News: Improving core strength, flexibility, balance one pose at a time
Story by Cpl. John Robbart III
USS PELELIU – A new class began in the ship’s main medical space, Dec. 7, when Marines and sailors took part in a exercise routine that strives to enhance not only their spiritual and mental well being, but also their fitness levels.
PITAIYO, an acronym for Put It Together All In Your Orbit, is a fusion of Pilates, tai-chi and yoga blended into one class. People’s orbits are considered to be their mantra or lifestyle, including the people they love, foods they eat, words they speak and the body they are in.
“PITAIYO is more than an exercise regime,” said Gunnery Sgt. Jennifer M. Antoine, a PITAIYO instructor and the public affairs chief, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit. “It’s a way of life and a way to recognize that we are all in control of what we put in or take out of our orbit,” added the 39-year-old native of Altoona, Wis.
In PITAIYO, students will build strength without bulking up because they are using their bodies as resistance, said Antoine. They will gain long, lean muscles and increase flexibility. A benefit of the workout, she adds, is that it improves muscle elasticity and joint mobility. A body with balanced strength and flexibility is less likely to be injured, she added.
“PITAIYO was like yoga on steroids,” said Hospitalman 2nd Class Andre A. Tyree, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 15th MEU. “It was tough, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants a good workout or who wants to relieve stress,” added the 25-year-old native of St. Matthew, S.C.
The workout takes students through multiple planes of movement and can be performed at different levels of intensity, so the students get to decide what level they want to push toward, said Antoine. Additionally, each move can be modified for students with injury or flexibility issues.
“In conventional workouts, weak muscles tend to get weaker and strong muscles tend to get stronger, which results in muscular imbalance,” said Antoine. “PITAIYO conditions the whole body, helping to make daily activities such as picking something up off the ground or turning to check your blind spot while driving easier.”
The routine trains several muscle groups at once, in smooth, continuous movements, said Antoine. By developing proper technique, students can retrain their bodies to move in safer, more efficient patterns of motion…something that is invaluable for injury prevention and recovery, sport performance, good posture and optimal health.
“This class was a lot harder than I expected,” said Sgt. Eunice Pabon, data analyst, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 364 (Rein.), 15th MEU. “It really helped me relax while still giving me a good workout,” added the 25-year-old native of Waterbury, Conn.
“More than 50 percent of all aches and pains above the chest, such as headaches, pinching in the neck or shoulders and sharp pains in the ribs or back can be attributed to poor posture,” said Antoine. “Strengthening the back and maintaining proper spinal alignment can help alleviate a lot of the problems many Marines and sailors experience on a daily basis.”
The classes are 60 minutes long and are held on Tuesdays and Fridays at 7 p.m. in the ship’s main medical facility.
For more information on PITAIYO visit www.pitaiyo.com
The 15th MEU is deployed as part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group as a U.S. Central Command theater reserve force, providing support for maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.