Everyday Pilates: Integrating it Into Your Life

Where would I be without Pilates? My bad back, funky neck, and puffy abs would be having a field day and I’d be quite unhappy with all of them.  Everyday Pilates is the idea that even when we’re off the mat or out of the studio, we can still integrate the benefits of Pilates into our lives.

Everyday Pilates is a Philosophy

I was with a fabulous group of women yesterday and we were talking about movement and I blurted out, “Pilates is my home.” I realized as I said it how true that statement is for me. It is literally how I find comfort, take refuge, and feel great. But I can’t be working out all the time, so how do I take it into my everyday life?

To me, Everyday Pilates is …

Remembering posture. When I feel myself slumping and my spine getting cranky, I remember to find a more comfortable position. Sit up tall, shoulders down, abs in. This also usually wakes me up and helps me focus on the task at hand. I love my Pilates body.

Being an athlete. When I use Pilates form for any other type of movement, from running to kayaking to kettlebell swings, I have better results. A better dig with my paddle, a smoother stride on the track, more control when I swing. Everyday Pilates lets me work out with gusto because I know how to protect myself and excel.

A reminder that our bodies are powerful. It is truly amazing what we can do and I love seeing my clients grow into their strength, realizing their potential. Pilates is one very awesome way to get there. Is Pilates strength training?  Unequivocally yes.

A way to move all the time.  I’ve gone from Hopalong Catastrophe to a somewhat graceful person. There is a fluidity to Everyday Pilates that lets you walk smoothly down a sidewalk or elegantly exit a car.  When you realize you have it, it’s very empowering.

A confident mindset. If you can do some of the crazy stuff that your instructor gives you in a Pilates studio, imagine what else you can do? Pilates will push your limits, make you raise an eyebrow, and cause a few outbursts of laughter as you try to learn a new move. If you can do all that, how can you not be confident? You’ll be ready to handle anything!

A center to go to. Having one of those days? How about a few quick Pilates moves to help find your center? A few deep breaths, a few simple moves, and you’ll be back in your happy place and ready to tackle the next obstacle. Maybe you can’t bust out a few rollups in your cubicle, but you can still take a few deep breaths, pull your abs in, and find your neutral spine. Works wonders in traffic too.

Everyday Pilates has been the way I’ve lived my life for the past 15 years. I honestly never thought I’d stick with something so long, but when you find a type of movement that works for you, stick with it and enjoy every aspect of it. Bring it into your life … even if it’s not Pilates … and let it help you be all you can be.

OK, maybe I just choked up a bit on that last paragraph, fitness dork that I am. Did you nod along as you read this? Do you feel the same way about another form of exercise?  Let’s hear what you think.