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Dog Days And Hurricanes

yard sculpture

This mermaid sculture in Redington Beach is perfect for our beachy lifestyle.

September Storm Marks Mean Season

Heading into a Labor Day Weekend, we’re again on the alert for the latest monster that’s headed our way. And even though we’re still in the throes of what at times has been a pretty hot summer interrupted by waterfalls of rain, there’s a hint of fall sneaking through.

One of the ways we know this is that football is again upon us. For many, rejoicing. For others, not so much. Still, it’s another sign that Labor Day is here, now, Halloween soon to follow, then Thanksgiving, and any day we can expect the infuriating intrusion of holiday shopping ads to begin their torment.

The late afternoon light of the shortened days, the puffy cloud formations towering overhead, and just the slightest cooling in the afternoon seabreeze all send a signal that seasonal change is again on its way. It also means we’re heading into the heart of the Mean Season hurricane watch. Stay safe everyone.

Welcome to The Neighborhood

Driving around Redington Beach the other day I came across an impressive chunk of aluminum yard sculpture (top photo) facing northbound traffic on Gulf Boulevard. You might have to look closely, but yes, it’s a mermaid, perhaps appealing to the sea gods to remain calm and peaceful.

gopher tortoiseOur county park system is one of the best features of life along the Suncoast. Millennium Park, one of the newer additions, is bordered by Boca Ciega Bay on the south and Old Oakhurst Road on the north.

Features include a boardwalk that meanders through the mangroves, observation tower, and more than likely a close look at the residents, including this gopher tortoise, caught enjoying his daily buffet of anything green.

Between the beaches, our parks, and some whimsical neighborhoods, there’s plenty of opportunity to relax, wind down, relax, and enjoy the best of life on the Gulfcoast.

Labor Day

Have A (Safe and Sound!) Labor Day!

We’re closed Monday. The storm is predicted to affect our side of the state beginning Tuesday, so I won’t know until then about the rest of the week’s schedule. Check the YPL Twitter and Facebook posts for updates.

Lets Take A Walk!

Walking just might be the new Jazzercise. This most human of physical activities is what distinguishes us from all other mammals. It’s built in to our DNA, yet we seldom recognize its many health benefits.

For one Norwegian, walking is life. He’s walked across both poles, and spends a good part of his daily routine walking to and from his office in Oslo, hiking the woods near his home on weekends, and constantly exploring his city.

As infants, one of our first unique accomplishments occurs with our first steps. Rising up, we focus our barely developed powers of concentration to study the ground before articulating one step slowly in front of the other.

Walking as an infant is closely aligned with running. Indeed, toddlers start out walking and quite often seem to stumble into a basic jog — before usually coming to rest in a heap in the grass.

Walking is also a great opportunity to turn off the intrusions of daily life. Too many texts interrupting your routine? Silence the phone and just walk, when you might also discover that besides the obvious physical therapeutic benefits the activity is also great for spontaneous critical thinking.

Pilates flexibility

Find YPL On Facebook and Twitter

facebook page scheduler

I use social media to stay in touch with my profession and my great YPL clients. For Pilates and fitness news, visit my Do The 100 blog. I also tweet and post on Facebook, so please follow and like my channels to find out what’s on my mind and to let me know what’s on yours.

You can also reserve your next YPL Private or Duet on YPL’s Facebook page.

I’m Just Starting Out — Why Do I Need Privates?

a private Pilates lesson

If your only experience with Pilates is with a big box mat class workout you’re probably not familiar with a Classic Pilates fitness program at a dedicated studio, or that the first session should be a Private.

book your fitness session todayThe short answer I tell new students is that Privates are the best way for both of us to get to know each other, because that’s the only way I can actually interpret how your body reacts to specific Pilates movements.

By the time we’ve scheduled your intro session, I've already considered specific issues you’ve included on your intake form. But that doesn’t mean I’m aware of every issue you may have that relates to a Classical Pilates workout. I’ve found over the years that more often than not, clients overlook or just forget to include health issues that might adversely affect their workout.

Classical Pilates teachers do more than just put you through your paces. We’re constantly evaluating your body’s reaction as you’re introduced to the Tower, Reformer, Chair, and other apparatus. It’s much easier — even essential — to manage your individual needs when I can see what you can’t.

