This has not turned into a Bob Ross blog...
Or a holiday party with Willie Nelson...
I am talking about the Pilates exercise, the tree. It has actually become one of my favorite exercises as I continue my Pilates journey. I'm not gonna lie, I utterly loathed it at first;you are sitting on top of a box, on top of a plank that can move, with one leg extended in front of you and the foot of the opposite leg under a strap that is just barely close enough for you to slide your foot under. Once you have yourself strapped in, you can actually begin to DO the exercise.
What turned my dismay for this particular exercise around? One day, as I was doing the tree on the reformer, a golden light shone down on me and I heard the voice of Joseph Pilates say, "That eis eit! Vell Done!". (I may have slightly exaggerated that a bit). I honestly can't say exactly when or how it happened, but it is an exercise I have genuinely come to enjoy. Maybe it's the full-body stretch that you get while doing it, or that it can be a 'benchmark' exercise, or just that it is weird...I'm going with weird.
Other than the initial awkwardness, one of the reasons I have grown to like the tree is that it ain't no one-trick pony;just like the hundred and teaser, there are many variations of the tree that can performed on different apparatus. Generally the first introduction you have is one the reformer, as I so eloquently described above, but it is also your leg circles on the mat, and the front ballet stretches on the ladder barrel, all of which can be introduced to you in your first few lessons.
All this talk about the tree and all I have to show for it are pictures of Bob Ross and Willie Nelson, along with a fictional divination of Joseph Pilates? Of course not! Below is a short little clip of me doing the tree on the ladder barrel. Well, I'm doing a little more than just the tree;the walkover dismount and split finish are NOT, I repeat NOT, something that most Pilates 'civilians' will ever do. It may look fun, (it is!), and easy, but that is the classic veil of Pilates, looks simple, but safely executing is nothing short of simple. I guess you can say I am a "happy little tree" personified :) Take a gander and let me know your thoughts!
DISCLAIMER: This was not filmed at my studio or the space where I currently teach, nor do I intend to portray it as such. This is a private video of my own personal practice.