The best advice I was given by my Pilates and Yoga teachers was to transfer some of the skills learnt on the mat into my daily life. How about taking this wonderful recommendation a step further and making our environment closer to what we have in a typical class? Implementing these few simple steps is sure to reap huge benefits:
1) Walking barefoot
2) Sitting on the floor, on a block or folded towel if needed
3) Lying on back, supported by a bolster or stack of pillows as needed, feeling any tension melt away
4) Spending 5 minutes focusing all your attention on the breath (being upside down is optional!)
5) Visualising yourself in a natural environment (forest, seaside, garden, etc.) or better still, being in it! :-)
If this sounds good to you, let me know how you get on...
With heartfelt thanks to yoga teachers: Brea Johnson (also a restorative exercise specialist), Sumita Patel, Ady Riel, Mary Niker, Tina Jacobs, Jo Franks, Sarah Werrell, Sarah Owen, and pilates teachers: Mina van Brunschot (also a restorative exercise specialist), Michele Houston, Sue Lloyd, Chris Brook.
And a huge thank-you to Katy Bowman for sharing her vast knowledge of the human body and inspiring me to take the step to change my environment to make it more nutritious in terms of movement. I don't usually like the word "guru" but it describes her perfectly: "a person who has a lot of experience in or knowledge about a particular subject", "a teacher that you trust" (Merriam-Webster). Whether guru or midwife (as she prefers to be called), I admire her intelligence, her massive amounts of energy, her zest for life and the simple fact that she leads by example.
However, I will always question everything I am taught and encourage everyone to do so. Always be your own guru!