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Life Lessons from my Roll Up

Like most things in life, Pilates is a practice. There will be good days and bad days. Days where you are super connected to yourself and your surroundings, followed by days where you trip up the stairs. Besides giving you a strong core, a consistent Pilates practice will teach you a little bit about how you handle life when things don't go your way. Lately, my roll up has been my Mr. Miyagi (Karate Kid anyone?). So I give you...

Life lessons from my postpartum roll up

1. Actions speak louder than words

I can talk about baby posture and rebalancing the postpartum body until I’m blue in the face, but until I do the work myself, nothing is going to change.

I’ve got lumbar tightness and my shoulders keep coming off my back from all the time spent nursing, cuddling, and carrying.

LIFE TIP: Do what you're always talking about doing. Even if it's only 5 minutes here or there, it will start to add up. Something is better than nothing!

PILATES TIP: Stop talking and start moving. At a workshop with Pilates Elder Jay Grimes, he said "You can't talk Pilates into a body!"

2. Old habits die hard

When we focusing on changing something new, frequently other old habits or coping mechanisms pop up.

I sometimes sit back in my slightly hyperextended “dancer knees” and grip my quads during the roll up.

LIFE TIP: If you hit a plateau in regards to a change you're making, shift your focus and see if there's somewhere else that could use a little attention. Just like your body, everything is connected. Change one thing and you could see the benefits trickle into other areas of your life.

PILATES TIP: To get out of hyperextended knees (which can also happen while standing), find your heels. When you press your heels down with a soft (not bent) knee, your butt can turn on and put in some work.

3️. Things get worse before they get better / OR / It’s okay to get a little messy

It’s like your seasonal closet clean out. First you have to pull everything out and go “whoa, look at all this stuff” before you can go through it, get rid of what doesn’t serve you and tidy up what does.

LIFE TIP: You can apply the closet analogy to any area of your life. To truly "clean" something up, you must first pull out and face the ugly, acknowledge it's there, and then get rid of it.

PILATES TIP: This was a hard one to learn for me. Before kids, I could make really pretty pictures and lines during my Pilates practice and my muscle just knew what do to. After kids, I could fake a picture, but not get much out of, or skip over the "meat" of the exercise to get there. Now, I let it get a little messy in an effort to find deeper work.

4️. It’s okay to ask for help

If I've learned anything from months of social distancing, it's that we are not meant to do any of this alone. In life, we have each other for a reason. In Pilates, we have the equipment!

LIFE & PILATES TIP: Furnish your studio

I am the Mat.

My husband is the Reformer. He knows I'm my own thing but supports me when I need it. He's also his own thing too.

My parents are the Cadillac. They are there when I need a bit more support or to see things from another perspective (hanging series anyone?).

My friends are the Chairs and Barrels. I may not see them as regularly as I'd like, but when I do, it's either for support in a specific area, to teach me something only they can, or it's just plain fun.

My kids? Definitely the Magic Circle. Sometimes they provide an amazing, life changing connection, other times there's just a lot of whining and complaining.

What has your practice taught you? What parts of life do you do better because of Pilates?

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