Whether you're brand new to Pilates or a seasoned student, we all have ups and downs when it comes to our Pilates practice. We are humans with emotions that ebb and flow from second to second. It's no surprise that our body shifts just as quickly. From one day to the next we can feel like we're in a completely different body. Here are a few helpful tools to keep you focused and on the path to your own success when it comes to approaching your Pilates sessions.
1) Approach your session without judgement and without expectation
Think of your time to do Pilates as a time to play, explore, and experiment. Be fearless. Let yourself make mistakes and let your body move in ways that might not be second nature to you.
2) “To Compare is to Despair”
I learned this and point #1 from my favorite acting teacher, Jen Waldman. It was super helpful during my acting days and I have found that they apply to all endeavors in life.
We are all unique and we are all on our own journey. Pilates class is never a competition. Comparing yourself to your neighbor or another student around the studio is one of the most detrimental habits you can make. It only creates a breeding ground for injury and self-judgement. Instead, focus on your own self-improvement. Accept where you are and focus on where you want to go.
3) Know your limits
If an exercise doesn’t feel good or right in your body, don’t do it! Talk to your instructor and ask them how to make things better for a particular exercise that might not feel so great in your body. The goal here is health, not injury. Take control and know your limits. But also know that every exercise can be modified to suit your needs.
4) If something doesn’t click right away, don’t worry
Sometimes we have to practice something 100 times and then finally on the 101st try, our body and mind click and it just happens. Be patient and keep trying.
5) Control is the goal
Approach each exercise from a place of calm, relaxation, and complete control of every aspect within your body. When Joseph Pilates developed his exercise system, he called it Contrology. He encouraged complete control over mind & body. Take your time, breathe & work with control.
6) Practice outside of class in your everyday life.
Practice in the car, when you’re at the computer, when you’re on your jog. When you’re cleaning the house. How can you move your body with your breath , with the happiest alignment and the most ease & efficiency?
Now, I want to hear from you. Which one of these tips do you feel most applies to you? Let me know in the comments below. Before your next session, remind yourself of the one tip that most resonates with you.
Here's to your powerful practice!