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WHO & WHAT IS PILATES GOOD FOR?

Pilates is good for EVERYONE and EVERYTHING!! But seriously, even though I may be a little biased, I wish I had found it sooner in my life. It answered all my problems, in ways I didn't even know needed answering, and the immediate impression it left on me had me changing careers...as soon as I learned I could share pilates with others, I was IN.


First of all, who is pilates good for? EVERY BODY & EVERYBODY can benefit from Pilates. It's true. Just because the industry is still trying to make it more inclusive so that everyone sees a person that looks like them doing pilates doesn't mean the method isn't good for everyone. IT IS. It's our job as an industry to help get it to everyone. Thankfully with virtual options now and more images and online footage we are able to share ALL BODIES doing pilates. Sadly I myself fit the exact stereotype of what a “Pilates Body” has been promoted upon in society but honestly I would MUCH rather have clients in my studio that don't fit that preset mold...as long as the body in front of me is committed to letting the method do what it's meant to while entrusting in their instructor they will reap the benefits in no time!


Every BODY and every PERSON I truly believe should have pilates in their lives... like taking your vitamins, or brushing your teeth, Joseph Pilates' intention was to get his method to everyone to use is to help counteract what society has done to our bodies by moving inside and becoming desk ridden. He wanted to prescribe his system of exercises to help put people back together and let them find trust in their bodies, he called his method "Contrology" the art of learning how to control your body and help it work as efficiently as possible. Like a well oiled machine, all parts moving as one to help become more seamless, mobile, strong, confident movers, from your posture to your gate to your ability to conquer daily tasks and even challenge your body in new ways. Joe even tried to get his exercises into the school systems to start young! He was ill as a child and felt he could have truly benefited from this system at a younger age.


After 20+ years of dancing my body was falling apart it was the first time my body truly was saying it was done, after a few weeks of consistent pilates(2-3 times a week) I had a whole new machine to take to dance class and rehearsal...the pain had subsided and I could trust my body again! I could even challenge it in new ways with this new base knowledge of how my body(machine) worked and how to make my dancing more efficient and more seamless, I could lean into the choreography in ways I just couldn't before. It was a CRAZY realization, especially knowing weeks before my dance career/my true passion seemed like it was over.


This form of cross training actually helped me dance BETTER not take my focus off dance or make me too tired for classes like I had always been told…it gave me dance back and in an even better more improved and refreshed way!! Most of my clients say similar things, like I can get on the floor with my grandkids and not get stuck, I can water ski again, I worked in the garden and was totally fine the next day! Things that before seemed like they were signing up for weeks of pain- just to do what would make them happy or to have some fun..was it worth the cost of the pain after?! Well I have to say, I get overjoyed when pilates has helped clients get back on their feet and become more lively again, you can literally see the pep in their step when they come into the studio. It's surreal, and it’s honestly what keeps me so passionate about this method.


Ok, so after all that miracle talk, WHAT is Pilates good for? There are honestly too many things to list, but you have to enjoy Pilates first, find the teacher you like and can relate to, find a studio or virtual platform that speaks to you. There are different types of pilates out there and different types of studios with different focuses in mind, so find what fits you. Shop around, see what feels best in your body, what will help you be most consistent. Try it and if you start making excuses, or not feeling the benefits, try somewhere or someone else in the industry. Check out my blog: What is the difference between Classical & Contemporary Pilates if you want more in depth information on that.


Here is also a great article I found on Healthline.com that talks about the 19 Benefits of Pilates. Here are a few from their list:

  • Increases Core Strength & Energy

  • Improves Posture, Balance, Flexibility, Mobility, Cognitive Thinking,

  • Reduces Back Pain

  • Helps Prevent Injury

  • Enhances Body Awareness, Athletic Performance, Bone Strength

  • Decreases Stress, Boosts Your Mood

Every client will notice some aspects more than others depending what that client needs more of but mainly after your first session you should walk out feeling taller-more lift and length in your posture and alignment, better balance, more awareness of how your body moves though space, like you've gotten "oil in your joints" they seem to move more freely then before class. Weight loss isn't usually a focus but as soon as bodies feel better moving and WANT to move I find they automatically start moving more efficiently and regularly which in tern starts moving off the extra points, they feel lighter and hold themselves taller.


Some clients have mentioned they gained some height at the doctor or had to adjust their rearview mirror since they sit taller after class. Some have mentioned low back pain they've dealt with for 10+ years start to dwindle away, ladies that had children and never felt like their bodies were theirs again post-kiddos somehow feel like a new and improved version of themselves. The list goes on and on, ask any instructor, that's why we do what we do. Clients that can touch their toes which they haven't done since middle school, or how someone can climb stairs with ease again, load and unload groceries without feeling it the next day. Overall finding their zest for life through noticing their daily benefits of this method is what keeps everyone coming back, without it they start to notice their pain coming back and their bodies telling them they needed it consistently.


You can cater your pilates your pilates journey to you. I have a 70+ year old client that I see once a month and the rest of the month he does his daily pilates mat routine and feels like a new and improved version of himself for the rest of the day. He comes in so I can give them some cues or help fine-tune the work a bit and then he's off to do his homework and dig deeper into the practice on his own til he's ready for the next challenge under my trained eye. I have clients that fight it at the beginning because it's new and scary and then after the first month they realize they CAN do the exercises and they DO feel better, and then I can't keep them out of the studio or they want to bring all their family and friends to see what it's all about.


I have so many elderly clients that ALL say, wow I wish I knew about this sooner. It is NEVER too late to find a movement practice that helps you achieve the life you want. I honestly hope it is pilates but it could be anything, something you and your body feel better after. Something you WANT to do, just for you. That is the benefit with pilates privates, the 55minute session is catered to what your body needs most, that can also shift with what your body faces outsides the studio. If you are planning to travel and want to get in shape to enjoy your trip or you just got back from a weekend visit watching all your grandkids and needs some recovery, or maybe you just are having some new aches and pains that we should help navigate through.


I am so deeply grateful for this method and to Joseph Pilates for being brave enough to put it together and get it out here. I myself have Chron's disease and a side effect for me is spondyloarthritis, no need to go look it up by mainly my joints and spine start to get stiff from inflammation or my guts get inflamed from my IBD flare ups. Pilates SAVES me, as long as I keep moving, even if my range of motion is limited, or certain exercises I need to leave out; it gets my blood flowing, my breathe going and as I connect to the exercises and their transitions while tuning into what my body is up for that day, it's worth it! Every time. Even if it's just for 5 minutes I do feel the benefits.


Do you have a laundry list of old injuries or pains that make you too scared to move, well get an instructor to keep you safely moving and find how this method can help you find the life you want with the body you've been searching for! I know Pilates may not be everyone's cup of tea but your body could benefit from ways you didn't kn


ow it could, or maybe the style you tried years ago at a gym wasn't the right experience you needed at the time and maybe in a studio with equipment and a workout catered to what your body needs is the experience you can benefit from. Give it a try, have an open mind and see what your body says after that! It is a method, not a one workout and done, the more you do it the MORE you get out of each session and the more it starts to stay in your daily life. It's like learning a new language, the more you practice the more it becomes second nature.


Have you taken a pilates session, how did you feel after? If so please write a comment below of what you wished you knew about pilates before you started...help others who have never taken a class before, what did Pilates help you find?



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