I have been purposely practicing movement since I was a child. From the age of five doing acrobatics and ballet to aerobics (think bright purple unitard with leg warmers) at my local community centres in my teens.
I have always loved movement so deciding to become a fitness professional in my 20s was a no brainer.
In my 20s, while personal training my Toronto clientele, I also trained as an endurance athlete, and also in my early 30s when my children were little. I moved into heavy weight lifting in my late 30s. During these years I always practiced yoga as a recovery method, balancing my other activities and trying to stay injury free.
In my mid-40s, I found Barre, and have enjoyed the amazing transformation in my body. And then recently, about one year ago, I discovered Pilates. I immediately fell in love with the practice. I found the articulation of the spine (flexion, extension, rotation, and side flexion) fascinating. In yoga, we mainly keep the spine straight and long; whereas, in Pilates the spine is meant to move in every direction for the health of the body.
Pilates exercises increase strength, flexibility, muscular endurance, coordination, balance, and correct alignment (posture), which helps prevent injuries and corrects poor movement patterns. Why? Pilates mainly uses our intrinsic muscles: the deep most layers closest to the bones, basically the muscles that support the skeleton.
In Pilates we work from the inside out. Normally people train their extrinsic muscles only, the superficial muscles that we have right under our skin. When we only train those extrinsic muscles, our intrinsic muscles often don’t activate properly. If those deep core muscles aren’t activated, our bodies are not being supported as they should which often leads to injury and pain.
Learning to move with awareness and control to correctly activate our inner most deep core muscles helps train our outer most superficial muscles properly. Balance and support keeps our bodies safe and functional. Whether you are an athlete, frequent exerciser wanting to stay injury free, someone recovering from an injury, or a beginner wanting to build a strong foundation to become or stay pain-free, Pilates makes the best and most amazing supplemental movement system.
Below is a you tube link of a 15min sample of my style of a typical beginner Pilates mat class.