PILATES provided a new path

When the smallest of thoughts came to me about changing my career path and devoting to Pilates, I knew instantaneously that I didn’t want to spend eons contemplating the decision. The timing seemed right to re-evaluate my career and its direction, and it was a far scarier prospect for me not to take the risk, or to not have worked for something different, even if it meant possibly failing, than to not even try it out in the first place.

Knowing that I could easily pass up an opportunity to change, grow, and learn again, using my existing job or family as an excuse…well, it made me unsettled. On evaluation, it was clearly apparent that my health and well-being were impacted by stressors in my life. There are often so many neon signs shouting out these huge wake-up calls, that a change is needed, and on reflection, there was probably a full orchestra going off at many points in my life, telling me to pay closer attention, but I must have stuffed in the proverbial ear plugs so I could ignore those signs.

When the realization hits you like a crowbar that you’re not living life how you should, you have two options: acceptance or to dig deeper. It’s a very committed and conscious decision to dig deeper and to believe that you can have the possibility of living life differently. Questions have to be asked, sometimes very uncomfortable ones. And the million dollar question you do not even dare say out loud for others to hear is…’How do I cultivate this change I’m after?’

I get it. Digging deep can feel downright impossible when you’re pissed off with some aspect of your current life, exhausted and given the choice would crawling to the sofa with the dog and a huge bar of chocolate for comfort for the remainder of the day rather than address the issue.

In general, all of us are guilty of too much pushing through, putting your big girl pants on, and sucking it up. Yeah, it will work for a time, you’ll get the supermom, woman, business wonder woman title from a few, but the reality is, something has to give and it will be you, or those around you that will suffer. So just maybe there is something better out there than just ‘sucking it up’?

When I had my little revelation, I started deliberately taking proactive, small changes that inspired bigger ones down the road. Doing something restorative like Pilates for myself actually made me function better, and the decisions I ended up making were better ones. The contribution I wanted to make to my family, myself, and my career could not be accomplished on an empty tank, so for my own health and sanity, I had to have the courage to put practices into my life that helped nourish me physically and mentally.

This time around, with a big commitment to make this type of change, I realised if done with mindful connection and the right intentions, it could perhaps leave me in a truly ‘comfortable in my own skin’ calmer, grounded and significantly happier place.

You’ve probably heard of this idea of ‘mindfulness connection to one’s body’. Truth be told, I once considered this practice as mundane as my ironing pile. However, through my Pilates practice, I was already learning that mind–body changing experience involves shutting out the noise and opening my awareness. This was not an easy task for me. In fact, this is a challenging concept for just about anyone in today’s society. What I didn’t realize at the time, was that what had driven me to this decision-making moment, this game changer, was movement, through Pilates. Light bulb moment!

The process of applying this level of openness actually became pretty straightforward once I made the conscious decision to accept what was happening. Once I achieved it, I wondered what the heck I did prior – apart from steam through life’s challenges, get by, and survive.

By me taking small actions and changing habits such as posture and building trust in my muscles, I was more adept at allowing change into my body, and consequently, my mind. Tracking the insights, those light bulb moments that had been happening through Pilates, my movement therapy, were bringing me confidence that I was soon applying elsewhere. The cumulative, surprisingly small techniques I picked up through Pilates had clearly manifested themselves into my lifestyle.

Overall pain and bad posture that had severely added to my stress levels started to change. Not only did Pilates help me alleviate those problems, as I worked through my own rehab with dysfunctional muscle patterning, it also helped me find a quieter calm. As Pilates focuses on breathing, I became become mindful of my breath, body, and muscles, and it became like a form of meditation. I even enjoyed better sleep once I started doing regular Pilates, partly because it is calming, but also because my body wasn’t full of physical or psychological tension.

What I found so rewarding was how both my physical and mental states improved hand-in-hand, giving me that divine connection to help me move a situation forward, be that emotions, motivation, weight loss, general confidence or overcoming rehabilitation of past injuries. Coupled with trusting the guidance I received from an amazing teacher, Pilates created an immense amount of focus and forward momentum for me when I needed it the most.

