You in 2022: Refresh Your Flow

You in 2022: Refresh Your Flow

Throughout January and February we’ll be featuring “You in 2022” –  a variety of stories from instructors and enthusiasts alike on what inspires them to be healthier. We hope they inspire you to make a healthy choice, too!

Flow. We hear quite a few Pilates classes described as having “flow.” What does this mean? It means a little something different to each of us. This is what it means to me.

Flow, in my mind, comes in two forms: External and Internal.

External flow is how to seamlessly go from one move to another. When teaching a class, I think of it as though I am constructing a building from the ground up. Each move starts with a foundation and then you add floors (choreography or springs) etc., without ever breaking the rhythm of the movement. My students know the transitions from one move to another as “the intermission.” The intermission is the bridge from one move to the next. It creates the endurance they need to move their Pilates practice to the next level.

In the first part of the video below, I am using 1 red spring and I use the planks as “The Intermission” to get to the other side. This is the simplest example of using flow.

In the second part of the video (at the 1:15 mark), with 1 red OR 1 blue spring, I start with an “All 4 Single Arm Extension,” add on to the foundation by adding a leg extension and creating a balance challenge as well. For “The Intermission” we’ll use plank work to get to the other side.

The examples I’ve used has been on 1 spring, but play with tension and see what works for you!

Internal flow is also very important. This is the element which helps create a strategy on HOW to do the Pilates exercises/moves better each time we do it and most certainly with intention. Intention brings you mentally into the room and creates a deliberateness to each move. How can we make that very last rep better than the first one, potentially ending stronger than we started? For me, that’s how we get fitter and stronger. Not just physically, but mentally as well. At the end of the day, a strong mindset and visualizations through cueing can inspire the creation of a strong body.

Shannon Barbadian is Founder of Root Fitness in Corona Del Mar, CA, a boutique fitness studio specializing in Pilates, Bodhi Suspension and Cycling + signature formats which transform you from the ground up! Shannon has been in the fitness industry for over 20 years teaching all modalities of fitness classes as well as being Group Exercise Director & Programmer, including Pilates Director for a large fitness center in San Francisco. Find Shannon on IG: @sbarbadian


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