Why Pilates? My short answer....Pilates has taught me that working out is about loving your body!
I began my Pilates journey in the way many young woman come to fitness, to get in shape or lose weight. I decided that I would spend the 90 days before my wedding dieting and working out. Needed to look good on that honeymoon, right? I dabbled with Pilates on and off for the next 10 years. It wasn't until 2006 that I became a passionate student of Pilates. My second pregnancy left me weighing 75+ pounds more than my pre-pregnancy weight. That was a whole lot of me feeling sorry for myself that I had to move 730 miles north from the sunny beaches of Hilton Head Island to the onset of winter in central Pennsylvania at 7.5 months pregnant. I had abandoned my yoga and Pilates practices, wasn't eating very well and made a few too many trips to Dunkin Donuts. The end result was that my health and weight continued to be an issue 2 years after I had my son. I had to reclaim my health!! And with that, I returned to Pilates and a consistent weekly Pilates routine that has lasted 9 years.
Pilates has taught me to love my body. It has taught me that working out isn't something I do because I hate my body but something I do because I love it! I have done the gym thing and endless hours in group exercise classes. I won't say it was all for nothing or that those approaches don't work but they don't teach you what Joseph Pilates taught..."That by using Pilates you will uniformly develop the body, correct posture, restore vitality, invigorate the mind and elevate the spirit."
I move my body in gentle, elongating, natural ways that make me appreciate what my body is capable of. The one on one or small group environment that is always present with a Pilates workout is inspiring and nurturing to the human spirit! Joseph Pilates wanted his clients to embody peace, longevity and natural movement. He was a brilliant man, a pioneer in the fitness world. He strongly believed and emphasized to clients the importance of the mind body connection. He preached getting lots of fresh air, plenty of sleep, drinking water, having a positive outlook and Pilates as a way to achieve peacefulness and longevity.
Not only does my physical body continue to improve as I age thanks to Pilates, but my spirit continues to grow and thrive with Pilates! Joseph Pilates said it best himself,
"Moreover, such a body freed from nervous tension and over-fatigue is the ideal shelter provided by nature for housing a well-balanced mind that is always fully capable of successfully meeting all of the complex problems of modern living."