I believed in Pilates from my third lesson, and very soon I could see it was no fraud, it did what it said on the so-called ‘tin’. It had fixed me, and as I watched those around me, I could see the long list of benefits happening to others, and the thirst to learn more was born.

I was starting to think differently too…

Joseph Pilates called his workout method “the thinking man’s exercise.” It could very well be. When Chinese researchers measured changes in women’s brain activity after 10 weeks of Pilates training, they found an increase in the brain’s alpha peak power, which is related to neural network activity, memory performance, and other cognitive functions. Researchers believe Pilates may even hold potential as a treatment option for people with brain-degenerative diseases and cognitive dysfunctions. So Pilates makes you think! Literally.

Through practicing Pilates, I was constantly teaching myself something; control, motivation, focus, flow, to breathe, dig deeper, and break that pain cycle – the list was endless. It became both a creative and generative use of my time, as opposed to me dodging what I really wanted to do. In retrospect, I guess what I was starting to do was navigate my own life again. For years I’d been burying myself in a job that was the perfect refuge, as I wasn’t sure what to do next with my life. Longing to find something that made me feel nourished, instead of something that felt like it had fatal flaws and frustrations, I decided to take the leap and train as a Pilates teacher.

In my time as a teacher so far I have found the everyday exquisitely rewarding. I am a constant and engaged student of the body and movement, and not a single day passes without me being fed a feast of information from working with such a variety of wonderful clients. For me, having the discipline that the method brings is a real plus, but balancing that with the creativity that is such a huge part of my personality is key. In fact, it’s what keeps me more balanced and overall more engaged.

The constant challenges of this incredibly multi-dimensional method, that originally to new eyes looked so easy and seamless, keeps me so interested in the practice. Learning the exercises, modifications, varying modalities, cues, and systematic process that Pilates is, is huge. In addition to that however, and what seems to bring the unique connection with my clients, is how to communicate it all. To process all the unique information you are constantly analyzing, and designing your program for that individual – that’s the real payoff. I consider Pilates to be a very much passion-based career and feel blessed to be able to guide other through their Pilates journey.

With my new career giving me balance, purpose, meaning, and a real connection with others, I thank you Joseph Pilates!

The smallest of thoughts came to me about changing my career path and devoting to Pilates, I knew instantaneously that I didn’t want to spend eons contemplating the decision. The timing seemed right to re-evaluate my career and its direction, and it was a far scarier prospect for me not to take the risk, or to not have worked for something different, even if it meant possibly failing, than to not even try it out in the first place.

Knowing that I could easily pass up an opportunity to change, grow, and learn again, using my existing job or family as an excuse…well, it made me unsettled. On evaluation, it was clearly apparent that my health and well-being were impacted by stressors in my life. There are often so many neon signs shouting out these huge wake-up calls, that a change is needed, and on reflection, there was probably a full orchestra going off at many points in my life, telling me to pay closer attention, but I must have stuffed in the proverbial ear plugs so I could ignore those signs.

When the realization hits you like a crowbar that you’re not living life how you should, you have two options: acceptance or to dig deeper. It’s a very committed and conscious decision to dig deeper and to believe that you can have the possibility of living life differently. Questions have to be asked, sometimes very uncomfortable ones. And the million dollar question you do not even dare say out loud for others to hear is…’How do I cultivate this change I’m after?’

I get it. Digging deep can feel downright impossible when you’re pissed off with some aspect of your current life, exhausted and given the choice would crawling to the sofa with the dog and a huge bar of chocolate for comfort for the remainder of the day rather than address the issue.

In general, all of us are guilty of too much pushing through, putting your big girl pants on, and sucking it up. Yeah, it will work for a time, you’ll get the supermom, woman, business wonder woman title from a few, but the reality is, something has to give and it will be you, or those around you that will suffer. So just maybe there is something better out there than just ‘sucking it up’?

When I had my little revelation, I started deliberately taking proactive, small changes that inspired bigger ones down the road. Doing something restorative like Pilates for myself actually made me function better, and the decisions I ended up making were better ones. The contribution I wanted to make to my family, myself, and my career could not be accomplished on an empty tank, so for my own health and sanity, I had to have the courage to put practices into my life that helped nourish me physically and mentally.

