Kathy’s pilates challenge: Bend … less?

A challenge for Capital News reporters Kathy Michaels and Jennifer Smith highlighted personal physical challenges.

Call me Jacques Cousteau.

Just as that French icon explored the depths, giving the world a better understanding of the great unknown—the women at NeuMovement physio and Pilates have given me tools to understand the workings of my body deep beneath skin level.

Said self discovery was less awe inspiring than a sea faring vacay would be, mind you. But it did teach me why I’ve had some challenges, and how NeuMovement differs from average fitness factories

In a lesson called  integration you’re taught what may need tweaking through a physiotherapy appointment, and offered the tools to create a masterpiece in a Pilates setting.

In my case, physiotherapist Jen Gulley also offered an answer to a long unanswered question: Why do I smile during yoga while my friends look pained?

Turns out it’s not because I’m a sadistic genius in one particular field of fitness.

“Do you feel this stretch?… This one? What about this?” said Jen, as she yanked and pushed my leg around.

“No, no and no,” were the responses I offered.

“You’re a Gumby,” she said, reconfiguring her path, explaining the green fellow who can bend every which way has nothing on me, except a cool orange horse.

It’s likely that I have a load of Elastin in my ligaments, which makes me looser. It’s great when I’m busting a move on the dance floor—regardless of what my friends say to the contrary—but it’s offered a few challenges to the way my body came together.

My lazy ligaments aren’t holding me in place as they would your average Jane, so my muscles work overtime to keep the status quo. Thing is, muscles aren’t too fussed about alignment, which explains the slightly off-kilter way I move through life and corresponding knee pains.

To move from realization to realignment,  I was passed off to Paula, who consulted with Jen about my  damage.

They then whipped together a little workout that payed exacting attention to my form.

Paula’s lesson highlighted that Pilates is focussed on quality, not quantity. You don’t need to do a 100 repetitions for the work to take effect. In my case, I did simple steps using a straighter formation, some recumbent leg loops and pointed my “sit bones” out, not under.

Paula explained when we are going through days activities, the tendency is to turn your tail in like a subservient pooch, and that’s the first step to an unhealthy form. Just being aware of that change is key to creating a better form.

In general the tasks were about controlling my muscles in a new way,  while paying particular attention to how every inch of my body was aligned.

The machines and a personal instructor help that aim. Together they guide you into certain positions and by the time I left, I was even walking differently.

Straighter, perhaps, and definitely a bit less wiggly… unless I’m on a dance floor, of course. Then watch out for Gumby to get her groove on.

Just Posted

The Westbank First Nation to be a fixture of Westside Daze

This Canada Day long weekend mark your calendars

Updated: Kelowna cops investigate armed robbery at city centre business

Robbery sparks late afternoon manhunt by armed police officers with guns drawn

Kelowna mayor pays emotional tribute to late senior city manager

Colin Basran chokes up remembering city corporate and protective services director Rob Mayne Monday

Country Music hopes to raise funds for Grand Forks families

The event will take place at OK Corral in Kelowna

NDP executive steps down in North Okanagan Shuswap

in-house ‘spending scandal’ blamed for Saturday’s resignation decision

Updated: Kelowna cops investigate armed robbery at city centre business

Robbery sparks late afternoon manhunt by armed police officers with guns drawn

UPDATED: Oliver wildfire extinguished, B.C. Wildfire mopping up

6-ha. brush fire contained before it could spread farther

Late goal gives England 2-1 win over Tunisia

At the last World Cup in 2014, England couldn’t even win a game

Canadian military police officer pleads not guilty to sex assault

Sgt. Kevin MacIntyre, 48, entered his plea today at a court martial proceeding in Halifax

Vernon cold case murder suspect bail hearing Tuesday

Paramjit Singh Bogarh will appear in Vernon Law Courts at 10 a.m. June 19

Elvis lives again in Penticton

Elvis Festival back this weekend for 17th year

Tigers looking to lock up title

Face Flames tonight in Penticton

Cheers erupt as Federal Court judge approves historic gay purge settlement

Gay military veterans said they were interrogated, harassed and spied on because of their sexuality

Remains of two people found on Vancouver Island

Officials have not said whether or not the remains belong to two missing men, last seen in Ucluelet in mid-May

Most Read