Years ago I was drawn to the Pilates practice because of my interest in learning how to golf. As it so happens, a chance conversation with a fitness coach who suggested I try Pilates. The practice helps to keep the body in balance and challenge stability and mobility all of which are needed in most sporting activities.
Needless to say I was hooked after the first class I took at the local YMCA. The instructor made the experience fun, but challenging, and I walked away like I was on cloud 9. After the second class I approached the instructor for help in choosing a video (remember VHS tapes?) that would get me through the week before the next class.
My love of Pilates grew as I got to know other instructors and teaching styles. These leaders themselves brought with them their own history of how and why they learned and practiced Pilates and were taught different styles of the practice (more on that in a later blog). I knew the group class schedules at both local YMCA's and would hop between the two to fit my routine. In addition, I built my own home collection of props, home videos and books (LOTS of books!) and explored all of the equipment that Joseph Pilates developed at a private Pilates studio with another WONDERFUL instructor.
But some where along the line, for reasons of their own, my practice shifted to yoga and I practiced Pilates less and less. A severe back injury kept me away from group Pilates classes until I made my way back to my personal instructor who helped guide me back into a functional pattern, away from the debilitating pain.
After completing yoga teacher training I knew in my heart that I had to keep the balance and dove straight into the Pilates teaching certification process. After working through the yoga certification I thought this would be easy, boy was a wrong! The requirements for training, teaching and class attendance were rigorous, and the final tests (both written and physical) whooped my butt!
When approaching Pilates, come to your mat, to your instructor to the group and know what your purpose is. Do you need to reduce pain? Do you feel tight or tense? Looking to complement a sport or another physical activity that you love? Want to get out of the house and meet friendly, like minded people and have fun?
A quick tip if you are interested in trying a group class for the first time: ENJOY THE RIDE! Your body is a beautiful thing, it should move with ease and grace, without pain. We all deserve to live without pain.
As an FYI, Yoga Secrets in Kennett Square, PA offers a new client special, $45 for one month of unlimited yoga and Pilates classes.
If you feel that a more personal approach is needed for your healing, consider scheduling a private session and we can discuss you specific needs