POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, May 31, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 4:28 p.m. HST, Jun 13, 2011
We often take our bones for granted. We can pop calcium pills or hit the chiropractor or massage therapist’s office when our skeletons get unaligned, but using dynamic movement to get straight is not typically at the top of the list.
9 to 10 am, Saturdays at Ballet Hawaii, 777 S. Hotel Street
Single class is $15 and $60/for 5 classes with a
2 month expiration date from the time of purchase
Call 255-8120 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Pamela Sandridge’s COREography class can provide similar effects. The class, offered at Applied Movement in Honolulu, is described as a fusion of Pilates’ core-stabilization work and the Feldenkrais “Bones for Life” program of improving bone strength through movement and weight-bearing posture. Students use their own body weight to get into positions that restore the body’s natural alignment.
At first glance, the class seemed way too simplistic. After all, squeezing a ball between my knees or running my hands along a wall didn’t make me feel like I was accomplishing much. There was no sweaty workout and no sense of physical exhaustion at the end of the session. In fact, it was quite the opposite. My body felt lighter and looser, minus some of the stress knots.
Tennis balls, larger squishy balls, hand towels, stretchy resistance bands and foam rollers are some of the props used during class. We placed a ball under the lower back to align the hips and ribs in a neutral position, and used bands to align the bones in the arms, from knuckles and wrist to shoulders
In the end, COREography’s “less is more” routine definitely made sense. Sandridge, who is also a dancer and choreographer, refers to the class as Pilates with reduced effort. “I’m committed to informing, guiding and assisting people to feel empowered and to have functional strength,” she said.
I was sold on the theory after we did a shoulder exercise against the wall. A combination of stress and sitting at a computer for hours on end regularly leaves me with rounded, hunched shoulders. After moving my arm in a semicircular motion against the wall for support, my shoulder dropped to its natural position.
Sandridge brought me to the mirror after I finished one side to demonstrate the difference. The support of the wall helps offset gravity, so the arm could move and rotate in the shoulder socket, allowing the body to release the muscles, she explained.
“When your shoulder muscles release, so do the muscles around your neck,” she said. “Our bodies are one big connective tissue and everything is connected.”
COREography regular Kirsten Fujitani said that the first time she took the class, she experienced dramatic results that have kept her coming back. “With gentle stretching and correct breathing, I was able to untwist my torso, which when standing at rest would always be torqued to the left,” she said.
“You take away movements and stretches that can be done at home. And the class doesn’t involve fancy clothes or competitive peers.”
“Tryouts” features local exercise and wellness classes and other fitness activities. Reach Nancy Arcayna at email@example.com.