Occupational Pilates: Becoming Effortless on the Job

After the hustle and bustle of the holiday season we wanted to offer a wellness-focused refresher for our staff. Last summer we found inspiration at W42ST magazine’s West Side Eats Festival. There we met Occupational Pilates Teacher and Movement Consultant Marcia Polas. She specializes in helping people in hospitality and a range of other professions use foundations of pilates to more effortlessly perform their jobs. These jobs often entail a lot of repetitive motions. Marcia helps people perform motions in a way that doesn’t have negative impact on their bodies. We thought this would be the ideal gift of wellness for our staff that would have lasting benefits for their physical and mental health. Below is a description of the workshop and its goals in more detail.

Becoming Effortless On the Job

  • Each position in any bar or restaurant has it’s own unique challenges. What they have in common is that working in hospitality is one of the most physically rigorous jobs in existence. 
  • This three-hour introductory workshop is designed to give an understanding of what is causing work-related pain and discomfort, explore how it impacts stress and sleep, give you tools to undo years of damage, and explore what it looks and feels like to properly organize your bodies on the floor/behind the bar.

We gathered our groups in The Press Lounge and had a great team building experience. Images below depict some of what we learned in the workshop. We began with how to properly put on our shoes. Many people don’t realize this has a great impact on how you stand and walk throughout the rest of the day. Then we covered how to stand while engaging our inner thighs and core, and ultimately give us better alignment and less back pain. We applied many of these concepts of using our core and engaging our serratus muscle to many of our repetitive work movements. These movements include carrying trays, lifting heavy items, and shaking a cocktail behind the bar. Lastly, we went over recovery methods, and how to use self massage on our hands, arms, pectorals and feet to soften our fascia (the tissue that surrounds all muscles and ligaments). All in all, we walked out of the workshop feeling better not only from work we had done but also confident that we had the knowledge and tools to use these techniques in our daily routine and maintain a more balanced body.

If you are interested in learning more about Occupational Pilates, check out Marcia’s website and Instagram, where she offers up many of these tips and techniques!