Pilates And Golf - Really

Golf is a game of repetitive movement. Unlike basketball, for instance, golf is played right or left-handed, putting the same torque on the same body parts over and over. The same side of the body is favored, which for most means that over time balance and alignment are affected.

Golf seems to be created just for Pilates. Contrology stresses the mind body connection, and that includes breathing, proper alignment, concentration, and balance, all of which are critical for proper golf form.

A perfect example of what happens when these elements get out of whack is Tiger Woods and his lower back injuries. Briefly, the torque exerted on his spine throughout thousands of rounds of play nearly crippled him for life.

stay in shape

Occasional players of the game don’t face the same outcome, but even then there are benefits to be gained from a Pilates practice. By building stability in the pelvis and shoulders, you’ll also achieve better balance.

Pilates’ main objective is a strong core. When coupled with improved stability and better flexibility as you rotate, a better balanced golf swing and increased power to the club head are the result. It’s easy to picture how our Reformer and Tower workouts translate into golf’s common postures.

As you learn the basics of proprioception, you’ll understand which muscle groups are being called upon for the various postures used in the course of a typical game. The biomechanics of Pilates are the same as those used in golfing.

By practicing Pilates regularly, everything from your swing on the tee to your stride on the fairway will improve, and with it your game.

Lets Stay In Touch

rock those abs with a power pilates workout!

It’s inevitable that sooner or later a favorite student goes missing. Sometimes new pastures beckon, life throws a curve ball, or the family is growing. Or maybe it’s just time to take a little vacation and relax.

Whatever the reason, lets stay in touch. If you’ve got unused sessions and don’t want to see them expire, I can put them on hold until you’re ready. The important thing is to stay connected. Keep that positive Pilates energy focused and engaged for a strong physical and mental benefit.

Want A Performance Boost? Ditch the Sugar

Maintaining a healthy diet in our grab and go fast food lifestyles isn’t easy, but one of the best places to start is by eliminating excess sugar, of which there’s plenty, from our diet.

If you add enough sugar and its complimentary component, salt, a spare tire can be transformed into a savory treat. That’s why it’s found in excessive amounts in an astonishing variety of foods.

From salad dressings to sausages, cereals (obvious) to soups (not so much) and that Mickey D’s hamburger bun, next to salt sugar is possibly the most used flavoring in Western culture. Oh, and that easily identified scent we recognize as b-b-q? That’s the sugar in the sauce, burning on the grill.

Indeed, browse just about any Louisiana antique shop and you’ll likely come across an original sugar mold. And what’s the benefit we derive? Well, there’s that quick burst of sugary energy that’s quickly expended. Our brains (literally) love the stuff, but beyond that, when consumed in its simple form it’s a dietary time bomb.

We’re surrounded by candy and candy-like consumables. Even that so-called energy bar is usually nothing more than a ton of sugar wrapped up in marketing misdirection. So how can we cut back?

The best place to start is to cook from scratch as much as possible. That way, you’re in control of if and when to add sugar. And you might be surprised what a difference a tiny pinch can make in the flavor of just about anything.

The latest research now makes a connection between too much sugar, a poorly performing gut, and our immune system. Findings indicate the microbes responsible for processing the nutrients necessary for maintaining a healthy immune response are highly susceptible to too much sugar.

The writing’s on the wall. It’s time to assess your sugar intake, and if it’s over the limit, cut back.

The Pilates Contrology System

When Joseph Pilates created his fitness training method, his focus was on controlling the body by engaging the mind. He named his theory Contrology, and when understood and followed greatly improves the results you’ll experience at every level.

It isn’t easy to combine the physical with the mental. When we do The 100, for instance, it’s a lot easier to simply go with the flow than it is to concentrate on proper form, breathing, engagement, and the other factors that could be called multi-tasking.

You can learn more about the mind-body connection in this short article that does a good job of explaining the rewards of pursuing a Contrology workout.

Pilates balance

At Your Pilates Lifestyle, my Classic Practice focuses on achieving the rhythmic harmony that naturally occurs when mental focus and physical conditioning are in synch. The feeling experienced after powering through the challenge of a Classical workout is one of accomplishment, control, and exhilaration.

Pilates Method Alliance member: Pilates Method Alliance
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