In this day and age, humans are relying heavily and more on social media and technology to get around in their daily lives. While it has its positives, there is also a lot of natural stimulation, sensation, movement and spatial awareness being lost from sitting behind the desk and car for several hours on end. This month we take a look at how healthy animals move about throughout their day and how Pilates incorporates several of those “natural” movements in its exercise repertoire to allow for a healthier range of movement and a profound release on muscular tension.
Joseph Pilates, the founder of Pilates, was much inspired by the way animals naturally move with no pulled muscle or injuries (unless ofcourse they had to defend themselves in a fight). He went to zoos to watch animals in motion and encouraged students to observe the movement of animals which are wonderful teachers. In Joseph Pilates book, Return to Life through Contrology, he has a section where he talks about how the cat’s back muscles ripple as it stretches and relaxes itself. And about how the cat is so utterly relaxed when it sleeps. Pilates reminds us that his exercises encourage this constant stretching and relaxing. Cats move with grace and power, accomplishing what they need to do without overly-developed muscles — just as balanced and efficient muscular development is one of the priorities of the Pilates method.
“This true rhythm and control is observed both in domestic pets and wild animals – without exception.” – Joseph Pilates
Walid Tebarki, one of the Pilates instructors at The Hundred Pilates Studio, speaks out about the strong and healthy connection of Pilates movements named after an “animal” and the smart connection between their range of movements to how humans should apply in their daily lives.
“The core of the body as the center of the earth. Every thing is attracted to the center and moves without tension. Pilates Method is an evolution physical training.It is first neurogenic before myogenic. Animals are similar and that’s why Joe Pilates is using animals and kids images to bring us back to the original shape. Animals and/or Kids move effortlessly because they have the perfect balance between the inside and the outside world. It’s interesting to note that the moves of animals stimulate their fascia and they never work out by tiring one or two muscle groups as some fitness trainings do. The muscles of animals are interconnected meaning, the connective tissue is stimulated by being stretched and contracted at the same time which in return, strengthens the deep muscles.
And beyond the physical side of things, Pilates also focuses on a more holistic approach to this topic.
The Body is a place that we mostly ignore. Our own body is a landscape that is both remarkably familiar and strangely unfamiliar to us at the same time. If you are aware about the amazing world inside you. You will have the gift to change the word. This is also the power of being present in the “now”. – Walid Tebarki
So this month we ask Kara Martin – editor of Sport 360 newspaper in the UAE – to try out selected Pilates exercises that are named and inspired after animals such as cat, seal, swan, crab, elephant, monkey and frog – just to name a few – to connect with the natural movements animals go through in their daily life and talk about her experience of how she felt (body and mind) after performing those selected moves at The Hundred Pilates Studio.
We are excited to share with you a Gluten Free Granola recipe by Arwa Lootah, a talented baker based in Dubai and the creator of www.lamereculinaire.com
“Those Gluten Free Granola Bars I mentioned are so delicious and wholesome. They’re easy to make and not too sweet.
I chose to make them using 3 different kinds of ground nuts just to create different layers of flavour. You can use just one kind and increase the quantity. I like to experiment with different recipes for restricted diets because I have many friends who are gluten free, vegan or even follow the hardest diets due to health issues.” – Arwa.
1/3 Cup Raw Cashews, Ground
1/3 Cup Raw Pecans, Ground
1/3 Cup Raw Almonds, Ground
1 TSP Salt
1/2 TSP Cinnamon
A Pinch of Nutmeg
1/2 Cup Raw Sugar (or coconut sugar for a healthier sweetener option)
1 TBS Golden Flaxseeds
1 TBS Brown Flaxseeds
1/4 Cup Papitas, Roasted
1/4 Cup Sunflower Seeds, Roasted
1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries
2 Cups GF Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
2 Cups GF Puffed Rice Cereal
5 TBS Honey
5 TBS Coconut Oil, Melted
Preheat the oven to 160C. Line a rectangular baking tray with baking paper and place another same sized tray on the side along with another baking paper.
In large bowl, mix the ground nuts, salt and sugar (or sweetener), cinnamon and nutmeg until combined.
Add the flaxseeds, the papitas and the sunflower seeds and mix.
Add the oats, puffed rice, honey and coconut oil. Combine well.
Pour granola mix in the lined tray and level. Place the other baking paper on top of the granola and place the second tray on top of that.
Apply pressure on to ensure that the granola mixture is compressed. Remove the top tray and the top baking paper.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the tray and then cut into bars.
Remove from tray and allow to cool completely. Store in an air tight container. Do not put in the fridge to cool or store. The granola bars will become soggy and fall apart.
Recipe sourced from: http://lamereculinaire.com/2013/10/#sthash.YRBBrhVP.dpuf
This month we interview a dedicated client of ours – Faisal Lutfi – a 29 year old father of 2, a partner in 2 businesses, Sheburger and Allinque Personal Assistance and a Senior Manager of regional and international affairs in Dubai Customs, who is currently, cross-complementing his Cross Fit training regime with Pilates after being diagnosed with a few of spinal injuries. We are delighted to share his results with you.
But before that lets talk a bit about Crossfit and Pilates. Both have their origins in gymnastics. Pilates originated in the early twentieth century by Joseph Pilates, a former gymnast and boxer.The main goal of Pilates is to return our bodies to a functional level, strengthening the muscular system from the core to the periphery, focusing mostly on the small stabilizing and postural muscles.
Crossfit was founded in 1995 by Greg Glassman, a former high school gymnast. Crossfit focuses on the ten aspects of fitness: cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, agility, balance, coordination, and accuracy.
A staple in Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Libya….this Middle Eastern delicious dish is a very simple to create and is a refreshing change to your usual scrambled – benedict – omelet….you name it. The egg is poached in a bed of thick rich tomato sauce and baked in the oven with tangy feta cheese and basil leaves. Your house will smell heavenly, your tastebuds will thank you for a healthy omega-3 breakfast. Or lunch. Or dinner. Yes, it is very versatile and addictive!