The point of Pilates is not to get better at Pilates; it is to get better at everything else.
As Joseph Pilates put it, Pilates creates « …a uniformly developed body with a sound mind fully capable of naturally, easily, and satisfactorily performing our many and varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure. »
Lately, I have tuned into the fact that so many people identify with a specific form of fitness. « I spin. » « I do yoga. » « I weight train. » I’m guilty of it, too; I do Pilates. However, I am constantly trying to remind myself that there is more to life than Pilates. In fact, that is the point of Pilates: not to get better at Pilates, but to get better at everything else. It puts your body at its maximum physical potential so you can do anything.
A health club I work at offers each new member a complimentary private Pilates session, so I am blessed to work with a lot of clients who are trying Pilates for the very first time. It is an interesting dynamic because people are not seeking out Pilates, it is falling in their lap. I get to see what people who are interested in fitness – they did just join a health club, after all – think of Pilates. « This is just stretching, right? » Wrong. (See « The Truth About Pilates: 5 Pilates Myths, Debunked.) It brings me so much joy to see the look on people’s faces as it starts to click, and they realize the potential of what they have just stumbled upon. And once they start their Pilates journey, it is the most rewarding feeling when clients come in to report that, because of Pilates, « I had the best golf game of my life! » or « I skied the moguls for the first time! » or « For the first time, I woke up with no pain. »
From a professional athlete who uses Pilates to improve performance and avoid injury, to a senior citizen who wants to avoid falls and stay active, Pilates can truly improve anyone’s life.
Pilates gives you the ability to say « yes! » to life. Yes, I can lift that weight without throwing out my back. Yes, I would love to go water skiing. Yes, I can crawl into the sheet fort with the grandkids… and get back up! Yes, I can take the stairs. It is such a feeling of relief to move through life without hassle or worry.
So from here, I commit to saying yes, trying new things, and getting further of my comfort zone… because I can, because of Pilates. I recently took a few spinning classes, and I had a blast dancing on the bike in the black lights. It was so fun! …because I was able to keep my pelvis stable, my core tight, with open collar bones and a straight spine. Otherwise I’d be miserable, hunched over with aching thighs and sore shoulders. I was very proud of myself for lifting some serious weight at the gym. …because I was again able to work from my core with proper posture. I held my own in a game of golf, and kept up with the group despite my having almost no experience. …because I was able to internalize the cues and instructions my partners gave me and had awareness of where my body was in space.