Practicing what I teach.
I started Pilates over 15 years ago to get into shape. I was hooked right away. Why? I loved that it was a full body workout, you did less than 15 reps of any exercise and I walked out feeling balanced physically and psychologically.
Little did I realize then how much GOOD I was doing for now.
Just wish I had discovered it sooner!!
Many clients have this image of instructors being perfect. Perfect physically and perfect nutritionally. We don't have physical issues or pains.
I respectfully disagree.
Most instructors BECAME instructors because of an ailment. After discovering Pilates, we realized it needed to be a bigger part of our lives. The more I teach, the more I realize how deeply Pilates continues to improve my life. The more I teach, the more I realize HOW MUCH Pilates includes different therapies wrapped up all in one discipline....in one hour!
2012 - Open Heart Surgery
In 2011, I knew something was really wrong when I couldn't do Pilates. It was hard to breath when I laid down on the reformer. I ended up having a very rare heart tumor, an atrial myxoma, in my left atrium. Six inches wide. My surgery was in January of 2012. I could not do any exercise except walking for a month. It took a good nine months for my nerves to stop tingling. I missed Pilates. A lot! During my recovery, my left side became to tight from hugging the heart pillow causing my left shoulder to be out of alignment....spreading issues into rotator muscles and upper trapezius. Pilates helped stretch and balance out the muscles. I recovered and by October of that year, I was certified to be an instructor.
2017 - Car Accident
In 2017, after teaching my Disco Friday classes, I was hit by another driver on my way home. It took a few years to discover that I not only suffered a concussion, but a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and my left eye was permanently damaged as well. Two of my cervical vertebrae were knocked around (C2 and C5). I was a little depressed that I had not been more vigilant in finding out what was wrong. To my surprise, once I began chiropractic, occupational and visual/vestibular therapies, I was so relieved to find that what we did in therapy was actually similar to many Pilates moves!!
Many physical therapists include Pilates in their everyday practice. Do you see Yoga or Crossfit or Orange Theory involved....didn't think so. Some of the fundamental principles of Pilates not only helps your muscles and tendons, but also your lymphatic system, communication between brain and muscle, your pulmonary system, your spinal cord and your mood.
We store stress hormones in our muscles and stretching helps release them. In addition to that, the breathing method of inhaling thru the nose and exhaling thru the mouth helps trigger our parasympathetic nervous system. I am always tickled when clients walk into the studio in a somber mood only to leave after class in a happy, chatty attitude. I love when someone will say how this is the one exercise they feel BETTER after :).
You might see a very capable person leading you thru the class, you might not think that we ourselves are challenged. But rest assured, we struggle as well. Just ask us the next time you're in class. We are human too ;)
This is what fuels are deep belief that Pilates can help you too!!