A few months ago, I did a three-part blog series that talked about procrastination, perfectionism, and prioritization. The blogs were well-received, and lots of you reached out to discuss these “P” words with me.
Today I’m bringing you another “P” word…Do you know what it is?
Potential? No. (Although that’s a good topic for another day.)
Prosecco? No. (But who doesn’t love some bubbly?)
I know I’ve talked about Pilates before on here…but I don’t know that I’ve truly shared how much I love it and what you should know about it and…well, let’s just say…all things Pilates.
But today is the day! So let’s dive in!
What the Heck Is Pilates?
A lot of people think that yoga and Pilates are the same things – as they often end up being practiced in similar spaces, and they’re often grouped together on the fitness schedule. But each of these forms of exercise is unique.
“By definition, Pilates is a system of repetitive exercises performed on a mat or other equipment to promote strength, stability, and flexibility. Pilates exercises develop the body through muscular effort that stems from the core. The technique cultivates awareness of the body to support everyday movements that are efficient and graceful.” (VeryWellFit: https://www.verywellfit.com/what-is-the-pilates-method-of-exercise-2704855)
Hmm…now you might be reading that and getting stuck on the word “graceful.” Don’t get stuck on that word! Go back to the part about “cultivates awareness of the body to support everyday movements…” – that’s the important part. Because Pilates is really a way to help you feel better in the body you have! (And I’ll talk more on that in a minute!)
The 6 Principles of Pilates
Pilates is based on six principles, and they are meant to guide you through each session – so that you can maximize your time and truly get what you and your body needs.
Concentration is key in Pilates. You must be focused and aware of your body in order to properly execute each movement. This focus will help you achieve better results from your workout and improve your overall control.
2. Control is another important principle of Pilates. All movements should be smooth and controlled, rather than jerky and, well, uncontrolled. This helps to prevent injury – which is something we all want to avoid.
3. Center refers to both the physical center of your body and the mental center of your attention. In Pilates, it is important to maintain a strong connection between your mind and your body, as this will help you achieve the results you seek. The physical center of your body should be aligned with your spine, and your attention should be focused on your breath and your core muscles.
4. Breath is an essential element of Pilates. Proper breathing helps to oxygenate your muscles and improve your overall circulation.
5. Flow refers to the continuous, fluid motion of Pilates exercises.
6. Precision is the final principle of Pilates. Each movement should be executed with precision in order to achieve maximum results. This means that you should focus on form rather than speed and make sure that each exercise is performed correctly before moving on to the next one.
Now, if you read over those six principles and thought to yourself, “Those things apply to so much more than Pilates…” – then you see why Pilates is such an essential part of my life.
Why I Love Pilates
I have tried sooooo many different forms of exercise over the years. Boot camp, spin, running…and if I’m being honest – I didn’t exactly like any of them. There always seemed to be such a focus on changing your body – whether it be losing weight or gaining muscles.
I just wanted to be happy in the body I have.
I wanted my body to work better for me.
I wanted exercise to meet me where I’m at at the moment.
I wanted there to be a mind/body/spiritual connection.
Pilates provides me with that.
I walked into my very first Pilates class with some fear and trepidation.
And I left feeling as if my shoulders had dropped three inches and were no longer scrunched up to my earlobes and that I had spent time doing something I enjoyed.
I was hooked.
And that is why I even went as far as to become a certified Pilates instructor.
Is Pilates for You?
I always say, “Pilates is for everyone.” And I mean everyone. No matter your size or shape. No matter your current mindset. No matter your age. No matter what you’ve got going on at the moment. Pilates is a form of exercise designed for all.
If you’re in the Iowa City area, I invite you to come check out River City Pilates. This has been my Pilates home since the very beginning. I currently teach “Sunrise Pilates Mat Class,” and I’d love for you to check it out.
And if you’re not in the area, look for a Pilates studio near you – and go take a class! And then message me about your experience! I’d love to hear what you thought and if Pilates might be your new go-to form of exercise!
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