Today I’m talking about when I really found Pilates.
But why Pilates? I was suffering from extreme chronic neck and shoulder pain from my early twenties. Bad posture hunched over a text book or computer didn’t help but neither did any of my fitness classes. I was in what I thought was great shape, I felt strong but suffered from chronic neck pain and headaches.
Then I discovered Pilates, it not only transformed my body but my life. Pilates addressed my skeletal alignment. It addressed the fascia that organized and held my muscles in a way that prevented their full and efficient function so my muscles could start working together. It taught me how to use my joints properly and worked my body in all planes of motion as opposed to the repetitive movement.
Pilates affirmed that a healthy body needs a proper balance between stability and mobility. It’s not just about strength. More specifically, it address the intrinsic musculature of the spine and the joints that keep them moving mechanically well with healthy alignment, which is essential for healing and preventing injury.
This thoughtful, new way of moving rewired my quad and rectus abdominis and pec dominant tendencies and got me into my deep core (transversus abdominis, multifidus, diaphragm, pelvic floor), hamstrings, and intrinsic muscles of the hip and shoulder and feet.
An added benefit of retraining my body to access intrinsic muscles to stabilize instead of big muscles is that it positively changed my physical shape—making my thighs slimmer, my waist narrower, and my neck longer.
Pilates also taught me to breathe again.
I was accustomed to always holding my breath anytime I did a strenuous movement which gave me much less energy as a result. Learning to breathe improved these things but also became an amazing, essential life tool for managing life’s challenges. I healed my chronic neck and shoulder pain, steady realignment and re-patterning work, while also addressing the misalignments in my spine that were related to that neck and shoulder pain.
I became voraciously interested in the physics of the body and studied everything I could find, sought out anyone with interesting information. In the process of restoring my body, I found openness in places I had locked up with emotion. I forever began to walk through the world with more presence, openness, and bravery.
It was a great way to go out, as I knew that my passion for Pilates and intelligent training was leading me into a different career. I wanted to bring this amazing work to the many, many people who needed it. What I could not have known at that point is how fascinated I would be with all this work years later and how continuously thrilling I would find the latest research on anatomy and biomechanics.
Years later as a Pilates instructor, watching my clients get strong, fit, healthy, pain-free, beautiful, and graceful is also eternally rewarding—and I personally have stayed fit and healthy from Pilates. It became my primary fitness routine, and I have found it an essential tool to have to keep me healthy through every challenge life throws my way. I feel healthier and stronger every year. Thanks Pilates!
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To your health!