As I approach the upcoming 15 year anniversary of launching my Pilates studio in Sydney Australia, I was looking back at all the observations I've made over the years. The majority of my clients are long term so it has been amazing for me to share in their Pilates journeys but also to be able to narrow down the most effective methods to assist them in achieving their goals. Here are just a sample of these observations that may be of assistance in improving your own Pilates practice.
Patience & Persistence Really Do Produce Results
Over the years, I've assessed new clients who I thought had the ability and motivation to achieve their Pilates goals with ease only to be surprised and disappointed that they lacked the discipline to follow through. On the reverse side, I've seen other new clients who were dealing with complex health issues and facing many limitations in life but were determined to apply themselves to Pilates and achieve their goals. These clients have far exceeded all expectations, achieved incredible results and are an inspiration to everyone. One of my JS Mind Body Pilates Online members who joined 1 year ago this month has achieved remarkable results by vastly improving her post natal Pelvic Organ Prolapse. In addition to following my Online program, she has occasional Private sessions with me in the studio when her schedule allows. As a sole parent of 2 active children in full-time work, who was also dealing with a difficult divorce settlement last year, she was still able to find 10 mins each morning and night to practice Pilates, so the majority of us should be able to find the time too. She is the perfect example of how patience and persistence really do produce results.
Feet Are Often The Missing Link
Pilates is one of the few exercise methods that addresses and helps to correct foot issues. Like the rest of our bodies, they need strengthening too. One of my clients once asked me if we have muscles in our feet and she was surprised when I said that we do. Releasing tight foot muscles, correcting alignment and strengthening the feet has a positive effect throughout the body and can help correct everything from hip and back pain to rib, shoulder and neck pain. Everything really is connected and often when someone is working towards their Pilates goals and not yet seeing the results they desire, investing time in foot care and strengthening can be the missing link to becoming pain-free. JS Mind Body Pilates my online Pilates studio includes a detailed foot program to help unlock and strengthen your feet that you can practice on demand. Take the free 10-day trial now, self cancel at any time.
Your Most Hated Exercises Are The Ones You Need To Practice The Most!
It's only human nature that we prefer to do what we are good at and what comes easily to us and to avoid difficulties and challenges and Pilates is no exception to this. Most people have exercises they would prefer to leave out of their programs which generally indicates these are the exercises they need to practice the most. As the majority of people spend too much time in a forward flexed position such as at a computer, for example, reversing this position with extension of the spine is ideal for good spinal health and the majority of people enjoy this movement. Some people, however, who desperately need to extend their spines, will avoid this movement at all costs, further contributing to potential problems of becoming chronically round-shouldered resulting in numerous issues. So if there is a particular movement or exercise you find yourself trying to avoid, ask yourself why and consider the long term repercussions of this omission.
Pilates Really Can Make You Taller
Many clients walk out of my studio looking and feeling taller than when they arrived. Pilates is associated with lengthening and poor posture and a compressed spine can be greatly improved by lengthening our spines and finding our best possible postural alignment. Once you know your ideal posture you can maintain this with core, glute and back strengthening which Pilates provides. Emotional stress, carrying small children and long haul flights are just some of the factors that can compromise our posture. When you are able to bring your awareness back to your posture and activate the appropriate postural muscles during a Pilates session you will look and feel taller with your lengthened spine, ready to take on the world!