New York, NY
I’ve always found most traditional exercises uninteresting and not particularly productive. But as we grow older we do need to stay in shape. I heard about Pilates through a friend who attended the same gym, so I decided to try a Pilates class, and I was hooked! Eventually I began individual sessions with my instructor Barbara Pantino and have been with her ever since (five years!) Pilates is truly the only exercise I enjoy--it has made a profound difference in my life. I’ve even created my own Pilates studio in my home, complete with a Reformer and Cadillac.
From a mental standpoint I am more relaxed and less stressed. Pilates has a Zen quality to it that’s hard to explainbut it has made me made so much more aware of how my body works. And that awareness extends beyond the actual exercise to my whole life. The peace that I find helps me deal with my life and its ups and downs and the body awareness helps me to move more joyfully and more safely. I always say that after a Pilates session, I feel like I’ve had a massage, good exercise, and some therapy.
My physical well being has soared. I am sixty five years old, and in better shape than I have ever been. Several years ago, I broke my shoulder about three months before a planned "dream" trip to Africa (I had a crush on Wild Kingdom’s Marlin Perkins from about age ten). I was so afraid that I wouldn’t be able to go, but with physical therapy and gentle Pilates work with Barbara, I was able to make the trip. Recently a degenerative disc in my back led to a weakness in my hip flexor, resulting in pain which made it difficult to climb stairs and to sleep through the night. After working with Barbara and a chiropractor I am pain free, and the weakness is gone. I think everyone is concerned about decreased physical mobility as we age. Pilates has banished that concern for me because I know that for any physical issues that might arise, there is an exercise that I can do to strengthen my body and alleviate any pain or stress.
I would encourage anyone at any age to try Pilates. The physical, mental, emotional, and psychological benefits are extraordinary. Because the exercises are so varied and able to be modified for any level of fitness, Pilates never gets old or boring. There are always new ways to modify a particular exercise in order to challenge yourself and your body or to account for a physical issue that needs to be addressed.
Has Pilates changed your life? Are you an instructor with a great client success story? We’d love to hear from you.