January is a time when most of us feel the urge to do something good for our health and fitness. This enthusiasm, and desire for results can often lead to trying too hard in class or comparing your flexibility, mobility and posture to your neighbour.

Method Putkisto is a gentle, non-impact exercise that will reform your body, but like any form of exercise it is important to work safely, at your own pace and within your own limits, particularly if you are new to exercise, have had a long period without exercising or are recovering from injury.

In this blog, I am going to explain why we do certain things in class and give you a few watchpoints for working safely.

1)  Centreline and Centreing

Method Putkisto places demands on the musculoskeletal system and requires good biomechanics to be successful. In class I describe bony landmarks in relation to your centreline to help you get in touch with your body and become aware of your alignment. Centreing involves using your core stability muscles in order to maintain a (static/neutral) position whilst we work.

2)  Breathing

Is part of every exercise; we practise deep diaphragmatic breathing, laterally expanding the ribcage, without lifting the shoulders or bulging the abdomen. Your diaphragm is your principal muscle of inhalation and works in co-ordination with your abdominals. Holding your breath, puts pressure on your pelvic floor and makes it more difficult to use your abdominals.

3)  Attention to Detail

Listen to instructions; ask questions if you are unsure. Do not flatten your lumbar spine into the mat, as this encourages posterior pelvic tilt and inhibits your deep back muscles. To protect your spine activate your deep back muscles with your pelvis in neutral; this applies to daily life as well as when exercising.

4)  Good Technique

You’ll achieve better results with good technique. Do not compare yourself with your neighbour; instead work from the inside-out – learn to feel and recognise the position of your body, and limit movements to your own mid-range so that core alignment isn’t compromised.

5)  Focus

Concentration is important to developing your mind-body connection. We use visualisations to maintain an ‘active mind” and help you work with your body. These are an integral and important part of the Method.

6)  Flow

Work smarter not harder. Be patient, exercises are broken down into manageable parts and we build these much like a child builds a tower of blocks. We repeat and approach them in many different ways to reinforce good movement patterns until they become automatic.

7)  Correction

The quality rather than quantity of your movement is what will ultimately help you to achieve your goals. As your instructor it is my job to ensure safe practice, so don’t worry if I correct you, it doesn’t mean you are doing the exercise incorrectly; often I am just personalising the movement for you.