What teaching and practicing Pilates regularly for the past year has taught me.
It’s been nearly a year since I embarked on my current Pilates journey. At the start of this year I began teacher training, bought four reformers, and found out what was going on with my posture. It was illuminating!
Now, as the year is winding down, I am now teaching 11+ classes per week, practicing on my own at least three days a week and running my very own Pilates studio.
What a difference a year can make.
I’ve never been one to do things slowly but Pilates has given me awareness and the ability to slow down in new ways. I’d love to share 3 ways that Pilates has changed me over the course of this year.
- Pilates has given me a new appreciation for my body. Not in how it looks or in how it’s changed aesthetically postpartum, but in how I think about its function. This body has and continues to do amazing things. Even when I’ve done very little to properly care for it. It has housed my babies, given birth, survived when I’ve starved it, processed crazy amounts of food when I’ve binged, supported me through unsustainable workout regimens, and guided me through times that I’ve been a couch potato. And now, learning all that I’ve learned, I can finally honor it and give it nourishment and movement and rest, and hydration and all the other self-care techniques that I’ve come to embrace. I love witnessing how my body and my student’s bodies function during Pilates. The precision, the mind/body connection, the sheer awesomeness of the way the body can move and adapt. It’s amazing to see.
- Pilates has helped me slow down (as I already mentioned). I’m someone who enjoys pushing myself and feeling a sense of achievement. That’s why I’ve always enjoyed HIIT workouts and activities that are heart pounding and sweat inducing. So it’s pretty uncomfortable for me to really slow down. To practice doing movements more slowly and with more control. And that’s Pilates for you. In fact, if you go too quickly, you miss all the benefits that an exercise can give. I see it in my clients all. the. time. I’m constantly cueing for them to slow down. And it’s easier for some than others. We’re all on a journey to get out of fight or flight and Pilates teaches us to do that, little by little.
- Pilates has made me stronger. And no, not in ways that many would consider worthwhile. I’m not sure how many pushups I can do at this point or if I can squat X amount of pounds or if I can do an unassisted pull up. What I can say is that I’m stronger in my core, I can pick my two year old up with more ease, and I have back muscles that I’ve never seen in my life. It’s not about the look of it so much as the feeling of empowerment in getting stronger. In the fact that my Pilates practice isn’t easier but it’s more manageable. That I’m able to stay in proper form for longer before the muscles fatigue. And I see the same in my clients week after week.
No matter where you are on your fitness journey, I hope you find something that you love as much as I love Pilates. You deserve that. You deserve to feel more appreciative of the functionality of your body. You deserve tools that help you slow down your body and slow down your mind. You deserve to feel strong and capable.
And if you haven’t tried Pilates, be it on the Reformer or otherwise, I want to encourage you to try it out. You’ll be glad you did.