I’ve come across dry body brushing quite frequently recently on the internet. I have done it religiously over a few months and absolutely love the effect it has on my skin. Plus, it really wakes you up and makes you feel refreshed.
When I read one of the many articles on body brushing on the internet, I suddenly remembered that I have read about it already some years ago. And yes, I was right – Joseph Pilates mentions it in his book ‘Return to Life through Contrology’.
He writes a whole section about “Bodily House-Cleaning with Blood Circulation’.
Joe Pilates is known for interrupting his client’s shower after the workout to instruct him on proper cleanliness as he believes “… only a small minority really achieve thorough cleanliness”.
Apart from thorough cleanliness, what I really like about dry body brushing
- it gives you softer skin – exfoliates and cleans pores
- stimulates the lymphatic system to help the body to detoxify itself naturally
- stimulates circulation
- increases energy due to increased blood flow
Now, what kind of brush should you use?
Here again, Joe Pilates is very specific
“… use only a good stiff brush (no handle) since this type of brush forces us to twist, squirm and contort ourselves in every conceivable way in our attempts to reach every portion of our body which is otherwise comparatively easy to reach with a handle brush.”
Makes sense, but I have to admit, I have a brush with a handle…
Here is my brushing routine. Generally, brush towards the heart and use about 7-10 strokes for each area. Start with the sole of the foot, then with long soft strokes up the leg and butt cheek. Change to other side.
Repeat the same on the arms. Start with your palm and then long strokes up the arm.
Move on to the abdomen and lower back, skip the boobs, and do a few very gentle strokes from the neck down to your shoulders and down the back. Try it and let me know how you get on!
Have you heard about the Japanese Queen of tidying? Marie Kondo?
About a year ago I read Marie Kondo’s book ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever’. I was curious; it sounded appealing and definitely something I needed.
And I was hooked immediately. Only about half-way through the book, I started sorting through my wardrobe and adopted Marie Kondo’s way of folding clothes. It just made a lot of sense to me. It kept me busy for quite a few weeks as I completely rearranged not only my clothes but also my husband’s and the wardrobes of my two daughters.
Space is always tight, you just can’t have enough drawers, shelves and wardrobes, but since the great sort-out à la KonMari, as Marie Kondo is also known, it’s not an issue any more. Every piece of clothing has found its place.
It is still an ongoing project as her method can be applied throughout the entire home. She recommends a certain order to get started and she also explains her thoughts behind it.
- Miscellaneous items
- Things with sentimental value
The latest book ‘Spark Joy’ by Marie Kondo is a very pretty book, with a bright green elastic band around it and with some pretty little drawings in each chapter. It repeats the basics of her first book, but then goes a bit deeper into each area.
I enjoyed reading both books of hers, even though some things were repeated over and over. Also, you need to keep in mind that she comes from a different culture and I found it difficult sometimes to relate to her advice or attitude.
Still a good read and I thoroughly recommend her books and videos on youtube. Who knows, it might change your life!
During a Pilates session we work with the Pilates principles and concentration is one of them (the others are control, precision, flow, breathing and centring). While focussing on the execution of a certain exercise, working through mind & body, our face can turn into a somewhat hard expression. Lips pressed together, jaws clenched, eyebrows slightly frowned.
As a Pilates teacher I see this expression often, for example during ‘The Hundred’. But as soon as I remind the group to smile during a tough exercise I notice that the facial tensions release and turn into smiles or even little giggles. It’s one of my favourite moments during class!
Remember, it takes 42 muscles to frown, but only 17 to smile! (Scientifically not proven though).