Recently I had an interesting conversation with a new friend to our studio. She was on her third Pilates class and been working at a level 1 so that we could take care of a few physical issues.
It’s sometimes a little journey to figure out what works and what might not work for our newbies. I feel teaching is building a good friendship – it takes time to build the relationship to know if your new friend prefers cauliflower or carrots!
Anyway, our new guest was wondering why the classes weren’t painful and indeed, whether she would get the benefits if she wasn’t feeling pain the next day.
I asked her how she felt after class. She smiled and checked in with herself and said, “ I feel taller, more mobile, and better connected.''
My heart soared.
I felt happy because she was feeling the fluidity which is a fast route to feeling pleasure in your body. Also, because I know the key to it all is connection and is something so often missing in our often frantic day-to-day. And I believe "connecting in" brings you more contentment and will make you happier. The Yogis had this all figured out 2,500 years ago. As written all those years ago in chapter 2 of the very first codification of yoga, the yogasutras samtosad anuttamah sukhalabhah (Yoga Sutra, Chapter II, v. 42) Translated from Sanskrit, this means: From contentment unsurpassed happiness is obtained.
If you are not connected, you won’t "connect in" and relate to yourself with kindness. Or others. When we lack connection, we block intimacy and we can fall into bad habits. It means we can numb appreciation, joy and gratitude for life that sustains us and that we’ll find it harder to connect with our purpose and the meaning for tthis whole amazing journey that we are on.
Now, on the physical front, our new guest and I both agreed she could do with a bit of strength building. The classes will do that for her, but I love that she feels good both during the class hour and after because I know how the wonderful benefits of Pilates sneak up on you.
Before you know it, your back pain has melted away and your hips feel slinky. I see it all the time – how quickly the strength can grow and in just a few weeks you can notice a real difference in your body, both on and off the mat.
“No Pain, No Pain”
I remember early in my barre teaching journey, checking out the online barre forums from the States, being dismayed by how so many of the students want the pain and judge a teacher’s class by how much they hurt the next day.
Yet I see thankfully so many of our people have moved away from the ‘no pain no gain’ approach. Thankfully, it’s easy to support people during yoga to go for a ‘no pain, no pain’ approach.
As for barre and circuit pilates, I do also understand that it is great to feel the burn and what I love about those classes, is that the sequencing moves the burn around. It means you do feel the burn but in a clever and manageable way.
Just as the intensity peaks in one area, you get to do a stretch and then you turn around and the do the other side. Then you move the focus to another part of the body, say from thighs, to butt, then on to obliques.
So, we cleverly spread that workout lovin’ around your body while keeping it all manageable.
So thank you, dear client, for reminding me that we are changing lives, and in a sustainable way – the best way possible!
It feels so great to know we are helping people move from pain to pleasure. That any exercise will help move the mind from feeling squashed into feeling spacious. That it all helps melt away anxieties and increases gratitude.
Our hearts move from more closed to open, and through this temple of our bodies, we can love life, and appreciate all its gifts.