For a lot of people when there is mention of pilates there follows an assumption that it’s another form of exercise like yoga. In some ways it is true, many of the exercises come from a base of yoga, there is the essential connection of the breath to the movement, principles of awareness and concentration and there is an element of strength and mobility to each exercise.Similarly, with yoga there are many styles and hybrids of pilates. I like to think we practice a nice mix of traditional pilates broken down for accessibility as we work towards mastering Joseph Pilates’ exercises based on each individual student’s needs. There is a feeling that Pilates is missing the spiritual and emotional aspect that is so well known to yoga. It is true there is no chanting, mantras or deities but there is definitely a spiritual connection to the self through focus, concentration and awareness.
This past month too many of our students have gone through various illnesses ranging from mild to serious whilst also having to wait for test results to determine the outcomes. Some still don’t know what it was that made them sick in the first place. The thing that has been the most consistent feeling throughout this time this has been the need and want to continue or return to pilates as soon as possible.
Any surgery or illness is traumatic both to the physical body and the emotional side of us and while our studio is a place for physical healing it is also a safe space for our students to feel connected to each other and heal emotionally through a supportive community. When we walk through the doors of the studio the session is there to manage anxiety and bring the thoughts racing through the head to a single focal point taking the time to breathe and connect. This time is an opportunity to focus on what the body can do and not what itcan’t do. And for some it’s a place for unloading emotions in a supportive environment knowing that they are safe from judgement and what happens in the studio is confidential.
Life is scary sometimes and difficult to navigate but it’s nice to know that there is a safe place to retreat to even for a small amount of time where we are all equal. We are all in the studio because we want to be better and to get better and that is a good common goal to share.