Tag Archives: Pilates

Week 6’s little pleasures

child-laughter

I had such a long and trying week and whenever that happens, I force myself to identify the little things and enjoy those.

  1. Listening to Barbara Kingsolver at the Rosebank Exclusive Books. I kept saying to myself under my breath Tata Jesus is Bangala!
  2. Iced bubble tea at Happy.Me Rosebank
  3. New work out gear
  4. Fish curry with friends
  5. Two great gym classes
  6. Loving my Pilates instructor and class. So tough on the core but so good.
  7. Reading Gone Girl. LOVING IT!
  8. Finished Jonny Steinberg’s Little Liberia and I loved it so much.
  9. Getting started on tonight’s dinner – we are hosting friends from our Honours class and with the numbers (and so I can also chill and enjoy the evening) this is best.
  10. Dinner with my sister and nephew because I had no power at home.

Life is about all the small moments and I hope that I remain conscious enough never to forget that.

19: Stuff I like (to do)

  1. My faith and sometimes looking through my Bible and reading a section that in times past inspired or encouraged me
  2. Chatting with my sisters about ALL things under the starts
  3. Random Whatsapp/ Gchat conversations with a friend
  4. Pilates on Tuesday morning
  5. Getting into a book so much that you feel like you and the characters are one
  6. A hot cuppa at just the right time
  7. Catching up on blogs I love
  8. Music and Podcasts
  9. Browsing through a bookshop
  10. Cooking, baking or trying out a new recipe
  11. Yoghurt

What inspires you?

Little things Wednesday

via

  • For the freedom to worship God and to have a personal and meaningful relationship with Him.
  • For a few years in the recent past I was involved in a four-part bible study called BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) International and this week with news reports of the Pope and Desmond Tutu, I was reminded again of why it is important to read God’s word and interpret it for myself (obvs in line with His teachings).
  • We have had such a mild Winter this year and I am utterly grateful for the many beautiful days we have had!
  • The unquestioning love of a mother? Definitely not a little thing but manifested in so many little ways each day that we live and experience it.
  • I borrowed library books in June and they were due at the start of July, I returned them over three weeks later and the fine was miniscule. I love it when such surprises come along you way!
  • Finding a parking spot close to the entry into the main building: once, while dropping my mum off at the airport (and check-in had already started) and secondly, at the office because by the time I usually get her allocated parking for the company is often almost full.
  • I have resumed Pilates on Tuesday mornings! Only the best activity ever!

What little things have caught your eyes recently?

Attempting an abbreviated post

I admire people who can tell so much in a post by using bullet points and when I try to, I instead do a brain dump of links I have loved as clearly brevity does not come so easily to me but I shall attempt to charge ahead.

  • Went for the AfCon 2013 final match at Soccer City and let’s just say it was a mini-Abuja all right.
  • Well done Burkina Faso, the little bus that could!
  • Finally my Pilates class is back to normal numbers – the last two weeks, I’ve had to rush there to get a spot!
  • Certainly won’t miss the heavy breathers that totally mistook what breathing out means. Its just normal breathing, nothing heavy and fancy!
  • The Pope is resigning! Slowly now, The. Pope. Is. Resigning.
  • Kenya votes on the 4th of March and I do not like the vibe I am getting off Facebook – I just pray that it does not become very tribal and degenerate into a violent episode like five years back.
  • My phone, a Blackberry Curve, is over its sell-by date and is totally actin up. Looking for a new one!
  • Would you believe, still waiting to watch the season Finale of Homeland Season 2! (NO spoilers please)
  • Watched two silly movies recently: For a good time call (I’m the girl who loved Jack and Miri … ) and The Campaign. Judge away.

Pilates, my new little love

This is good for the tummy

So a couple of months ago I decided to start doing Pilates. I had been reading up on it for a couple of months and in the colder winter months decided to switch from swimming to Pilates. I went to the attached Wikipedia page, read up on it and determined that OK, this is something that I could do and could grow to totally love. Funnily enough, at the time I had decided to do it, two of my friends both had opportunity to try it out and didn’t necessarily go ga-ga over it. However, I persisted on with saying I’d like to. One evening driving home, I saw this place and decided to call them up. Initially, it was a little disappointing, took the owner a fair amount of time to get back to me and then after a few emails back and forth we settled on a particular Wednesday for me to go by and start. Going in, all I knew was that it strengthens your core and some people had spoken of it being good for toning and I figured, mhhhh, why not?

My instructor proposed that since I had not had previous experience with Pilates, I should probably have a couple of individual classes at the Studio and then gradually move into the group classes once I am more comfortable with the techniques and have gotten an idea of my strength levels. Which I now see the benefit of and would greatly recommend to any Pilates aspirants out there. Go for a couple individual classes initially and then join the larger group later. At the time, my largest concern was that I did not want to get involved in any spiritual shpill/ mumbo-jumbo of the kind that I associate with Yoga and I had told myself that at the first sighting of this, I would leave and not come back. That was really my only non-negotiable requirement. Oh, that and the fact that I did not want a male instructor.

Using a reformer

So first day of class and not knowing what to expect, I showed up at the studio, met and spoke to my instructor and got to know her somewhat. Which again, is important, the class will just be the two of you for an hour, its important that you have a level of companionship, that’s natural and not forced. Then she talked me through a slight history of Pilates and the potential benefits and how the most important thing is to learn to breath. Now, I thought, yeah, OK breath, I can do that. And slowly I just started to stretch, do some of the gentler exercises, got introduced to the reformer and more importantly, “the core”. Now this just above your pelvis and initially, it feels like a tough cookie to pin down (forgive the pun) but as you build up the tummy muscles, its definitely harder to ignore. The key to it all, is really just the breathing because Pilates is essentially low impact and highly repetitive and you need to really work on the breathing. It’s also important because when not done properly, you place strain on your body and it could really hurt the next day.

My solo classes continued for three months, by which point I was confident about the breathing, my strength levels and the overall techniques that I had learnt over time. Thereafter, I joined a gym. First, because it was much cheaper than the individual classes I was paying and also because I wanted to meet people and make friends (story for another day). The only downside is that the machines are not part of the gym membership, I would have to pay extra for those. But I am fine with that. Solo versus group classes? It’s not especially easy to compare, its different strokes for different folks but I enjoy both but in a different way.

Once had to do this facing a guy in very cramped proximity. Only longest class ever!

Anyone looking to start Pilates, definitely go for it. However, just go by the studio and check out the different machines and equipment that they can use (mats, BOSUs, Reformers, balls). Definitely inquire of your instructor where he/she obtained her certification from. Find out whether she does the exercise with you or whether she will stand by you – non trivial point, but sometimes it helps to work through some of the more elaborate techniques with someone alongside rather than overseeing you. I also generally liked that my instructor would tell me where I ought to feel the impact of the move and what muscle I was stretching, that afterwards you would cool down and reduce the strain on that area.

I am really enjoying Pilates. Love that its very low-impact and I do not sweat but that its wholesome and exercises all parts of my body. Its also good for toning the different muscles and makes you especially strong, both in the core and but all over. I also like the breathing in and out as I find that I tend to do the same thing when I work out and that it helps me not feel overwhelmed.

Would I recommend it,sure thing!