Monday, April 28, 2014

10 Fun Ways to Move at the Office

I often like to think what the perfect world would be if I had my way!  It’s a fun game.  I get to imagine iced coffee fountains instead of water fountains, because of course in this perfect world iced coffee is a natural hydrator.  When I play this game sidewalks are trampolines and people are bounding down the road with abandon grinning from ear to ear.  Okay I realize sometimes when I play,  “If I had my way” my thoughts aren’t the most practical; they’re daydreams after all.  I suppose the risk of concussion from full body collisions on the sidewalk trampolines would be a liability in any city.  And a school with kids hyped up on coffee might not make the jobs of our educators any easier.  However, not all of my “if I had my way” ideas are all that bad. 

For instance, if I had my way every office and place of business would have a culture where recuperative movement is considered an integral part of productivity.  If I had my way every person who works at a desk would allow herself to get up and move for ten minutes every hour.  She would spend part of her day standing at her desk on one foot and then the other. I’m doing this right now at the coffee shop where I’m writing.  The picture is incomplete because I am too shy to ask someone to take it, but if I had my way what I’m doing right now wouldn’t be considered weird. 

If I had my way each person would try to type at least three emails standing with his feet in line heel to toe and his eyes closed.  Okay, right now I am typing this sentence in exactly this fashion, and I am both improving my typing skills and practicing my balance.   If I had my way our bodies would be the highest priority.  Our health would be more important than our deadlines. If I had my way every office cubicle and workplace in the world would also be equipped with the following: A foam roller, two soft balls, a gigantic ball, and a small spiky ball.  AND I am confident that if I had my way our economy would be better, our work more important and the communities in which we live would be safer, healthier, and happier.  But alas I don’t always get my way…

I am constantly hearing stories about the stress that we are under.  I am constantly meeting amazing people that are doing fabulous things for other people but not taking time to care for their own beings.   What if everyone that is reading this post committed to doing three of the following activities everyday for the next week?  Wouldn’t it be a small step in the right direction?  What if everyone that read this post added two more of the following activities the following week?  What if at the end of six weeks we had offices filled with people balancing on one foot with their eyes closed.  Would we start a wellness revolution?  I think it’s entirely possible.

Here are ten ideas to add movement to the office, but really the possibilities are endless!

1. Try returning emails while lying on a foam roller.

2. Plan your next presentation while balancing on a big ball.

3. Have a meeting in which everyone is standing on one foot. 

4. Attend your next conference call while lying with the soft ball under your hips.

5. At your next brainstorming session pass around a ball while standing on the foam roller.  Whoever has the ball has to spout an idea.

5. Return phone calls with your eyes closed while attempting the following balance challenge.

6. Perform the following lunge while writing your next report.  Be sure to switch sides.

7. Use a dictation app while doing a plank series.  Here’s a video if you’re interested.  
8. Every time you need to think of the right word hang upside down over a big ball.

9. Pack a lunch so that you can also take a walk at lunchtime

10. Roll the bottom of your feet on a spiky ball while filing.

What else can you think of?  Feel Free to send me pictures of things that you are doing to move at your office.  Together we will start a revolution!

Katrina Hawley CMA, PMA® - CPT
Director of Instruction at The Pilates Studio

Monday, April 21, 2014

Three years running…And again there are no words

There are no words to express how grateful I am to do the work that I love…There are no words to express the joy I feel when I hear that my client has a new grand baby…There are no words to express how much fun it is to move every day…No words that describe how high I feel after a session filled with problem solving…No words to describe the feeling I get with the realization that other people understand how special The Pilates Studio is…There just aren’t words, yet once again I am struck with the desire to find the perfect words because people of the Pioneer Valley voted The Pilates Studio as the best in the Valley Advocate’s readers poll. And I want to say Thank you with those perfect words!  It’s a lucky conundrum in which to find myself, but a conundrum nonetheless.
First Year Bamboo

Our bamboo has turned into a bamboo forest
Laurie and I are about to enter our fourth year as owners of this place…WHAT???? No really it’s true!  In our first year, I took a picture of our bamboo that keeps us company at the front counter…I rattled on about the bamboo that hears all of our stories, that feels the joy that people feel when they are here.  The bamboo witnesses Laurie and I at our most productive collaborative meetings or when we can’t stop laughing…Or when we sit in silence working in parallel but similar worlds.  The bamboo also witnessed us as we watched the screaming goats video…that was a funny day.  I am so lucky to do what I do while working with amazing people, and it is this fabulous valley that makes it all possible…Thank you to anyone and everyone that has put trust into the people at The Pilates Studio.  I am beaming with gratitude…But I still haven’t found the perfect words….

All I have are the pictures of the bamboo.  It’s a small snippet of where I go everyday, and for me it helps me remember that we are not just a place for pilates.  We are a place where whimsy is celebrated as an avenue to health and happiness. I strive to have a playful life and because of you it is not a struggle.