I feel like I should write something a little more Pilates-specific. How better than to tell you about my journey from novice to teacher, my belief in the method, and how it changed my life?
Up until that moment my only fitness parameters were: I’m active, I’m slim, I fit into a size 6.
I was always active in my work and play. In some abstract logic, I equated this to being fit. Until my first Pilates class, that was. There I was lying on the mat and the teacher tells me to “sit up”. After a lot of desperate exhales and grunts, I look up at my teacher and she’s looking back down at me with a mirrored look of surprise. So I’m there reaching for my silly toes and that was as far as I got — I was unable to sit up! I was puzzled. With the aid of some diagrams, my teacher explained that the abdominals are not a flat sheet of muscle. They have parts : upper, lower, obliques and transverse muscles . All of which had forgotten their place and function in my body!
After this poignant moment, many things ‘pinged’ in my mind. I asked myself , "what is strength?", and "why is it not apparent in my body?" Up until that moment my only fitness parameters were: I’m active, I’m slim, I fit into a size 6.
Needless to say, I started Pilates that day. After going to just one mat class every week for a month I could see the difference in my body. For one , I could sit up; two , I felt stronger. I stood taller, moved better, was more positive and mindful of my body. With all these new found qualities, I was somehow empowered by them. One could argue that general exercise might produce the same effect. However, what general exercise doesn’t imbue is mindfulness of movement and body.
Joseph Pilates always said, “Pilates is about Mind, Body and Spirit”
After a few months, I included reformer work to my repertoire .The physical, mental and spiritual transformation I was experiencing made me a believer. I decided my to start my apprenticeship doing Pilates. My initial aim was to learn the philosophy and technique in depth. After a thousand hours of training, plus teaching and observing in Australia and the US , I became a certified Romana’s Pilates Teacher.
Two things were key to my success . Firstly, I was lucky to discover the Pilates method that I did. There are many different schools of Pilates. Most wouldn't have been rigorous enough to keep me inspired all these years. Secondly, I was fortunate to have excellent teachers. They inspired to teach and to continue the legacy of Joseph Pilates.
The True Pilates method has transformed me. My amazing teachers —those body workers and story tellers —have taught me to know that my path is true. Pilates, when done correctly, teaches your body intelligence, strength and grace. I remember one of my teachers saying to me when I started as an apprentice, “you may not be a dancer, but I’m going to teach you to walk and move like one”.
As for the rest… all one can say — is history!