at my studio (not necessarily for Pilates & Menopause) in La Garde Freinet contact me at Nuala@nualacoombspilates.com
or call +33 (0) 6 73 99 37 85
Helpful links: https://www.balance-menopause.com
So you've heard about Pilates in the media, or you may have seen posters where you exercise, you may even have passed by my studio in La Grade Freinet or other studios where you live and wondered what it's about and is the hype true? Your wondering "what can Pilates do for me"?
I've been a student, teacher and teacher trainer of Pilates for many years. I can say it's a system of exercise I've never become bored with or surprised when clients or student teachers realise how effective it is when practiced consistently.
Whether you're new to Pilates and exercise in general or are a regular exerciser the benefits of Pilates are clear for everyone whatever their needs. It's generally accepted there are 6 Pilates Principles although some schools mention 8 or 7 - this is because Joseph Pilates, the creator of the technique didn't set down these principles but teachers who continued with his system thought a set of defining formula would be helpful for people trying to understand the technique.
Concentration: A fundamental principle - Pilates is a mind and body programme. When you work with concentrated effort, focus and body awareness are heightened.
Centering: Pilates is practiced from the deep abdominals - those abdominals that stabilise the body, once they're active the more superficial muscles can move the body safely under load.
Control: When Joseph Pilates developed his technique he called it Contrology. The aim of the technique is to work in such a way as to reduce the risk of injury from uncontrolled, sloppy movements. This doesn't mean the exercises are performed super slow, just from the inside out with consistency and quality.
Breathing: A full breath is recommended during all Pilates exercises not only to keep you alert but also to help with the coordination, timing and rhythm of the movement.
Flowing Movement: The aim of a well organised Pilates class is to create a smooth, fluid transition between movements that creates a great sense of wellbeing as well as a stress free workout.
Taking into account the Principles it's easy to see what Pilates can do for you - how regular Pilates classes can help to ease stress, strengthen, tone, mobilise and improve flexibility. All these qualities will improve your sports and reduce any potential for over-use injuries. Consider how many times you serve during a game of tennis or swing the golf club around 18 holes.
Clients of all ages tell me how well they feel after a class using both the mat work system as well as the professional equipment, they tell me how their sleep has improved, how previously stiff joints are more mobile how their balance has improved, their game of golf no longer leaves them with low back pain and of course how their posture and body awareness has improved.
Don't be mis-lead by those acrobatic photos you've seen in magazines or on youtube, Pilates is for everyone whatever their fitness level. All of the repertoire can be modified to help those with particular issues or delivered in a very athletic way for those who want to improve their fitness level.
Pilates is not "a good stretch" it is a full body technique to help you achieve whatever health and fitness goal you want.
So next time you pass that Pilates studio or class, pop your head in - get some more information.
As usual if you need more information or have questions contact me at Nuala@nualacoombspilates.com
We've looked at the fundamental considerations of regular Pilates session and The Benefits of Pilates For You and I hope you can start to think about trying it out - if you're not already a client? Remember.....
If you have questions just call into the studio at Place de Vielle, La Garde Freinet 83680 or email: Nuala@nualacoombspilates.com or you can always phone - +33 (0)6 73 99 37 85
Golf is truly a mind & body sport. Concentration, strength, flexibility, mobility and power are all essential components. The workload placed on the spine and supporting structure is immense. When the body is out of balance the risk of injury intensifies.
The Mechanics of Your Golf Swing
During your golf swing your body acts like a whip. Power production begins at the feet, pushing against the ground, it travels up the legs to drive the hips forward. Force is transferred through the trunk to the chest upper back and arms. If any part of the chain is weak or stiff power is lost, the body will have to compensate somehow along the links of the chain resulting not only in loss of power but increasing the potential for injury.
Proper Sequencing - Your Golf Swing:
Your golf swing demands a strong, flexible, coordinated and balanced body. It's a physically demanding full body sport; only with specific training will injuries be avoided and improvements made to the quality of your performance. Even if you hire a professional golf coach to work on your technique, if your body is not capable of performing the drills because of stiffness, lack of core strength of mobility problems progress will be slow, at worse may never happen.
Strong leg, thigh and hip muscles to generate driving power:
These lower body forces must be transferred through a well conditioned mid-section to the upper body
Strong chest, back and shoulder muscles:
Allow for greater acceleration of the club whilst maintaining control through effective arms and forearms
You can see a perfectly executed golf swing needs overall body strength, flexibility and co-ordination - all Pilates principles are relevant.
Concentration, the ability to focus throughout the swing improves skill and power
Centering, the efficient use of the core to stabilise improves power through the hips to increase the length of Tee and Fairway shots.
Precision, the repetitive nature of golf demands consistency, working with this Pilates principle in mind will encourage exact performance every time.
Flowing Movement, will help you to "feel" the swing as opposed to just hitting the ball
Breath, in addition to keeping you fresh and alert throughout your game learning to use a full breath will increase the power and endurance of a shot. It will also help to create a smooth swing.
Routine, if you can replicate an effective swing pattern, consistency and accuracy, key to a great game of golf will be yours. The Pilates system of exercise is designed to help you work with focus when performing each movement every time this will eventually result in body awareness becoming automatic.
Pilates Programming: when you decide to add Pilates to your golf practice, here at the Studio in La Garde Freinet ( just opposite Bar du Soleil) you'll work with both the professional Pilates equipment as well as floor exercises, the combination of the two systems offer a complete workout whether you're new to exercise or a regular fitness practitioner.
To develop your best Golf Swing sequence you need to:
Contact me should you have questions or need an appointment I am here all year.
Tel: 06 73 99 37 85 email: Nuala@nualacoombspilates.com