Pilates Success Starts With Your Mind

cancer survivor pilates inspiration Nov 28, 2021
This person has taken control of their mind climbed to the top of a mountain
Pilates is one of the very few exercise methods that incorporate a mind-body connection which is one the reasons I'm so passionate about it.
I've always been fascinated by human behaviour.  Why does one person with everything stacked against them make remarkable achievements while another with all the resources they need fail to thrive?  Why are some people content to plod along while others have a burning desire to achieve their goals?  You are special and unique. There has never been another you in history and there will never be another you again in the future.  So how do we ensure we are using our minds to get the most out of our Pilates training so we can take control of our health and fitness and live life to the fullest? 

Be Honest With Yourself About How You Are Feeling


When clients come to me for Pilates who are recovering from an illness or injury they are usually also experiencing a range of challenging emotions.  Chronic pain can understandably leave you feeling despondent and vulnerable making you depressed, anxious and uncertain about your future.  This is exactly how I felt when I was recovering from glandular fever many years ago now and was left with chronic fatigue syndrome.  When you are physically unwell it dramatically impacts your mental health too and your ability to enjoy life.  I've come so far since those days thanks to my Pilates training and I've used these same tools to help so many people change their brains and therefore their bodies so they can live happy, healthy pain-free lives too.

Positive Mindset Training 


Once you have established how you are feeling it's important to then understand that you are not your feelings and you don't have to let them control you.  You can change your reaction to how you are feeling at any time.  This takes practice and the way I work with my Pilates clients encourages this which really helps in the recovery process.  The mind-body connection in Pilates encourages awareness of the body and mind and the part I personally love the most, that we can change our bodies with our minds.  For example when you become aware of certain ways you may be moving or sitting that aren't ideal for you, you can consciously change these habits to be more efficient,  just by consistently bringing your attention to it.  This is so powerful!  In the beginning most clients struggle with getting in touch with what is happening in their bodies and making changes with their minds because it's a learned skill.  I also encourage as much positivity as possible when it comes to progress.  In the beginning this is common conversation I have with clients
Me "How has your back pain been since your last Pilates session?
Client "Really bad unfortunately"
Me "That's a shame and I'm sorry to hear it. How was your pain straight after your session?"
Client: "It went away completely."
Me: "That's fabulous, so when did the pain return?
Client "Last night and it's quite bad"
Me: "So let's get this straight. You have been in pain for 4 months before you started Pilates 5 weeks ago. Then after each Pilates session you are out of pain for 5-6 days between each weekly session, but when I ask about your pain level you say it's really bad."
Client: "Yes, because it hasn't gone away completely yet.
Me: "That's true it hasn't gone away completely but each week it's getting less and less and you are out of pain for 5- 6 days per week.  That's a remarkable improvement!"
Client: "I guess it is when you put it like that."
Me: "You have made amazing progress and need to celebrate that. Very soon you will be completely pain-free, but you will get there even faster if you focus on the improvement not the pain.
Tony Robbins said "Energy flows where attention goes"
This is usually a revelation for most people, especially when they are in pain and can't see beyond that.  If you keep focusing on your pain you will get more pain.  If you focus on being pain-free and moving with ease, that will really assist your recovery.  It all comes back to the mind.

Amy Ledin's Journey Through Stage 4 Lung Cancer


One of the most inspirational people I have read about is Amy Ledin.  She is the perfect example of someone who has taken positive mindset training to a whole new level in order to survive stage 4 lung cancer for 8 years.  When her cancer re-appeared this year she was due to complete "75 Hard" - a transformational fitness & mental toughness challenge for 75 days straight as the name suggests.  She needed to have chemotherapy for 85 days and most people would have immediately pulled out of the challenge, but not Amy.  She completed "75 Hard" for 75 straight days never missing anything she committed to whilst undergoing chemo at the same time.  Some days she felt sick, others she wanted to sleep, but she did it.  She completed the challenge and the good news is that scans revealed 2 of her 3 tumours had shrunk by 20% and the other by 50%, which was an incredible result.  Two valuable lessons I see in this, and there are several, are that movement and committing to exercise when you are having chemotherapy is highly beneficial.  Secondly you can take control of your mind and make it work for you, not against you.  As Americans celebrated Thanksgiving this week, Amy enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner with her family celebrating the great news about her cancer recovery which is progressing so well.  She had visualised for 85 straight days that she would receive positive news and enjoy Thanksgiving and this exactly what she did!  If you want to learn more about her inspiring story you can follow her on Instagram @amy_ledin  and learn more about how she is using her mind to survive cancer and live a remarkable life.
If you want to be part of my unique Pilates community and learn how to take control of your own mind to heal your body click HERE to read about what options I have to offer you.  Alternatively, email me at [email protected] - I'd love to help you start your Pilates journey and discover what's possible for you too!

If you are ready to take control of your own health and fitness then download your free copy of my detailed guide.

Learn more about what sort of people benefit from Pilates and how it can help you too. I separate the myths from the facts and share actual case studies of my clients who have achieved life-changing results from my unique Pilates program.