With Pilates Appreciation Month in full swing, we take time out with some of the team to ask them what Pilates means to them.
Starting our series with Sinead. She tells us what Pilates Means to her.
I always feel like my best self after attending a Pilates class. This was the real catalyst that led me to pursue a career as a Pilates instructor. I felt that I needed to know more about Pilates with a view to sharing the benefits with others. It’s something that hasn’t changed for me even though I have been completely immersed in the world of Pilates over the last few years. If anything, this belief that my Pilates practise brings me peace has grown. I still feel that sense of strength and calm after each class I take. I aim to bring that same feeling to clients once they’ve taken my class.
Pilates really is a form of therapy for me; my body feels the benefits in so many ways. I feel a deep sense of strength, I have increased my flexibility, I’m more aware of my movement patterns, I am in tune with my body, I stand taller, I feel like I can challenge my body in new ways and I feel that the strength I have gained from Pilates stands to me in all other physical activities. It is also the best way I have found to bring quietness to the mind. My mind is still when I’m in the Pilates zone. Pilates provides me with a moment of calm reflection even on the busiest of days. In Pilates, we engage the mind and body together to move with precision and control .We bring attention to our breath as we move – this means that we must be present in mind and body. Joseph Pilates really was ahead of his time!
The strength that Pilates brings to the mind and body has contributed positively to my life in so many ways. I really became interested in Pilates after having cardiothoracic surgery. I felt a weakness and vulnerability in my body for the first time in my life and I didn’t like that feeling. At first, I was fairly sceptical about Pilates as my exercise prior to that had mainly involved fast-paced activities; sweating, pushing myself to my limit and getting my heart pumping. I questioned the value of lying on a mat focusing on my breathing! But Pilates is so much more than that and I began to feel the benefits once I gave it a chance. It helped me to replace that feeling of weakness with a feeling of strength and that really propelled my recovery and made me feel like myself again. I feel that practising Pilates has given me more confidence too. That feeling of strength in my body translates to a feeling of strength as I go about my life. I feel more capable and I have more belief in myself when I come up against challenges. I believe that this all comes back to the strength I feel in my body and mind and I have Pilates to thank for that.
I’m so very grateful to have the opportunity to work in the world of Pilates. I’ll happily spend my days spreading the good word of Joseph Pilates because I truly believe in the benefits of his method.
In my opinion, there’s no end to the Pilates journey. There are so many variations and modifications of the repertoire and then you have the various apparatus that Joe invented to add to the mix of options and possibilities. Pilates continues to evolve and grow to meet the needs of society and it’s something I know I will do as long as I can move. It’s a way to future-proof your body! It’s a means of ensuring that the body continues to move in the best possible way for as long as possible. The practice constantly helps and encourages our bodies to move with strength, ease and grace. I believe that the Pilates movement will continue to grow so that our generation will be standing tall well into our twilight years. I hope I’ll still be around in my 90’s, showing the kids how it’s done!!