I was talking to a friend the other day ago about Pilates and mentioned I should take her with me sometime. She immediately said “Oh I don’t do any bendy and twisty stuff!” That made me laugh because I knew exactly what she meant. We’ve all seen those pictures of yogis on Instagram and Facebook with their leg wrapped around their head or in some crazy upside down position. And let’s face it – just the thought of doing something like that makes me and most people cringe. Then add to that that the people in those photos are usually wearing crop tops and have tall, lithe bodies — and my cringing turns to groans! But my Pilates sessions are nothing like that!
When I think of bending and twisting I think about the fact that I like to be able to bend over and weed my garden. I want to be able to turn my head and back and looked behind me when I back out of my driveway so I don’t hit anything. I especially like it when I bend over to pet Misty and my back doesn’t hurt. When I go to my Pilates sessions we don’t do any crazy poses or things that cause my body to hurt. In fact you might be surprised at how seemingly simple some of the movements we do look from the outside.
We spend a lot of time getting ourselves into correct body alignment and doing movements that mimic things I do in my day-to-day life. There’s a focus on strengthening my core muscles and my teacher is always making sure that I am engaging the right muscles and not hurting myself by doing something incorrectly. The movements are small and controlled and even though they are usually a lot of work- my body kind of feels amazing and better when I’m all done. We focus on things like knowing where my body is in space and how to find good alignment with my posture. All of these things help me in my day-to-day life feel better in my body.
So if you’re one of those people that have written off Pilates because bendy-twisty things scare you- I wish you would reconsider. Quite honestly it’s been kind of life-changing for me and it makes me happy that I’ve found an exercise method that helps me bend, twist and move in my life with ease and without as many aches and pains!