I’ve always had the mind set “train smarter, not harder”. The body doesn’t need any unnecessary stress.

I have this approach when it comes to all aspects of my life, it helps me keep a healthy balance.

When I teach Pilates the one thing I am always striving for is to help people find more autonomy over their own bodies and take responsibility for working smartly.  Regardless of where you’re at on your fitness journey, here are a few tips so that you can get the most of your Pilates classes:

Listen to your body.

Pilates and Yoga often get lumped together in the ‘mindfulness’ bracket and one of the questions I get asked the most by strangers at parties is “Oh Pilates, that’s just like Yoga, right?!. Well no, it’s not.  I mean sure, we breathe, but aren’t we always breathing? The mindfulness in Pilates comes from starting to bring an awareness to how your body is moving, and what you’re feeling. When you start to become aware of what you’re feeling, you’ll be able to start applying some of the minute changes that will help your body function better, both in and out of class.

You don’t have to do it just because your instructor tells you to.

This one is important because only YOU really know what you’re feeling.  I can help to guide you as an instructor, but unless you let me know that something is causing you pain, and not the ‘I’m working my muscles sensation’, but the ‘this doesn’t feel good for me pain’ then I can’t help you to try and find a better movement pattern or offer a modification to bring you to where you’re going to benefit most from the movement. Working your body to its max is great, but it’s going to be even better if you’re moving smartly and efficiently!

Take your Pilates into the outside world.

Pilates is for life, not just the hour that you’re in the studio. Start to think about some of the smaller changes you’ve made in class and how you can apply them to your day to day life. Can you apply any of it to when you’re sitting in your car and driving home afterwards? What about when you’re standing in the kitchen making your dinner?  How about at the gym, or when you’re playing Golf? Start to become aware of how you’re moving your body daily and link the two together to get the most out of your hourly sessions.

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