27 Sep Don’t Do Your Stretches? Neither Did I!
I have a confession to make. A bomb to drop. A little secret to reveal. I’ve kept it to myself thus far, but today’s the big ‘tell all.’ Why? Because at the risk of embarrassing myself (+ possibly offending Clarity practitioners) it may just help you… to feel less guilty + more empowered; to have a plan of action + to make real, positive change. Here goes!
You may know me as (one of) the friendly faces (wo)manning the Clarity reception desk. You may (or may not) know that I’m also a Polestar-certified Pilates matwork instructor + that I take two (now three!) weekly classes in our studio. What I bet you don’t know is how these two seemingly unrelated things are connected + the motivation behind why I do what I do!
Many moons ago I worked in hospitality. I was a regular client of Sarah’s, who worked her magic on alleviating the back pain I suffered as the result of my occupation (tall person + industry-standard kitchen workbench heights are not a good ergonomic mix). I’d feel great after our fortnightly sessions but, as they say, you can’t outrun a bad lifestyle, + a sixty minute massage every two weeks couldn’t ‘fix’ the many hours I’d spend hunched over a workbench.
Here’s my confession: after our sessions, Sarah would give me stretches to do at home, to help keep me limber + support the bodywork that she was doing. Did I do my stretches? No. Never. Never ever. SARAH, I HAVE NEVER PERFORMED A SINGLE STRETCH YOU GAVE ME! Uh-oh. Big trouble!
Obviously this is my own fault. I made up for it, though, when I followed her suggestion to try Pilates to ‘build core strength’. I was hooked after the first session + loved it so much that I completed my instructor training + now teach others to move well + feel better in their bodies.
The reason I thought I’d pen some words about my journey, is because I want to let you know that I ‘get it’! I know what it’s like, in a post-massage daze, when your well-meaning therapist gives exercises to do (they care + they want to help!) + you politely nod your head but, really, only one out of every ten words is actually making its way into your brain space + all you want to do is go home + have a bath… I get that life is busy + that time slips away + who could be bothered doing ‘homework’ when you can essentially handball your body problems to your practitioner + feel (temporary) relief? I completely understand! This was me!
Here’s the kicker: you have to do the work. Some work. Something. Anything! The body – your body – is designed to move + you can’t expect it function well if you get locked into the daily patterns of life + don’t do anything outside of that. If your work requires you to sit at a desk, you need to reverse some of that forward flexion. You need to get up + move, release what is tight + strengthen what is weak. It is your body + you are responsible for taking care of it!
Whoa. That got heavy + serious all of a sudden! (#sorrynotsorry #toughlove #truthbomb, etc.)
When I’m at the reception desk + helpful practitioners allocate exercises for still-in-a-post-massage-stupor clients to do at home, I’m really just resisting the urge to exclaim: “Come to Pilates! Do it! It’s fun! You’ll feel so much better!” (But I don’t because I’m naturally a little shy…so instead I decided to write this blog!)
Obviously I love Pilates. It’s made a huge difference to my life, has inspired a new career path + has completely changed my body + mindset. But how can it help you?
When I mention the word ‘Pilates’ you perhaps think of dancers, athletes, ‘core strength’, pies + lattes, ladies who lunch, the Pilates machines + so on. Or maybe not? Maybe this is the first time you’ve heard of Pilates?
Here’s how I like to describe it:
Pilates helps bring the body back to balance. It does this by strengthening what needs to be strengthened + lengthening + releasing what is tight. It requires concentration, control, connection, centring + precision. It’s not just about the physical work, but about what’s going on in your mind, as well. Pilates offers the willing student precious moments of self-reflection + an opportunity for self-improvement. The exercises don’t necessarily become easier; as you progress you delve deeper into the nuances of each + learn how they relate to, + build upon, each other. Pilates is a continual process of refinement!
My classes are fun, engaging + exploratory. I hold an inclusive, safe + welcoming space for students to experience the transformative power of movement. Every aspect of the class is well considered, from the exercises themselves, the language + imagery used + the flow/pace of the class, through to the lighting + the sounds + smells that circulate the room. It is an immersive experience, tailored to you + your individual needs.
To those reading this who are new or returning to fitness, to the curious student who is interested in self-exploration, to the fitness fanatic who seeks to challenge him/herself in new ways, to the Clarity client who never does his/her stretches, I extend an open + warm invitation for you to move with me!
I teach mat Pilates Mondays + Wednesdays @ 8.00am, Wednesdays @7.00pm + Saturdays @ 8.30am. Class sizes are kept small (max 8) + all equipment is provided. You can pay casually ($20 per class) or opt for a multi-pass option (available at a discounted rate). Classes are suitable for beginner to intermediate level students with no acute injuries or chronic conditions best managed under clinical supervision.
I’d love for you to join in + have a go! It might just change your life 🙂
Book in here.
Julia (of the reception desk + Sol Space Pilates + Movement)