I hear a lot of people, of every fitness level imaginable, tell me they are interested in Pilates, but afraid to try it. They think they need to prepare themselves to do Pilates. For some that means getting stronger in their core, for others it means losing weight or achieving more flexibility.
What I love most about Pilates is that it meets you where you already are. The movements are simple, you are lying down or sitting and everything can be modified to be easier or harder based on what you need.
When I first started doing Pilates I was pretty fit having just come out of an active dance career. Pilates relieved the many aches and pains I developed while dancing, and allowed me to keep moving and feeling good. I felt fortunate to be coming into Pilates with a base of strength and body awareness as it seemed to make things a bit easier.
Then I had my first child.
I was anxious to get back to Pilates in order to reclaim the strength and fitness I had lost during pregnancy. I was given the all clear to start working out and there I was on the mat (laying on my back too – yeah!!) for the first time in months. I was ready, I took a deep breath in, started lifting my head off the mat and BOOM – that’s all I had. I could lift my head, but that was about it. I knew I had lost strength, but I couldn’t even sit up. I was stuck there staring at the ceiling. That was certainly a humbling moment and I suddenly realized that I had a long road ahead of me.
I tell you this not to discourage anyone, but to let you know that Pilates really is accessible to everyone, no matter what shape you’re in.
The experiences I had of learning Pilates from a place of strength and then again from a place of weakness taught me a great deal about the power of Pilates. Not only did it rebuild my strength, it created a deeper, healthier strength and alignment that has enabled me to do more physically in my 40s than I could in my 20s.
I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment and let me know what interests you or scares you about Pilates and if you practice Pilates already, what discoveries have you made?