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Tips and Tricks

By Valentin Alexandrov

January 18, 2021

1. Shake! No shirk!


One of the things that Pilates beginners most often share is: “Pilates is very slow!”

However, this is a basic principle, and we are aware of the reason behind it. Moving on, when we gather for an evening workout in the gym, everyone is tense by the hectic pace of the workday, responsibilities, and by the hustle and bustle of the city. Overwhelming emotion together with stress prevents the natural Pilates energy flow from entering the body. The way I solved this problem for myself and therefore shared it with other practitioners as follows — we start each session with 5 minutes of body shaking — a simple but useful practice that in some cultures is basic and is practiced for hours also known as “Shaking meditation”.

How is the practice performed in more details: in an upright position, slightly squatting, the lower part of the pelvis slightly curved forward. From the knees, we start shaking the body vertically, keeping the upright position of the back. Within minutes, the body adjusts, excess tension “flows” down through the limbs, the pressure is released, especially in the neck and shoulder girdle, breathing becomes deeper and more conscious. This is how we adjust and gradually enter into the practice of Pilates.


2. Love at first sight. Our eyes also have muscles


One of the senses we use the most are our eyes. The gaze follows the inner intention, helps to depict the inner space, leads the outer movement. That is why our eyes need proper care and treatment. By making an analogy with Yoga and Dancing, I incorporate conscious attention to the eye movement/eye muscles /. On the one hand, to move the gaze in all possible directions with complete awareness. On the other hand, the gaze should guide the movement that I intend to perform. For example:

  • The gaze leads the movement. A variation of the “Spine twist,” in which the head moves led by the movement of the gaze. 1 – Gaze towards the right thumb, 2 – followed by the head, 3 – shoulder girdle, etc.


  • Static head variation – the gaze follows the movement of the given limb – for example – “Hip twist” performed from a lay down position, where the head is at rest. Still, the gaze follows the toes during the movement. Following the gaze, we can experiment throughout the practice. To explore relationships – intention, attention, gaze – movement and rediscover ourselves.


3. I love my Radio! Technical tip.


The Covid-19 pandemic, which forced us to relocate our practices online, put me in front of the following challenge – alternative ways to stream music. There was often a problem where participants in online practices did not hear either my voice or the accompanying music well. On the other hand, no one was able to adjust the volume as desired. One fine day I “heard” the solution in my head – radio! All participants listen to the same music radio. So we are on the same wave and everyone adjusts the volume to their liking, without disturbing the voice of the presenter nor the others. Personally, I love and recommend – online radio ““, especially “Dusty, smoky

beats” / on a blue background, after three clicks on the play button /. Great music to practice without interruption for commercials or news.

Thank you for your attention! I will be happy if my personal experience comes to use for anyone interested.

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