Updated: Nov 1, 2021
The last 12 month have been a crazy journey for myself as a Yoga and Pilates teacher. Having completely changed from in studio classes to zoom was a rollercoaster – at the beginning of 2020 hardly anyone had heard of zoom unless you work in the corporate world. There really are many benefits to online BUT what do I love about how things have changed is that online classes are less competitive.
Pilates and Yoga are very different forms of exercise and almost worlds apart in ways. Both disciplines require you to leave your competitive edge. These are not the classes for you if you want to push harder, deeper, challenge more. They are the classes for you if you want to accept where you are, work in that moment, that movement, that exercise, that depth, that strength without the need to push. Build strength and flexibility unique to your body, your sport, your hobby. Increasing rotational strength and mobility for golf swing, building upper back strength to lift good posture for horse riding competitions, creating glute activation and strength to support your running. We learn in Pilates that less is more. Isolation to train the body, recruit the core, recruit the glutes, build strength to support the shoulder girdle while working on the overall flexibility and strength. This requires no competitive edge. In fact the opposite – learn to accept and keep the exercise minimal, then add the load when the body is functioning correctly.
Often when people first come to Pilates and Yoga classes they will do all the exercises, they will take the advanced options where offered, perform all the exercises to the best of their ability but with zero control. Zero core engagement. Zero pelvic control. They look around the room and compare rather than listen to my advice and keep to the fundamentals, the breath, the core, the stability, the body awareness, the range of movement that is correct for them. Online classes take the challenge element away and this is what I LOVE about them. No comparing, no pushing so if a participant is of a competitive nature it is much easier for me to get their understanding. In 2020 when lockdowns eased and classes could resume into studio brief periods, social distancing was in place. My teaching had to change and adapt, unable to touch, poke, guide, correct with touch, everything needed to be done verbally. To get the most out of my participants my verbal cues have been put to the test, and I have pushed my participants to the test and noticed how much people listen much more when not in a class environment.
The nature of Pilates and Yoga are not to be competitive with others or yourself and to listen to your body ‘always’. While you maybe able to lift your knee in a Yoga lunge, do you actually want to? Or do you accept that today my body needs to be grounded. In Pilates all fours when taking your leg behind, are you stable, can you hold the pelvic alignment? It takes time to build the strength to perform this correctly so your back remains neutral and you have the strength, pelvic and shoulder control.
Encourage yourself to push in your work, sport, run that extra mile, push that bit harder, lift that extra rep, nail that sales deal to be competitive where it is required. Learn acceptance in Pilates and Yoga. Learn that acceptance will help your goals, recovery time, achievements, stress levels, aches, pains, injury avoidance and sleep. Acceptance will get you there faster.
Pilates and Yoga with Bunny, Andover Hampshire