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Pilates Basics

by Jillian Hessel

Excerpt from Part Two: Your Body in Motion

"Setting the Foundation: B.E.A.M. Fundamentals"

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Your Body in Motion

Just as your feet are the foundation for good upright posture, the B.E.A.M. Fundamentals are the foundation for your Pilates practice. These preparatory exercises will help you warm up both body and mind, and enhance your understanding and execution of the more challenging classic matwork exercises to come in the next chapter.

As I explained in my introduction, B.E.A.M. is an acronym that stands for Breathe, Energize, Align, and Move. Since "B" is for Breathe, naturally you'll begin by observing how your breath travels in and out of your body. Next, you'll establish conscious control of your breath, making it more dynamic to Energize (the "E" in B.E.A.M.) your entire body and mind. And you'll increase your understanding of the body-mind connection by engaging your deepest abdominal muscles, or "girdle of strength," and your pelvic floor muscles to initiate each exhalation.

To incorporate "A" for Align, you'll learn to visualize your bone structure, which supports all your body's movements. If you can visualize the best alignment of your bone structure before you begin a movement, your movements will be more efficient and less stressful on your body.

The "M" for Move is the final element of B.E.A.M. You'll find that applying your new knowledge of breath, energy, and alignment into dynamic movement is an exciting experience, whether it's for Pilates, competitive sports, or simply a walk around the block.

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Additional Excerpts

Read more of the book here!

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Jillian Hessel Pilates

Los Angeles, California
Phone 310.246.0082

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