Pilates is for EVERY body.
I stumbled into Pilates quite by accident (I wonder how many of us have done the same thing?). I had moved away from Nursing to a job in Pharmaceutical Marketing and I was working late. A friend asked me to join her at her exercise class and that was my first Pilates experience.
I loved it from the beginning – I honestly felt my body uncurling from a forward seated position and my spine sighing as I explored, what I now know to be better alignment. I felt stronger, toned and far more flexible than I had for ages – if not for ever! Growing up playing a number of sports, very little, if any time, was given to lengthening and strengthening any muscle group. I was besotted with how moving my body in this new Pilates way felt so good.
I continued taking Pilates classes, moving between Mat and Machines for many years, and began to develop my infatuation in exploring how my body moved and felt with Pilates. I have always enjoyed different movement modalities, but Pilates kept pulling me back, waiting patiently for my return.
It was after a Breast Cancer diagnosis is 2011 that I decided to act on my desire of becoming an Instructor. I had continued with my Pilates classes all through my treatment, being encouraged by my instructors to explore the movement and find ways of feeling better. Some days it might have been through my breath, other days just concentrating on the movement took my mind off my diagnosis, which was a huge release. Pilates helped me feel strong and a little more in control of my body than I really was.
I qualified in 2013 and have enjoyed every minute of working as an instructor. Regardless of how we trained, I love how the Pilates community seems united by the same passion and enthusiasm for the body and mind benefits that Pilates can bring. I truly appreciate the discussion and exchange of ideas that happens on social media – It’s that creativity and vulnerability that has benefited my own practice and which, I can pass onto my clients.
I am committed to Pilates, and to the belief that everybody, whatever the body, can feel better, stronger and prepare well for old age. Whatever our age, or level of fitness or flexibility, we can all benefit from taking part. It doesn’t matter if you can’t do an exercise as well as, or the same as somebody else. What matters is that your own body is benefitting from the movement, and you make improvements to your own wellbeing. What’s so fantastic about the Pilates method is that out of the original 34 exercises, literally hundreds of adaptations are available to practice. Every exercise can be modified or progressed to suit EVERY body.