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Increase Your Range of Motion and Get Rid of Pain at Pilates Barre

By Marina Jokic

The founder of the Pilates discipline Joseph Pilates took inspiration from animals' natural movements to develop his signature exercises. He incorporated stretching and flowing movements as well as breathing techniques to create a truly unique practice.

One place that carries this fitness tradition, Pilates Barre studio in Portland teaches classes that awaken stagnant layers of the body, releasing built up tension, stress, and extraneous emotions. Founder of the studio Michelle Mola received her licensure at The Kane School where she specialized in functional anatomy for movement and injuries. She finished her formal training at Juilliard Dance in New York.

"Pilates is an ingenious method that promotes healthy living with a focus on core power, breath, and movements without causing stress to the body," Mola said. "With some practice, you will learn to change the tempo, which benefits the mind-body connection, and eventually this can be performed as a flowing movement sequence that increases the heart rate."

Stretching and shaking the body and calming the mind are routine activities at Pilates Barre. To some, this might sound nearly identical to most yoga classes, but what sets barre and Pilates apart is the overwhelming focus on core strength. The core is developed from all possible angles.

In time, your musculature begins to loosen up, and you discover how releasing tight hips can actually relieve spinal stiffness and pain, for instance. With every week of practice, new movements and older exercises will begin to converge. A common side effect is feeling taller after your movement classes. Many students also feel considerably calmer.

"Even one Pilates class a week can have profound benefits, fostering the development of exceptional self-awareness and control," Mola said. "By keeping your heart and mind open, you will be more prepared to try the new movements [and to foster a] mindset that keeps you motivated, patient, and calm on the path forward."

At Pilates Barre, you will find advanced and moderately difficult courses. For example, Core & Release is a beginner-friendly 30-minute workshop that explores deep stretches with the help of props and poses that are held from 30 seconds to five minutes. Each movement targets stressed joints and ligaments and softens the muscles. Such therapeutic classes are ideal for athletes and anyone wanting to resolve tightness in the body. Pilates Barre also has an hour-long class, the Apparatus-Small Group, that utilizes basic barre equipment to enhance stability and mobility.

"Dissolve all judgments and say no to rigid thinking," Mola said. "When we get up and go out of the house to do something positive for ourselves, we return to life with a sharpened sense of purpose."

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About The Author

Marina Jokic holds a bachelor's degree from Connecticut College in Russian and East...

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