My first memory of the concept of Pilates is my mother’s friend talking about how to hold in your stomach, or “pull your belly button towards your back” when sitting upright. As a young teenager, I didn’t understand the full benefits of doing this at the time, but I tried to do it anyway.
It wasn’t until 2009 though, when I started taking regular Pilates classes at My Pilates, that I really started to understand why this kind of awareness was important.
By doing mat classes at My Pilates, I learnt how to do integrative exercises, and worked on connecting to my “core”, which wasn’t just made up of my stomach muscles like I’d thought before, but actually a series of inter-connected muscles that worked to stabilise and facilitate movement.
Initially, having only had limited exposure to dancing and gym-based workouts, I had no idea how to train effectively either, or how all the parts of my body played different and important roles in keeping me upright, and helping me to achieve basic activities like walking, sitting and standing.Before I started Pilates, I’d had the perception that I would need to sweat, strain and suffer to be happy with my body, but after a few months I noticed encouraging results, ones that I’d never thought I’d achieve. Within only a few months I was stronger, fitter and more confident, and distinctly aware of how I carried myself.It wasn’t long before I realized that Pilates is the only type of exercise that I actually enjoy doing. I think this is because every class at My Pilates is unique, with new challenges and movements that contribute to my increasing physical awareness, and have helped me to appreciate my own strengths.
I’ve been doing Pilates at My Pilates for over two years now, and I’ve never felt better. Every week I look forward to the physical and mental release that I get from my Pilates classes, which have taught me how to breathe and move correctly, and to be continuously aware of my posture and alignment.
With the guidance, training and support that I have received from the staff at My Pilates studio, especially over the past six months, I also managed to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro in January. It is the toughest physical challenge I have ever taken on, and I can honestly say that if it wasn’t for my Pilates training, and awareness of posture and breathing, I don’t think I could have made it to the top.