Menstrual cramps or gas

This is my mom. The woman who created the chicken walk.

If you ever asked me if I knew the difference between menstrual cramps or gas, I would have definitively said, “Yes.”  With that opening line, you probably realize that this blog may come with a little TMI.  I’m going to talk about my bowels more than you may care to know about.  I’ll try to make the process at least mildly entertaining.  But if you don’t have any menstrual or bowel trouble you’ve been trying to sort out, you can feel free to skip this one.

I’m familiar with gas pain.  As a kid if you had gas pain in our house my mom would make you get up and move.  She called it the chicken walk.  You would make big, exaggerated movements and get your knees up really high, practically pulling one knee up toward one shoulder and then repeating on the other side as you strutted around the room. If you weren’t doubled over in pain from gas cramps it would have been hilarious.  And it was always hilarious to the observer.  It was also almost always effective.  (Movement […]

Menstrual cramps or gas 2018-02-14T16:15:15+00:00

Obliques vs. Rectus


I’d like to have a boxing match between our oblique muscles and our rectus muscle. Your rectus is the six pack muscle that everyone in the world wants. It allows you to flex forward like when we curl the upper body off the mat for our ab exercises. Your obliques are larger muscles on the side and front of you body that enable you to bend from side to side and twist, but they also help you curl forward with the rectus. Nobody seems to care about obliques and it’s a bit sad.

I’m pretty sure the obliques would win in a boxing match—if nothing else there are four of them. Pilates is all about obliques, but I don’t think most people care a lick about them.


The six-pack muscle is important, don’t get me wrong, and I want a six-pack too, but since it is one of the muscles furthest from the center of the body, it offers the least amount of structural support. In pilates we are all about structural […]

Obliques vs. Rectus 2017-09-12T19:31:51+00:00

Gas in Class

Okay—it doesn’t matter how you say it: fart, pass gas, or pet (as my Grandma calls it), it’s potentially going to happen in a pilates class. Sometimes on exercises like Rolling-Like-A-Ball it’s an inevitability eventually.

But not to fret. You are not the only one who has done it, and quite honestly, if you keep quiet, usually no else can pinpoint exactly who did it. So, while I know it can be embarrassing, try to cut yourself some slack if and when it ever happens to you. No one is going to remember in about ten minutes—pilates keeps you too busy.

It is something to stop and ponder for a minutes because while farting during a pilates class could mean that you had beans and rice before class (always a mistake, by the way), it could also mean that instead of gently pulling your belly button towards your spine and pulling up and in on your pelvic floor muscles, you could just be attempting to clench everything—attempting to get more control, but actually getting less as revealed by the escape of some unexpected wind. Next time it happens, after the wave of embarrassment happens, just try to relax […]

Gas in Class 2017-09-12T19:31:55+00:00