Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Exercise Routine?
By Heather Snyder,
certified Alexander Technique and Pilates Instructor
Are there certain exercises you do that hurt you but you don't know why? Do you wonder why you can't do a certain yoga pose? Do you feel lighter on your feet or heavier after your exercise routine? Do you wonder why your neck hurts after a pilates class?
If you've asked yourself these or similar questions, there is a way you can learn exactly how to get the most out of your exercise routine. The most Important aspect of any exercise routine, whether it is pilates, yoga, running or anything else, is how you perform the movement. If you spend an hour a week in spinning class but every week you come out of class with your neck tighter and your hips hurting, you will never get the full results out of your exercise regimen that you desire. If you regularly take a pilates or yoga class then it is extremely important to know what your own body's tendencies are so you can adjust your body to the movement that is given and get the most out of the class. Your instructor gives you valuable feedback on how to perform an exercise correctly but if you don't know how to apply it to your own body, then you will not get the full benefit out of the exercises.
With The Alexander Technique, you learn to become aware of and change your harmful movement patterns that affect every aspect of your exercise. All too often, a person chooses an exercise regimen in order to change their body, but without understanding their body's own capabilities and habitual movement patterns, they are only reinforcing their harmful habits. If a runner is always favoring one leg in his stride, then he will not be working efficiently in the rest of his body and therefore will not be running at his full and fastest potential. He will also be more susceptible to injury because he is not in proper alignment. In an Alexander Technique lesson, the runner would become aware of this pattern and learn how correct it and make better choices for his body while he is running. When someone understands the healthiest way for their own body to do the movement they are engaged in, better results can be achieved through exercise. So, I invite you to look more closely at your own exercise movements and at how you are doing them. What are your goals and what is actually happening in your body? Do you know what your overall movement patterns are? Do you notice any patterns that may be harmful or undesirable? Are you unconsciously taking those habits right into your workout? Start to pay close attention to yourself and your movements. Make the investment in your body and overall health by learning The Alexander Technique. Discover what is possible when you let your exercise routine work for you, not against you.