This time around, with a big commitment to make this type of change, I realized if done with mindful connection and the right intentions, it could perhaps leave me in a truly ‘comfortable in my own skin’ calmer, grounded and significantly happier place.

You’ve probably heard of this idea of ‘mindfulness connection to one’s body’. Truth be told, I once considered this practice as mundane as my ironing pile. However, through my Pilates practice, I was already learning that mind–body changing experience involves shutting out the noise and opening my awareness. This was not an easy task for me. In fact, this is a challenging concept for just about anyone in today’s society. What I didn’t realize at the time, was that what had driven me to this decision-making moment, this game changer, was movement, through Pilates. Light bulb moment!

The process of applying this level of openness actually became pretty straightforward once I made the conscious decision to accept what was happening. Once I achieved it, I wondered what the heck I did prior – apart from steam through life’s challenges, get by, and survive.

By me taking small actions and changing habits such as posture and building trust in my muscles, I was more adept at allowing change into my body, and consequently, my mind. Tracking the insights, those light bulb moments that had been happening through Pilates, my movement therapy, were bringing me confidence that I was soon applying elsewhere. The cumulative, surprisingly small techniques I picked up through Pilates had clearly manifested themselves into my lifestyle.

Overall pain and bad posture that had severely added to my stress levels started to change. Not only did Pilates help me alleviate those problems, as I worked through my own rehab with dysfunctional muscle patterning, it also helped me find a quieter calm. As Pilates focuses on breathing, I became become mindful of my breath, body, and muscles, and it became like a form of meditation. I even enjoyed better sleep once I started doing regular Pilates, partly because it is calming, but also because my body wasn’t full of physical or psychological tension.

What I found so rewarding was how both my physical and mental states improved hand-in-hand, giving me that divine connection to help me move a situation forward, be that emotions, motivation, weight loss, general confidence or overcoming rehabilitation of past injuries. Coupled with trusting the guidance I received from an amazing teacher, Pilates created an immense amount of focus and forward momentum for me when I needed it the most.

I believed in Pilates from my third or fourth lesson, and very soon I could see it was no fraud, it did what it said on the so-called ‘tin’. It had fixed me, and as I watched those around me, I could see the long list of benefits happening to others, and the thirst to learn more was born.

I was starting to think differently too…

Joseph Pilates called his workout method “the thinking man’s exercise.” It could very well be. When Chinese researchers measured changes in women’s brain activity after 10 weeks of Pilates training, they found an increase in the brain’s alpha peak power, which is related to neural network activity, memory performance, and other cognitive functions. Researchers believe Pilates may even hold potential as a treatment option for people with brain-degenerative diseases and cognitive dysfunctions. So Pilates makes you think! Literally.

Through practicing Pilates, I was constantly teaching myself something; control, motivation, focus, flow, to breathe, dig deeper, and break that pain cycle – the list was endless. It became both a creative and generative use of my time, as opposed to me dodging what I really wanted to do. In retrospect, I guess what I was starting to do was navigate my own life again. For years I’d been burying myself in a job that was the perfect refuge, as I wasn’t sure what to do next with my life. Longing to find something that made me feel nourished, instead of something that felt like it had fatal flaws and frustrations, I decided to take the leap and train as a Pilates teacher.

In my time as a teacher so far I have found the everyday exquisitely rewarding. I am a constant and engaged student of the body and movement, and not a single day passes without me being fed a feast of information from working with such a variety of wonderful clients. For me, having the discipline that the method brings is a real plus, but balancing that with the creativity that is such a huge part of my personality is key. In fact, it’s what keeps me more balanced and overall more engaged.

The constant challenges of this incredibly multi-dimensional method, that originally to new eyes looked so easy and seamless, keeps me so interested in the practice. Learning the exercises, modifications, varying modalities, cues, and systematic process that Pilates is, is huge. In addition to that however, and what seems to bring the unique connection with my clients, is how to communicate it all. To process all the unique information you are constantly analyzing, and designing your program for that individual – that’s the real payoff. I consider Pilates to be a very much passion-based career and feel blessed to be able to guide other through their Pilates journey.

With my new career giving me balance, purpose, meaning, and a real connection with others, I thank you Joseph Pilates!




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