Monday, May 12, 2014

Pilates exercise PART I


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!
Starting with some warming up. My biggest problem with the stretching and some of the Pilates movements, is that I am so short/tight in my back leg muscles. They're loosening up and feel already much better and I can do so much more than when I began.
I understood from the first day that it all looked so easy, but Lord it's hard! I felt like a clumsy whale in the beginning, not in size but my body didn't do at all what I wanted it to. And when Amelie showed something, it all looked so very simple and elegant.
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.
Getting in the starting position already super heavy and all the blood collects in the head ...
... and voila. Clean, long legs, tense as a piece of wood and controlled in every part of the body and mind.
And a BREAK! I get warm in about five minutes after I enter here. It's amazing how intense it actually is.
And starting again. Pilates works with different types of forms and this day we were focusing on stretching, persistence and muscle work. Training your balance is always a part of Pilates and so you'll often combine it with movements to get those impossible parts of the body toned while working with different systems in the human body. Sometimes we work with machines and other times with the well known Pilates ball.
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.
Breathe in ...
... breathe out.
And done. Time for food and water. Time to relax and get back to the everyday life as a stronger, better looking and more energetic woman, mother and girlfriend.

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.


  1. Stina, thanks a lot for sharing. Actually, mainly because of you I got so motivated and I'll start pilates (for pregnant women..:) ) TODAY!
    I'm thinking to work with my mind and body also WHILE being pregnant and start more seriously AFTER the baby comes.

    Take care and have a nice day,

    1. Well done! Pilates during pregnancies seems to be awesome!

  2. This is very interesting. Have of course heard about Pilates, but never really knew how it works. So thank you for showing so much, it gives me a bigger understanding and perhaps the guts to try it myself some time. It seems hard and requires a flexible body, which I definitely have not... //Laila

    1. Perfect! But it's much more then this! I'll show you next time how versatile it is!

  3. Amelie looks amazing!

  4. Sometimes your face looks like a mask. stop botox, you're pretty enough .botox makes you so old....:(

    1. I haven't done Botox for more then three years so this is how I look natural without. Can't do much about it if you don't like it.

      I still take good care of my skin and make sure not to become too skinny (don't want to loose the volume in my face).

    2. Speaking of skin, do you still use Jan Marini? Can you give me/us some tips? Sorry for bragging about it, but my cleanser and facial cream are almost done, and I'm curios of trying JM. Take your time though ;) And, I like how you look. Wish I had those natural lips.... blink!

  5. Pilates ser väldigt kul ut, och att det ger bra träning låter grymt! Ska nog också prova! Tack för bra tips! Måste även säga att du ser helt fantastisk ut för att nyligen ha fött barn!! Så kul att komma in här och läsa på din blogg, alltid mycket inspiration och bra tips! Älskar din outfits med! Kramar

  6. The pictures are amazing. You look so synchronized! Good job Stina! I now dream of moving to Stockholm and get coached by this pretty lady!

  7. Have you tried pilates with the reformer or tower??

  8. wow great post Stina... the photos are really pretty and you both looks so graceful! it could be out of a magazine. It amazes me how u look cool and beautiful even in the gym. ps what happeneded to the online fashion magazine u wrote / edited a long time ago? what was it called? can i access old issues? tks in advance of your reply

  9. you look like a photo model. She seems to be great! Keep on inspiring. I live close to Sthlm Pilates Center, need to check it out....:)))

  10. Guuuuud! Nu måste jag börja där!

    Är det vansinnigt dyrt? Kan man betala per månad?

    Önskar dig en fin kväll!

  11. I can't wait to see the next Pilates post then, Thank you for giving us this inspiration

  12. Very strange my comments twice have not left.
    I was saying that these pictures beautiful both of them in the movements ,give me envy to begin.But I have quite grave lombaires" problems and I dont know if it is recommended.
    I will inquire to my dr and who knows? Your pictures really inspire me.

  13. Sorry Stina I read your answer to the before comments and you are right with an instructor who knows exactly what to do, it could be possible and even ameliorate the muscles down the back.
    Thanks for these very encouraging and esthetic pictures.