So let me introduce to you one of the people I will always be grateful towards. Someone who pushed me to start this life changing exercise to begin with.
I came to Stockholm Pilates Center half motivated, just to find out what sort of option there was to be found and also to find out more about Pilates that everyone I ever meet with a stunning and healthy body seemed to be practicing. I realised quite quickly, when I met my enthusiastic personal trainer Amelie Adolfsson (she had a baby boy one year ago herself!), that Pilates is exactly what I need to get the strength and shape back in my body that I've been longing for. I easily build muscle but this time I wanted to make a life long change and do something as a thank you for what the body can accomplish with two close pregnancies in combination with getting older (I'm turning 35 years old!)
Of course I also wanted my bump back, my legs to be slimmer and stronger, arms to be toned again and just to feel happier and satisfied, which you do when you work with your body in a positive way.
The simple fact is that I'd never tried it before and she suggested some personal training sessions just to understand it better and get a really good start in the small but important knowledge in which Pilates makes the big difference. I could then slowly start doing them in combination with a group training once per week.
After the first try out, I was hooked and I went home feeling like I was high on endorphines and serotonin. I've since then been taking about eight personal sessions and slowly combined them with the group classes frequently offered. I make sure to fit in two Pilates sessions per week.
I truly LOVE it and can totally sign on to what Joseph Pilates (the creator of this form of exercise, so perfectly adapted to women) once said:
"After ten times you will feel the difference in your body. After 20 sessions you will see the changes in your body and after 30 sessions you will be on your way to a totally new body and life."
My mother is also very interested in starting since she is turning 60 years old soon. She was a little worried that it would be too hard for her or too complicated but every time I'm there we're training together, old, young... etc. It seems like you decide for yourself how far you want to take it and there are also classes tailored for those who are a little bit older, which are obviously more focused on the fact that the body is perhaps stiffer and a little more difficult to work with. I hope she will start; I know it would be amazing for her aging process in preventing or taking care of arthritis and osteoporosis.
Some of the Pilates trainers that are much older which is amazing since us who are younger can be impressed and see how we can look like and how flexible we can be even at 55 plus, but I think it's also a perfect trust for people like my mother who are soon senior themselves. To have a instructor that is even older than you but is super fit and healthy - that's good motivation that it's possible!
Everything is based on strength and perseverance in mind and body: you have to control the frustration and the feeling that it won't be possible and go inside yourself and realise that you can, if you really focus and force your body to always try harder and longer. It burns in your muscles, you feel the vibrations and cramps taking over while trying your best. It can be very tough but when you can control all of that, you'll be amazed at what you can achieve if you just fight for it.
For us women, we normally want long, lean, toned muscles and the repeating movements are all created with that intention. In other parts of our bodies, we want big and bulky muscles, like for our behind (bump); there we want it to be lifted up and round and juicy, so there we're pumping with heavier body weights and more repetitions.
Next time I will show you some movements on the Pilates ball.
Talk soon and hope to inspire you to start! I'm not an expert at all, just sharing what I found out so far but if you have any questions, I can ask Amelie to have a "question post" a little bit further.