by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster
Omelets at the E-Comm Cafe on Main Street are succulent, and huge. I stopped by for one after my Pilates class today. It nearly filled up the plate all by itself, overflowing with perfectly cooked mushrooms and other yummies, with wonderful, coffee refilled every time I looked up.
Pilates class at the YMCA has been a real experience, and was very different than expected. I was surprised to learn Joseph H. Pilates was a sickly child, suffering from asthma, rickets, and rheumatic fever. Determined to find health and strength, he began studying body-building, yoga, qigong, and gymnastics. By age of 14, he was posing for anatomical charts.
A gymnast, diver, and bodybuilder, he moved to England in 1912, earning his living as a professional boxer, circus-performer, and self-defense trainer at police schools and Scotland Yard.
When I started Pilates, I had no idea its original point was what, today, we call rehabilitation. After discovering this I started taking my son, Arthur to classes. Arthur, now 35, suffered major brain injury and other trauma in 1997 during a motorcycle accident. Six months later he shot himself through the brain. Over the past several years his mobility, which was certainly never good after these two events, had been deteriorating. Three months ago getting down on the floor was tough for him. Today I can see the difference, though he is cranky about the earliness of the class.
For me, Pilates has provided some of the same benefits I previously found in Rolfing, with much less pain. Rolfing, originated by Ida Rolf, who received her Ph. D. in biochemistry from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University in 1920, developed the system to,“correct imbalances in structure placed demands on the body's pervasive network of soft tissues: muscles, fascia, tendons and ligaments.”
Pilates helps release trauma to muscles and joints, allowing the body to work more smoothly, providing many of the same benefits at less cost. Rebecca Mondo, who does the class, encourages folks with mobility problems to participate, Wednesdays at the Wellness Center, which is also where we will be starting a group to Evoke the Muse in You. The Muse is a fine thing to have on our journey through life and far more wonderful if you can share with others of like mind and heart.
Body, mind, spirit, it takes all three. Brought together, life can be wonderful.