“It’s the details that are vital–little things make big things happen.”
In Pilates, we call that PRECISION.
My daughter and I were on parallel paths last year. Her path was labeled “Drivers Training,” and mine was “Advanced Certification.” Pilates and driving may seem radically different on first blush, but the one thing that is vitally important to being successful at both (and avoiding injury!) is precision.
While my daughter was learning how many degrees to turn her steering wheel to parallel park, and how many feet to stop away from a railroad track, I marveled at how easy it is to forget how were originally taught to drive. The correct way. The important way. The precise way. Bad habits seem to form the minute after we smile for the camera at our local DMV. During that time I came to realize how easy it is to form bad habits while doing pilates–not making critical connections, sloppy transitions, not focusing. So as my daughter was learning the fundamentals of driving, I went back to incorporating pilates fundaments into every session, no matter what level. And guess what? Not only did my personal practice (and teaching) improve, so did my driving!
Movement precision is built on concentration. There’s that mind/body connection again! So to go “off road” for a minute, driving ALSO requires both the mind and the body to accomplish it. Have you ever left somewhere only to find yourself in your driveway, not remembering the entire ride home? It’s critical to be present, to be in the moment, both while driving and doing pilates. Go back to the fundamentals: When you approach a stopsign, come to a complete stop and count one-Mississippi, two-Mississippi, three-Mississippi before hitting the gas. Use that blinker when you’re changing lanes, even if there isn’t another car close by. When practicing pilates, close your eyes with your hands on your ribs and do Breathing to stimulate your respiratory system. Rib Cage Arms will stabilize your shoulder complex, and Clock Work does wonders to increase the mobility in your lumbar spine and activate your abdominal muscles. I guarantee you’ll notice the difference.
So am I hoping that the next time you find yourself straddling the dotted line at 65 mph you’ll think of pilates and go back to the basics?
P R E C I S E L Y.