‘In order to be able to learn children need to be able to pay attention. In order to be able to pay attention our children need to be able to move’ a great quote I saw this weekend – unknown author.
I have just got back from a 3 day course studying Pilates and movement for children from 5 year olds all the way through to adolescents. We are luckily here in the Alps, where I live, that our kids do get to run around and move but there is a growing worldwide problem of obesity in children and these weight issues create a poverty of movement which in turn affect the way bones are growing. Children are moving less and less due to other factors such as lack of PE in schools, withdrawal of dance and drama from schools, health & safety issues restricting free play and lets face it a rather sedentary lifestyle – created by computer games, continuously being on phones and connected to social media. All of this is affecting their ability to move efficiently and this will be carried into adulthood if we are not careful. Whilst as a Pilates teacher I am all for having adults come to me with bad habits, but why not start with the kids and encourage them to adopt good habits so that later on in life they dont have to attempt to correct the bad habits.
Joe Pilates used his observations of flexibility, strength, ease of movement and natural sequences with which infants develop muscle control and trunk stability as a basis to design and sequence his exercise programs in a manner that mirrors childrens motor development. This underpins all the beginner, intermediate and advanced Pilates programs and routines that we do as adults.
The benefits of Pilates for children are plentiful including increase in body awareness and self esteem, increased strength and flexibility, maximise movement development, injury prevention, especially for those children who train in a specific sport, improved sleep and concentration, improving posture, spinal alignment, balance, mobility, stability, increasing brain function and also challenging the mind and body connection.
This course has inspired me to bring Pilates Classes for Kids to the Giffre Valley so watch this space – I have a few exams to do first and I will be looking for volunteers to be in my DVD assessment, of 5-8 kids aged 12-16 soon.
Remember to keep moving….