Inspiration of the Month Ellen Alexander April 2019

Ellen Alexander

April 2019 Inspiration of the Month

When did you start Pilates and what inspired you to start?
I’ve been thinking about trying to start Pilates for a couple of years, and finally took the plunge late last year. I’ve had some chronic shoulder problems in the past, including a frozen shoulder, and had tried Neural Reset Therapy with Sara See, which is what got me in the door of Rivercity. I’ve practiced Yoga off and on for years, and wanted to get back into the habit of this type of movement. As I age I’m starting to realize more and more how important strength and stretching are to feeling good.

How often do you practice Pilates and what type of sessions or classes have you been doing?  
I have mostly been doing mat classes, but have also enjoyed Equipment classes and a few Pilates Mat and Barre classes. I love the variety.   I have also been taking advantage of Rivercity’s online presence and trying to do some of the YouTube videos at home a few days per week. I’ve been trying to follow along with March MATness, and find myself randomly just doing small Pilates-inspired movement as I make dinner or sit at my desk at work.

What benefits or improvements have you noticed in your body and life from doing Pilates? 
I feel like I’m using my muscles more as they are meant to be used. I’m more aware of my core muscles and my posture, and I am finding muscles I didn’t realize I had. I have more energy and it just seems to motivate me to be more active – doing the Pilates workouts does not register as exercise on my Apple Watch, but I feel like other activity is much more likely to register on days when I have done Pilates (like when I walk, I’m doing it with more energy and it counts!). Finally, I find it to be a mental enough practice that it is a mind break. Paying attention to so many details of what my body is doing forces me into mindfulness.

Do you have a favorite exercise or piece of equipment (or both)?
Two exercises that always make me smile are Seal and Helicopter. With Seal I think it’s just the silliness, and Helicopter really gets my hips. Anything that is a good shoulder stretch I also love. Open Leg Rocker is my nemesis so far, but I’m hoping that our relationship will evolve.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about doing Pilates?
I would encourage anyone to try. It is so customizable and not as intimidating as it might seem. Part of the beauty is how personalized a Pilates practice is – it grows with you and I’ve already started to discover details and layers I wasn’t aware of when I first started. The staff at Rivercity Pilates truly make it fun. It is a wonderfully welcoming and encouraging environment filled with people of all different ages and fitness levels.

What do you like about taking the early morning classes? 
I love getting to the studio before I really have a chance to think about it. I love how it gently warms up and wakes up my body for the day. It is also a great way for me to fit it in before the other demands of the day have a chance at me.

in Inspiration of the Month, Motivation and Inspiration

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