How do you start your day? By hitting the snooze several times on your phone? Rolling over to check the influx of social media interactions on your phone? Or a nice big stretch, a deep breath and a smile? Starting your day off well sets the tone for the rest of the day. But it does not just stop there; wellness should continue till you’re ready to retire. One way of doing so is to intersperse simple Pilates exercises throughout the day can have a positive impact on both your physical and mental health.
Here to tell us more about her daily wellness regime is Pilates specialist and personal trainer, Rosie Gregory.
What is your daily wellness regime?
I take a very holistic approach to my daily wellbeing – addressing my mind, body and spirit in all that I do. The first thing that I do when I wake up is trying to resist the lure of my phone! Since implementing the habit of not checking my phone first thing in the morning, I find that I am much better able to find my own pace and tone for the day, I can be intentional and grounded, rather than getting swept into the social media and Whatsapp vortex! So once I’m up, I opt for a huge glass of water, to help kick start both my digestion and hydration for the day and then settle into meditation. Meditation and mindfulness practices have been a part of my repertoire for many years, but over the past 18 months, I’ve really implemented the habit of daily meditation, which has been powerful for my mental wellbeing and sense of gratitude. Soon after, I’ll have a quick coffee (my vice) or a matcha latte and then I’ll be out the door for a workout.
I always do movements that energises, uplifts and excites me and daily exercise is a must for my physical and mental health. As a mindful movement practitioner, I favour my area of specialism in Pilates and also functional fitness, however, as I am also a fitness trends writer, I am always experimenting with the latest group classes, I’m a real fan of spin and dance cardio!
Fuelling myself correctly is another huge component of my wellness regime – I ensure I am constantly nourishing my body with real, whole foods, favouring an organic, vibrant diet.
Come evening time, I generally like to wind down with a little gentle movement – be it a long walk, or a flowing, restorative Yoga practice to help eradicate extra tension from my body. By the time I get home, I’m ready to relax over a delicious, nutritious meal with my partner and spend some time catching up with family and friends, who are spread out all over the world. This social aspect is hugely important – wellness is as much about our communities and our support networks as it is about becoming connected to ourselves!
Before bed, I’ll do a quick gratitude practice – running my mind through the day and seeking out the moments I am grateful for, or perhaps the lessons I’ve learnt. Then finally, it’s all about sleep! Our sleep wellness is finally getting the recognition it deserves and as I am exceptionally active, this recovery time is a huge component of my overall holistic health. I love to spritz essential oils around my room, switch off from screens an hour beforehand and dive into a good book before the day ends!
Can you share a few simple exercises that our readers could incorporate into a home workout?
These six movements are fundamental Pilates exercises that will keep your spine mobile, core conditioned and stabilising muscles activated! They are some of my favourite go-to exercises and when linked together, make a great at-home Pilates workout that you can do daily!
1. The Roll Down
The roll down is a fundamental, yet powerful exercise that will keep your spine flexible and healthy for years to come. It’s a great way to check-in to the body, mobilise the spine, awaken the abdominals and stretch out the legs.
Start: standing tall in aligned, Pilates posture.
Inhale: Widen the breath into the ribcage
Exhale: Nod the chin to chest and roll down through the spine, softening the knees as needed, until the fingers reach towards the floor, keeping the eye gaze towards the shins.
Inhale: feel the breath expand into the back
Exhale: engage the lower abdominals and begin to restack the spine, initating the movement from the tailbone and sequencing until you return to the start position.
2. Swimming Prep
Swimming prep is a fantastic exercise for finding balance through the pelvis and shoulders while challenging the stability of the core with uni-lateral movement.
Start: In quadruped, all-fours position: knee’s under the hips and hands underneath the shoulders. Find the spine in a neutral alignment.
Inhale: prepare by engaging the deep core stabilisers.
Exhale: Extend the right leg backwards as the left arm reaches forward, maintaining the neutral alignment of the torso.
Inhale: Return back to the centre.
Exhale: Repeat the movement on the other side.
3. Hip Roll
The hip roll is an incredible exercise for lower body activation, while adding in deep core engagement and spinal mobility.
Start: On your back, with the arms lengthened by the sides, knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip distance apart. The pelvis is in a neutral alignment.
Inhale: Tilt the pelvis to find “imprint”
Exhale: Initiating the movement from the tailbone, roll the hips up until you find the space between the shoulder blades heavy on the floor. Try to avoid over-extending the mid-back and “popping” the ribs.
Inhale: Hold at the top, squeezing the glutes.
Exhale: Roll down through the spine, starting from the mid-back and sequencing through.
4. Clams (with mini-band)
This exercise targets the pelvic stabilisation muscles that are so often overlooked in larger movements, such as lunges, squats and even running, that will make all the difference to your form, longevity and injury prevention. Small, but mighty, when you activate this muscle, you will see an increase in your capacity for endurance and stability.
Start: Lying on your side, with the knees bent forward of the hips and feet inline with the sitting bones. If you are using a mini-band, place it around the upper thighs.
Inhale: To prepare and visualise the muscle that sits on the outside of your hip.
Exhale: Squeeze through the side of the hip and lift the knee only so you open the legs to a diamond shape.
Inhale: return the leg back down.
5. Dead Bugs
Dead bugs are one of my go-to core activation exercises that will always feature in my core series. The slow, controlled movement allows you to connect to your true core – not just the superficial six-pec muscles! Aim for a deep contraction and avoid the bulging of the abdominal wall as you move.
Start: Laying on your back, pelvis and spine in “imprint” and legs in tabletop.
Inhale: prepare by lifting the pelvic floor and engaging the lower abdominals.
Exhale: keeping the shape of the leg, hinge the right foot towards the floor, without losing your imprint.
Inhale: return the leg to tabletop.
Exhale: repeat with the other side.
Optional: Without compromising on form, try lowering both legs at the same time.
6. Roll Ups
The Roll Up puts all of your work together with a deep core engagement, spinal flexion and lower body mobilisation! Aim for slow, controlled and fluid movements, easing out any kinks in the spine as you go!
Start: Lying on your back, with the legs extended and flexed at the ankle and arms lengthened overhead, so the triceps are by the ears.
Inhale: raise the arms so they come in front of the face in line with the shoulders and nod the chin to the chest
Exhale: flex the upper body off the ground and continuing sequencing up reaching the arms and crown of head towards the toes until you are flexed over the thighs.
Inhale: Keeping the upper body flexed, start rolling the pelvis and lower back towards the ground, scooping the abdominals.
Exhale: Once the lower back makes contact with the ground, continue to sequence all the way back to the start position.
Rosie will be at The Sanchaya in January, focusing on a mixture of Pilates, Sculpt Method, full body sessions and stretching classes, with morning sessions focusing on HIIT and full body workouts and afternoons dedicated to stretching and breathing. Throughout Rosie’s residency, the Sanchaya will also be offering a boosted wellness breakfast menu, including Matcha Tonic – one of her go-to recipes.
All classes will be complimentary for in-house guests. Check out https://thesanchaya.com/rosie-gregory to find out more.
Photo Credits: Vim and Vigour PR