Pilates is for Everyone
Six years ago, that is what my orthopedic doctor said to me as we sat there staring at the MRI scan.
“No more impact sports for you young lady. Do Pilates in little bits and then build up.”...
The diagnosis: fractured left side of the pelvis. It could be worse – I could have a broken hip, which would mean absolutely no mobility and even longer recovery time.
It was at the tail end of one of my long runs in between marathon training and in the wee hours of the morning before the sun even peeked out that I miscalculated a step and fell flat on my face.
I fell hard. There had been a concerned driver that reversed his car and asked if I needed help. I waved him off with a “no,” got up and finished up the rest of my run – going faster than ever.
As I went to work that day, I noticed a sharp pain in my groin area, but chalked it up to maybe overdoing it that day. I ran the next day and the next. Finally a week later, when I could barely stand up and walk, I finally stopped running and headed to my orthopedist.
He didn’t tell me what I wanted to hear.
In short, that is how I came to begin doing and loving Pilates.
At that point, I had been doing yoga, but with the fractured pelvis, I really could not even do yoga. The yoga sequences called for flexibility, which I just could not do without causing more injury.
I started doing private lessons with a Pilates instructor. We worked on the Reformer, the Chair, the Cadillac and some mat work.
I saw that my body was changing – getting longer, leaner and more toned – even without cardio exercise. It was amazing.
Pilates strengthened my pelvis, and eventually I was able to return to running after a long six months of no impact exercise. So it was no surprise once I went back to running, I continued to practice Pilates.
I loved Pilates, but it was hard for me.
As a runner and spin-enthusiast, I was using the same muscles over and over again, which really caused my entire body to be quite stiff. Pilates challenged my core. You can have a weak core even if you run and exercise regularly.
Also, because I had tight hip flexors, it was hard for me to straighten my legs in Pilates exercises. The Reformer really helped me to stretch out parts of my body and limbs that needed it.
That is how my passion for Pilates was born as I saw the changes within my own body –strengthening, lengthening and stretching.
I wanted to share Pilates with others and help them to find their potential through health and fitness, so I got certified to teach.
There is a big misconception that yoga and Pilates are the same, and there is no need to do both. Pilates is a good complement to your yoga practice because there is an emphasis on working the core in short reps (such as doing six to eight sets of an exercise) as well as building strength and lengthening.
Joseph Pilates developed the exercise method, which became popular among New York ballet dancers in the 1960s. Today, world-class athletes such as Kobe Bryant and Tiger Woods and celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston are praising Pilates’ positive benefits.
I currently teach at both Monmouth Beach Yoga & Wellness in Monmouth Beach and Renaissance The Studio in Red Bank. Each client has specific areas they want or need to focus on, which requires me as the instructor to create a diverse, yet balanced, session.
I have clients who come in so excited to face new challenges and to strengthen themselves through Pilates. I am grateful to be able to share my passion and help others in realizing their fitness potential.
Whenever anyone asks me, who should do Pilates, I always say “If you put in the time, you will see the difference and improvement in your bodies. So, I believe Pilates is for everyone.”