My 20 Year Pilates Anniversary!

20 years of pilates Jan 09, 2022
Happy 20 Year Pilates Anniversary to me!  On this exact day, January 9 in 2002, when Sydney was ringed by bush fires and the air was filled with thick, choking smoke, I bravely ventured into a Pilates studio for the very first time with absolutely no idea of what to expect.  I had hopes of regaining my health and fitness which had been severely compromised by glandular fever and then chronic fatigue syndrome but I was a little dubious about what I would experience.   Without even knowing if I would enjoy it or find it beneficial,  I certainly never imagined in my wildest dreams I would become a Pilates teacher and would still be doing Pilates 20 years later.  So why did I keep doing it and why do I encourage and support others to practice Pilates too?  Let's take a look at why anyone who started Pilates 20 years ago would still be practicing it to this day.

Is it Love at First Pilates Session for Most People?


During the Initial Assessment, my Pilates teacher introduced me to the reformer with some basic footwork in order to assess my foot alignment.  I have to admit, I really liked it!  Never having been one to enjoy using gym equipment this really appealed to me as something I would enjoy.  While that was a very promising beginning, once I started the studio sessions in a group of 4 or 5 it was a bit of reality check.  A 1 hour and 20 mins session twice weekly of what seemed like random movements wasn't quite holding my interest.  I was used to turning and leaping across the floor in a dance studio and although this was movement it seemed a little to basic to me.  Fast forward to around the 8 or 9 session mark and suddenly all the new movements were coming together and it was starting to make sense.  I was feeling stronger and more flexible and my energy levels had increased.  I didn't know at the time but Joseph Pilates said "In 10 sessions you will feel the difference" and that was certainly true for me.  By the 10 session mark I was completely addicted to Pilates and ready to hand over the payment for another 10 sessions.  Over the years I have found my experience to be fairly typical for most people.  It's a bit like learning a new language.  There are no shortcuts and you have to put in the work to get the results.  For some people everything comes together before the 10 session mark and for some it's a little after. But it's incredible just how accurate Joseph Pilates was when he said this as I've experienced it personally and then seen so many of my clients experience exactly the same thing.  For those that don't make the the 10 session mark they don't realise just what they missed out on, so it is so worth persevering to experience the life-changing results that lie ahead! 

Consistency Really is Key


During my first year of Pilates I attended twice weekly and missed only 1 session due to preparations for my annual dance concert.  On one occasion, I discovered my car had a flat battery just as I was leaving to go to my Pilates session.  I was furious and needed to find a way of getting to my session.  Public transport wasn't an option at such short notice so I called a taxi that got me there almost on time. The Pilates studio was on the other side of the city to where I lived so it wasn't a cheap exercise. But the thought of missing my session was just too much to bear as I felt so good energy wise afterwards.   An entire year of consistent Pilates meant that I had completely transformed my mind and body.  It wasn't only my health and fitness that benefited but I a new found strength and control when I was dancing and much more endurance when I was teaching dance, all due to Pilates. 

Why Practice Pilates for 20 years or more?


The simple answer to this is that is makes you feel so good mentally and physically, why would you even consider stopping?  By the end of my first year of Pilates I already knew that I wanted to become a Pilates teacher and had enrolled to study a 1 year Anatomy & Physiology Course the following year in preparation for my Pilates training at University.  In addition to my 2 studio sessions per week I added 2 Mat classes per week as I wanted to learn as much as I could about Pilates and see just what my body was capable of.  You will never reach your full physical potential if you don't challenge yourself in different ways and are prepared to leave your comfort zone.  I'd always had good body awareness but Pilates allowed me to take this to a whole new level and it's this awareness that can help you to become highly attuned to your body which can alert you when something is wrong and also allow you to make the necessary changes to heal your body.  Pilates becomes a way of life as it helps you to become pain-free and then stay pain-free.  It leaves you feeling energised and prevents further injury.  You can practice it in a studio or online, but once you have these unique skills you can practice Pilates anywhere at anytime that suits you. The majority of my clients have been doing Pilates with me for upwards of 7 years with many around the 12 - 15 year mark.  One has been with me since I started teaching,  They all feel like I do.  Why would you give up a practise that will allow you to have good health and fitness which means maximum enjoyment in your retirement years?  When you find a good thing stick to it!
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