Don't Do Pilates

Blasphemy from a Pilates instructor... but let me explain!

Pilates is not now, and was not originally designed to be a flash in the pants exercise fad. It is so much more and demands a level of care for your self both mentally and physically that cannot be faked. At least not when under the guidance of someone whose life has been transformed by the physical practice. If you want a quick fix, a pill, a short term physical appearance change, a status symbol, a mindless no-pain, no gain workout.... Pilates is not for you.... here's why:

1 - Get ready to practice your listening skills. It was a great reminder for me, the talking instructor, to be told from clients that they struggled with keeping their attention on my instructions. There is a lot to learn and we are entierly committed to your results, because of that, we go to great length to make sure you perform movements correctly. Our minds are so used to tuning things out that seem unimportant that the adjustment to a workout that is actually being taught not copied, is a workout in itself. Imagine the benefit of slowing down your mind enough to stay focused and listen.... it will overflow into your everyday.

2 - Its not what you think it is. Pilates is almost never what it is expected to be. It involves developing long, lean muscles, and building core strength, but it will be remarkably different than what you think of when you imagine your core, or imagine stretching. Some people believe that they can't do pilates because of an injury or back pain. Most people in our studio have had some sort of pain or injury that is now managed or gone. It is hard to have an open mind and to come in without expectations. It is also hard to let go of some of our ideas of our bodies and pain - being inevitable and out of our control. If you want to stay in pain, or want your workout to make you feel like crap for two days afterward.... Pilates is not for you.

3 - It will change your life. Sounds good, right? Well, the truth about us humans, is we are not so fond of change. And since Pilates isn't just a fad, something you do for a few weeks to feel better about being in a bathing suit on vacation, it is unlikely that if you let yourself dive depe enough into it that you will go back to your old ways. You will continually change and learn more. You will continually develop greater body awareness and control of your every movement. These changes can be downright annoying, as you discover all the ways you've ignored your own body, or as you discover truths that undo the previous truths you've accepted. These changes, as you can imagine will have a profound impact on the rest of your life, but not everyone is ready for that.

4 - You will hear voices in your head. Well, not like the kind of voices that are creepy, but your teacher's instructions will invade your quietest moment outside of Pilates. "are you breathing" "put your heels down" "exhale and shrug" You'll begin doing Pilates while at your desk at work, driving in your car, gardening or doing housework. Yes, this is positive, but I want you to know what you are signing up for. If you've ever asked your Pilates teacher when they do their workout, the answer of any teacher who has truly gone through the experience would be "all the time." This way of moving will become your all the time attention too.

5 - Your body will become yours! What? It already is.... isn't it? Yes, and no. We don't treat our body like its our own, and making it yours is an act of taking on responsibility, as if we don't have enough of that already. The good part about this responsibility is there is no end to the amount of good you can do for yourself, the bad thing is that you will no longer think that job belongs to all the professionals around you. Not even to your Pilates teacher.... we give you serious tools and knowledge, not a healthy body that you're tied to us to keep. It takes time, but our overarching goal is to put you in the drivers seat of your own body and life.

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