Active Pilates’ Tip 6 – movement integration

The last Polestar Principle is Movement Integration. Once you establish the correct feeling for a movement, you only need to recall the sensation and your body will automatically respond.

The movement of the mind is reflected in the movement of the body and vice versa. Therefore, we need to develop a strong relationship between the mind and body. As a result, our body would be able to move as directed by our mind. The movement depends on three factors:

  1. Individual (perception, cognition = mind and action (body movement))
  2. The task = the actual exercise
  3. The environment

Once you establish body and mind integration, you’ll be able to progress from “consciously incompetent” to “consciously competent”.  This requires 100% presence on the give task. The next step is to become “unconsciously competent” that will enable you to perform more advanced exercises with perfect movement.

“I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself.” – Mikhail Baryshnikov

Change is possible and needs to be done through re-coordinating the neuromuscular pathways, which are responsible for the habitual balance and movement patterns. You might need to imagine the movement prior to the actual body action. Having a thought or “seeing” a picture sends a message through to the nervous system as the nervous system and our thoughts are connected.

How do we teach our body new movement patterns?

There are two common learning approaches – declarative (depends on awareness, attention and reflection) and procedural (repetition) that requires practice, practice and more practice. Consequently, you’ll be able to perform challenging exercises by repeatedly performing them over and over.

Let’s have a look at our spine and its movements. It has to be stable and mobile. The spine supports our head, organs, and limbs and protects the spinal cord. The curves of the spine are influenced by the position of the pelvis.

How can you move the spine?

It can move into flexion, extension, rotation and lateral flexion. How does it actually move? It needs the pelvis (the hub of the body, a centre of stability and originator of motion) that is functioning as the main moving force for the spinal movements in all planes. Therefore, it’s crucial to maintain integration of the pelvis and our torso. In addition, integration of the torso with the extremities (arms and legs) allows for the required force in the extremities while we’re doing weight-bearing exercises. It’s important to move the spine in segments to allow for fluidity and in order to release the spinous processes (standing, sitting or supine).

And this principle is the last of six Polestar Principles of movement. We hope that breaking these down into the individual principles makes it easy to understand and if you need more information, you can send us email. Alternatively, you can join one of our classes in Panaceum Rehabilitation Centre, Geradlton.

Call today on 08 9921 3405 to book your spot.