I am so happy that I live a pilates lifestyle each and every day. First and foremost I believe movement is the key to life. When I first started pilates I had been running every day and feeling pretty fit. If I was not running I would go to the gym to work out on the treadmill or the elliptical. Sometimes I would roller blade or take a spin class. Yes I was a cardio queen. As you can tell I had pretty strong legs but the rest of me was disconnected. I had no core at all. In addition I struggled with low back pain. Yet I truly believed I was strong because I was a runner. I could run for miles and miles and it felt great. Well pilates was a huge awakening for me.
I was completely in shock at how difficult pilates was for me. In my first few sessions my instructor asked me to roll up from my abdominals while being conscious of my breathing as well as keeping my shoulders down my back. She also asked me to relax. I truly thought she was crazy asking me to do so many things at once. (Funny how my clients now say that about me!) I was frustrated with myself for feeling so incapable of controlling my body. These kinds of movements were so foreign to me. I could not believe I was unable to do the exercises she was teaching me. Soon I realized I had to think of every movement and where it was coming from, it gave me a new way to think and move at the same time. Within a few short sessions I started to have an understanding of what pilates was all about. I connected with my body in ways I never thought were possible. This is how my passion started.
People would ask me what I was doing differently and I would say pilates. How did they see a change in me so quickly? Was it because I was standing taller and I did not appear as tight and bulky? My posture improved dramatically, but the most amazing thing was my back pain disappeared. My body was realigned and I felt more confident than ever. My tight muscles started to lengthen out and my weaker ones started getting stronger. My strength and flexibility increased beyond anything I thought was possible. Most importantly I learned how to connect to my breath. I could not believe I never thought about my breath before or what it could provide during my every day activities. I felt the breathing and concentration required in pilates helped quiet my mind, and destress my body. I had wasted so many years just moving and doing, and not thinking about how I was doing it or why. I was totally in love with my new found mind-body connection. During my workouts I had to see if my arms were connected to my back or if my abdominals were connected, and if my shoulders were relaxed, etc, etc.. Although it sounds like a lot, it was empowering on so many levels. I was now moving with purpose. I was in control of how my body would move.
I knew I wanted to share my new passion with everyone. I went for my certification and I now tell my clients I am just a messenger. One to help carry on the works of Joseph Pilates. I hope more people will try this unique system of exercise. The most wonderful thing is it is for EVERY BODY! Any age or fitness level can do pilates. It is becoming so popular that people are turning to pilates for rehabilitation purposes as well. This is not just a fitness trend. This is a lifestyle. With regular pilates practice you will feel wonderful in all you do. I am happy that I no longer call myself just a runner. I tell people I am a pilates instructor. I am a studio owner who tries to empower others. I feel honored to work with my clients each week and share the knowledge I have. Not only do they leave the studio happier, but they move with ease and strength.
I would like to finish with a favorite quote, “I must be right. Never an asprin. Never an injured day in my life. The whole country, the whole world should be doing my exercises. They’d be happier.”
-Joseph Hubertus Pilates, 1965-age 86