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Pilates: My Self Care & Body Maintenance

Exactly, read that again. I know reading this it sounds obvious but it took me 20 years of dancing and pushing through life before I really had to step back and focus on my body for a change. We as a culture have trained ourselves to bulldoze through the pain expecting it will go away, whether that’s mental, physical or emotional pain, we just keep going until we are numb. What do you do for self care? I would only take time off dance(take a class/rehearsal off) or maybe find a hot tub or read a book when I was passed my limit, why did it have to get that far before I pushed pause to reset/refocus a little?

It wasn’t until I found pilates that I felt like I could listen to my body on a different wavelength and I felt like I could finally help restore myself mentally, physically and emotionally to be able live the life I wanted without my body(mental/emotional wellness) holding me back.

If I don’t do my pilates workouts I tend to go back to bad patterns and my body plus my mental space starts to backtrack quickly into old habits…the good news is Pilates is always there to help get me back on course and it’s always way easier than I build it up in my head to be. Even if it’s a different path or route then I expected I always learn more and connect in a different way somehow, Pilates had literally given me a way to self care to help maintain and sustain my body for a life I want to keep myself in shape for! I quickly started rephrasing my practice as “Body Maintenance”, you know like you get your oil changed for car maintenance…it somehow helped my mind understand it was an ongoing yet fulfilling process, my machine(body & mind) were in much better shape for the life I wanted. Huh, why hadn’t I thought of it before, who knows…it’s like one day the lightbulb goes off and all of the sudden it makes sense, maybe I wasn’t ready to understand before then.

So…How do you help care for YOU!? Really, though? I would love to hear. This was a hard one for me to get over personally, I would do anything for anyone else even if that meant emptying my tank or bending over backwards without caring how it affected me…I can finally not let my guilt monsters take that away and fully treat myself to a pilates class or massage knowing it will help me be able to take care of others even better than I could before. My boyfriend really helped me look at my planner and see how insane it was, I had not scheduled ANY time to refuel, let alone exhale between days…it took a while but my self care is now in permanent marker in my planner, set in stone or else I know my week will not be functional.

Thank you Joe for the reminder. We all know that without our bodies we couldn’t live but somehow it becomes the last thing on our list, until it hurts to much for us to push through any longer. Somehow our mental and emotional care got thrown in that same basket. Let’s all help each other care for ourselves better. I was so inspired by Simone Biles at the Olympics this year, but honestly lets all help our immediate circle of family, friends, students to rephrase it as something we just have to do, to something we WANT to do to help ourselves and others.

Feel free to save this quote for the days when you try to talk yourself out of it, ANYTHING for you is better than NOTHING! Seriously though, try it, I dare you to prove me wrong.

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