Updated: Dec 30, 2020
Pilates changed my idea of fitness...Weight loss was no more a concern and the numbers on the weighing scale did not control me anymore...
I was introduced to Pilates by a dear friend of mine. Since we didn't live in the same city, we couldn't meet often...so when we finally met after a long gap, she raised concerns about my obesity. This was thanks to blindly taking fertility medication, prescribed by multiple doctors I had visited out of desperation. The result of these medications was gaining almost 18 kgs and odd...hormonal imbalances...mood fluctuations...and the worst one was disc prolapse. And oh yes!!! Did I mention body shaming ? Of course, from the closest to the most random people get the license to comment on your appearance.
The comments from people about my weight gain made me go around trying all sorts of exercises wanting to lose those extra pounds desperately. Unfortunately, lack of proper guidance and knowledge of how to workout landed me with spine injuries. Also, I would start gyming and quit in few days because of the disc prolapse. When I mentioned this to my friend that’s when she told me about Pilates.
I started with the few exercises that she told me to do for back strengthening and in just a few days time I could feel the change. The pain was lesser, the energy levels were improving, the spine flexibility was getting better and all this was making me feel more confident.
"Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness" said Joseph Pilates.
Pilates is complete coordination of body, mind and spirit. Though this quote by Joseph Pilates may sound cliché, it holds true, at least in my case it definitely does. Contrology is the actual name of this form of exercise. We call it Pilates because of Joseph (joe) Pilates who devised this method as a new approach to exercise and body conditioning. It’s the art of control of the body, mind and spirit. In simple language, in Contrology (Pilates) we control some parts of the body while moving the other parts. The mind helps the body move and movement heals.
So what exactly is Pilates?
Its a form of exercise that works the entire body in addition to the mind. The focus is on the core of the body (torso) so that the rest can freely move and this makes the body stronger both on the inside and out. The balance is meant to be present between the flexibility and strength and this results in stronger and leaner muscles. Pilates can be performed either on the mat using your body weight and also on the machines which is called “Apparatus” in the Pilates world.
"It was more about getting more flexible, getting stronger, being able to do more, run more, dance more, jump more because I was aware of my body now".
Pilates can be performed by individuals of all age groups. Having said that one must also be informed that Pilates skips the cardio and hence it’s not the ideal exercise for steady weight loss. But once I started seeing the results, weight loss was not a problem anymore. I completely stopped standing on a weighing scale and allowing the numbers to control how I felt about myself. It was more about getting more flexible, getting stronger, being able to do more, run more, dance more, jump more because I was aware of my body now. Yes, that's what Pilates did to me! It developed awareness, awareness of my breathing, my posture, the pains, gains, strengths and weaknesses.
The idea of fitness changed in my head...it was not about the way I looked...weight loss eventually happened but It did not concern me anymore. Instead, body and mind positivity poured in. Temperament getting better, accepting the flaws and working on it, trying to be the best version of myself than trying to be someone completely different were some of the changes. When the weight loss happened it felt like there was 20 kgs of stress, negativity that went out of my system just with the a little bit of lifestyle modification.
I can say I healed with Pilates and it inspired me to the extent that I started learning and eventually took it up as a profession. Trained myself under professional guidance and started training others, making my own little Pilates community in this small town of Mangalore.
But the best thing that could happen because of Pilates and switching to a healthy lifestyle was...a clean...no medication and toxic free natural pregnancy and a normal birthing.
So in short for me, Pilates is the answer to almost everything.