- Show Up – With An Open Mind
Maybe you’ve tried different fitness classes and methods before. Or maybe you’re looking to get in shape after a long break from any kind of physical activity. Perhaps you’ve spent a solid chunk of time, debatingthe best way to care for yourself, get fit, and manage weight loss. You’ve probably pondered what step to take next, tested different theories and methods, come up against frustrations, and spent a fair bit of cash in trying to figure out what’s right for you. Well, if you’re considering Pilates, the first step is to actually show up to a studio to give it a shot. Don’t compare it to all those failed attempts or missteps from before. Instead, arrive being open,(that’s when it works, bit like a parachute!) Be confident in the teacher you’ve selected and believe that it’s time and money well spent. You’ll be amazed what a positive attitude can do in making Pilates the right choice for you.
- Embrace the Mental / Physical Connection
In your Pilates sessions, you’ll hear analogies, be asked to work hard at visualization, and listen to cues. Not only that, you’ll feel tactile cues that will have you engage muscles that quite frankly, you never knew you had! You’ll be asked to do small movements, build upon small reps and use techniques to move and connect that make you work differently than ever before. These small steps, this systematic layering of the method, is like an onion! Every time you peel back a layer there is another one creating more connection, depth, effort and learning. This layering brings a heightened consciousness to your movement and mind / body connection.
- Stick With It
Like learning anything new, there is a level of commitment required. Pilates in particular demands an ongoing commitment – both within your sessions and in a bigger sense, by continuing to show up and be mindfully present. Make a plan to achieve your personal goals with your instructor and break it down into steps. This is an especially valuable practice if you’re working one-on-one with an instructor.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Modify
Pilates is ultimately a journey. Don’t worry if you encounter physical or mental challenges or obstacles. It’s okay – and expected – to develop modifications and strategies along the way to ensure you continue on your journey. Remember, you’re not expected to be perfect from day one. Taking little steps toward a bigger goal can help you feel like you are accomplishing things – and that you’ve come a long way from where you started.
- Avoid the Blame Game
When something gets challenging and demands more, it’s completely within our human nature to come up with an excuse for stopping. If you find yourself blaming different parts of your life – like ‘I’m too busy!’ – for not being able to continue on with your Pilates journey, ask yourself, is your excuse just that? Are you afraid of pushing yourself? Keep going with your practice – your movements will become more fluid. In fact, you’ll likely find yourself skipping the excuses, and might start looking forward to the challenges it presents.
- Get a Motivational Partner
If you’re struggling with practicing Pilates on your own, it could be that there are bigger emotional aspects at play. You may go ‘offline’ emotionally, shutting down, and not feeling anything. If this the case, working one-on-one with a Pilates trainer may be your best bet. Having someone else involved can help you feel more committed to the practice, ensuring you hold yourself responsible for not only showing up to practice, but striving to do better by being present.
- Note the Small Stuff
Pilates isn’t just about getting through each move. It’s about self-discovery from a physical and mental place. Have gratitude and awareness for the insights you obtain; those ‘lightbulb moments’ that happen through Pilates. It can bring discernment, confidence and motivation to go deeper into the method. Awareness of the cumulative, surprisingly small techniques manifesting their way into your lifestyle will help you feel the benefits.
- Take a Moment to Feel the Ultimate Connection
Physically and mentally there is a divine connection in Pilates. It’s about both of these elements working together to move you forward, whatever the situation, whether you’re overcoming emotional setbacks, trying to find motivation, pursuing weight loss, working on your strength training, boosting general confidence or overcoming rehabilitation of an injury.