Many people often say to us… “Is Pilates ok if i have *insert injury or limitation*” The Truth is, Pilates is for Everyone! I asked Brittney to talk about how she was able to improve the way her body functioned and performed after such a serious and damaging trauma.
Most people I speak to exercise to either strengthen their bodies, build muscle, lose fat or generally change the way they look. To them, exercise looks like slogging it out in the gym, punishing themselves on the pavement running, or mind numbing hours on an elliptical machine. Most people I speak to also don’t enjoy the way they exercise, it doesn’t ‘feel good’ in their bodies, it doesn’t stimulate their mind and in the words of Marie Kondo – “It doesn’t spark joy”. Would you get excited if I told you there was another way to move your body, achieve your physical goals AND FEEL GOOD doing it?
With a fractured and displaced pelvis, two broken legs, two broken arms and scoliosis. Going to the gym, playing sports or even yoga classes just weren’t an option. I tried though. For 3 years after my accident I would push myself into going to the gym, try all different yoga classes and explore different sports. I was desperate to find a physical activity that felt good for me, and more importantly, didn’t flare up my bodies issues. My expectation far exceeded the reality of my injuries and I was constantly left feeling defeated, like a failure, frustrated and depressed.
Starting Pilates was like walking into a whole new world, a world I immediately fell in love with, it was like a lightbulb had gone off in my head. Pilates focuses on engaging mind and body to create a series of movement sequences. The combination of this and consciously engaging breath provides people with effective mind and body connection. The importance of mind+body connection is that it enables deeper mind+body AWARENESS. Having awareness around your body, how it feels and the how it moves, is key to avoiding injuries and in building a body that is robust and resilient.
Building body awareness and solid mind+body connection has allowed me to fully experience the restorative nature of pilates first hand. From the day we are born, we instantly start ageing, it’s the scientific nature of biology and human development. Pilates does not discriminate against age. It’s movement principles and concepts of strength, mobility, flexibility, balance and recovery teaches people of all ages and abilities how to properly engage the body as a whole and how to identify and activate particular muscles. Learning how to do this has been a key element in my strength and conditioning training helping to restore balance and pelvic stability.
For me, the low impact, no load bearing, resistance and lengthening based training was a breath of fresh air for my mind and body. I love that through pilates and its variety of apparatus, you can perform just about every exercise in a way that feels good for your own individual needs. It creates freedom and options for people rehabilitating their bodies, recovering from an injury, or just starting out. The Truth is, you probably don’t even know how much your body is capable of healing and how much better you could be feeling everyday! Trust me, just try it.