I realized today that I have been doing Pilates since 1986/7, which is a solid 30 years. Pilates feels like home to me. It is so familiar, but can be so different depending on whether I have a teacher and on how my body is doing.
But in the end I can boil my love affair with Pilates down to just a few words.
I do Pilates to maintain stability in my hypermobile joints, while maintaining healthy joint and spine mobility.
I do Pilates to maintain control over my body and how it feels and functions.
I do Pilates to continue breathing deeply as I move, and to continue to move with flow and ease.
And I do Pilates to stay strong, centered, and balanced both physically and mentally.
Basically, I want to be able to comfortably sit down and stand up from the floor, which is apparently the hallmark of how long I will live. I also want to be able to pick up heavy things and move them up, down, and around. I want to put my own bag in the overhead compartment! And I want to take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
Additionally, I want to have some fun and do things that are hard but cool (semi circle and tendon stretch on the reformer, anyone?). I want to feel my spine move, but in a supported and safe way.
And, I would like to have all of this with no accompanying back, neck, or joint pain. Beautiful posture is lovely, as are toned abs and a nice tush, but not with pain.
I have had enough physical pain in my life. Broken bones, car accidents, boat accidents, surgeries, shingles 3x on my sciatic nerve, the crushed toe that wouldn't knit and had me in a boot for 5 months, the pelvic pain from endometriosis and the surgeries for that, have all given me a healthy respect for pain.
That's me doing tree with the boot on.
Why anyone would want to exercise in any way that would cause or increase pain is beyond me. The no pain thing, to me, is non-negotiable.
I am thrilled to be as functional and strong now as I was 30 years ago, if not even stronger.
If you are experiencing physical or emotional challenges in your exercise life, I highly recommend giving Pilates a try. It may the perfect solution for you!
Why do you do Pilates? Leave a comment and let me know!
PS - If you want to try my safe and effective Pilates Audio workouts for Back or Neck Pain (downloadable files that you can play on any device or computer, or burn onto disc), they are on sale today 35% off, along with my Pilates for Back Pain eCourse and new Usui Reiki I eCourse. No code. YOu will see the discount in your cart.
PPS - Here is free video of some pre-Pilates fundamentals for back pain.