One of the hardest questions that I’ve been asked in my career doesn’t have to do with anatomy or how the human body works. Believe it or not, the hardest question, the one that I dread most is “So what is Pilates?” How do your describe something so simple yet so complex? What words can you use that accurately describe a unique system of movements that help your body move more easily while feeling like it’s challenging your body in unimaginable ways?
My Pilates career started 13 years ago. My first training session had me challenged and weak in the knees with only a few simple reps. Having already worked in the fitness industry for 12 years, I was shocked at how such small movements could make my body ready to throw in the towel. I was strong, I was healthy, but Pilates had me humbled. After working both on the mat and the equipment, my body felt lighter and taller. I found it easier to hold an upright posture with less strain and stress. I felt muscles working in my body that I had never felt work before. I was hooked.
The equipment quickly became my favorite. Helping me to make muscles connections and allowing my body to align itself with less effort. The smooth flow of the reformer aroused a new level of awareness that had my body humming. I’d never worked my body in so many different planes. It was exciting and fun to investigate new movements and new ways to encourage my body to move.
After many hours of studying, practicing teaching and personal training, I chose to leave my career in the rehab world and focus on teaching people how Pilates could change their bodies. Many of my rehab clients decided to pursue Pilates as a part of their treatment program and their results were incredible. I quickly moved my small home based study into a bigger location and started advertising to the public.
All the training and practice teaching could not prepare me for the ultimate question…so what is Pilates? Pilates is so complex and does so much, that it’s hard to compress all it’s benefits into a 20 second elevator speech. To me Pilates is a series of movements that engage the core for stability and support, while improving mobility in the body by working through full range of motion with or without the assistance of equipment. Pilates allows me to have good posture, reduces strain through my joints and makes my body feel lighter. Pilates is the key to keeping me healthy and strong. Every session is different in every way, taking into consideration how my body is feeling and how I am moving. I’ve dedicated my life and my career to Pilates. Please just don’t ask me what it is! 😉
Allison Kares is the owner of Movement Unlimited Inc. a Pilates based movement studio in Fonthill, ON Canada. To find out more about the programming at Movement Unlimited, visit our website at http://www.movementunlimitedinc.com.