The base of our base

By Jolanta Siemianowska

I’m going to start this article with my own personal thoughts but please stay with me for a few more lines before I go to the point! During this pandemic situation nothing really is known, what next is going to happen. Each of human beings used this time differently, but I’m sure all of us got a chance to go for a walk, spend more time outdoors closer to nature, explore new unknown walking routes etc. I’ve walk most of the days when the government eased lockdown.  Every time I went for a walk, I’ve seen something new, even though I’ve been walking on that route before. I looked around and each time I’ve seen something new… Then I start to think about how it happens, when it happens, why it happens etc. On one of my routes, I need to pass a bridge to get to my local “green walk” . It always amazes me the work of engineering. Genius brains which create infinity of structures.

For example, imagine suspension bridges that can hold tons of cars and their base are somewhere deep in the water, buildings so high that they hide deep in the clouds, machines that create parts for any structure possible imagined. There are many things in this world that are simply unimaginable, some things we take for granted  unconsciously, but all these things must be based on something.

When the builders build the house, they start from the foundation. The foundation needs to be straight and solid so the floor above is level, otherwise, if there is something wrong with the foundation, the building walls eventually end up with cracks.

When we plant a tree, the greatest attention is paid to the roots, whether they have enough space, we also make sure that the tree will grow straight up.

I remember when I did my Pilates training, I left the studio with a bag full of notes, quotes, tips, ideas, ready ”cookbook” exercise manuals, hundreds questions not answered and the brain full of why? how? when? where? Everything was mixed up in my head. I was telling myself: WOW! I’ve got ”all” to help people create their beautiful postures, help them live well and make them be happy ever after. If Joseph Pilates did it, I will do it too! After five years I realised how little I knew then… and how many additional hours, weeks, months, years I needed to search to find answers for all these WHY, HOW, WHEN, WHERE?

”She has the answer to everything and the solution to nothing”

-Oscar Levant-

So back then, I went and started to share my knowledge at health clubs, teaching groups of People at the gyms who believed religiously that  Pilates is for them, Pilates is trendy, everybody does Pilates, Pilates is the most popular class on the timetable, Pilates is good for healthy spine, Pilates is good for this and that and the list goes on… They say ”practice what you preach” so I did it, but my preaching had too many not answered questions and my brain couldn’t cope with it.

So imagine back then , I’m at the studio, standing in front of 25 human beings, giving them exercises to perform. Looking at them, observing, analysing, trying to correct every single imbalance in their body. Brain was burning from information my eyes have received. Tried to answer all my how, why, where, when… Every day the same story, every studio with the same human beings…

It took me two years to tell myself that those ”cookbook exercises are not for them all and I’ve got to step back and find a solution. 

Everything I’ve learned ,was about pelvis, thorax and head, dividing those regions like three boxes one stack on top of each other. Making sure that the pelvis box is level so the ribcage box above is in line and head box above is in line. If the head box was forward it would hang there at the top, if the pelvis was elevated on one side the boxes above could fall and so on… Some posture in one box, another posture in another box, another posture in another box… And I was putting those people and their postures in those boxes hoping to make them feel better with all these cookbook exercises. This was not enough for me, as very soon those postures didn’t fit into those boxes and these exercises were impossible to perform by most of the class members.  I’ve end up with many more questions then ready solutions.

So I’ve stepped back,  and decided to study kinesiology and body movement in more detail.  I focused only on individual teaching. Started from the base… Started teaching only one-to-one. I’ve studied every human body who came into my studio, finally after all those years I’m finding answers for every question I’ve had in my head. Basically, I’ve started from the base… I’ve started from the foundation… I’ve started from ”THE FEET”

Photo by Nino Liverani on Unsplash

Those feet gave me 90% of the answers. The moment my clients walked in and took their shoes off, my eyes immediately focused on those precious and fundamental parts of our body. Nothing was more important than feet. Each step on the stairs was analysed slowly  giving me a solution for the next move. The moment they step into the studio, I already knew how their body is going to move today. Our feet are the foundation of our body like the foundation of each building. If they don’t function properly, the building is going to collapse or have many cracks on the walls. These precious parts of our body carry our body weight for our whole life! Let’s give them more attention. Our CORE can cope with weakness as it carries the weight of the upper body only. Our spine is strong enough to stand heavy forces. If we want to understand Kinesiology in full, in my opinion we should start with the feet- ”The base of our base”

In the next few weeks I will be sharing with you the basics of the structure of our feet and how we can improve their functionality in our daily living and also, how I apply this into my Pilates practice. Stay tuned!

More content coming soon...

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