Moving in the Right Direction  
Pilates and yoga could be the kind of exercise that’s right for you.  (Photo: Sculpt Pilates website)
Pilates and yoga could be the kind of exercise that’s right for you. (Photo: Sculpt Pilates website)

Are you ready to learn?

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Are you ready to learn something new? If you are, Pilates and yoga could be the kind of exercise that’s right for you. Many of us have read or heard the benefits of Pilates and yoga. At my studio, I’ve been taking inventory of the various testimonies people have given me about how Pilates and yoga has helped them. Christine Zabel told me that after last week’s physical, she found out that she grew ½ an inch. Christine’s daughter, whose goal was to touch her toes like everyone else in the class, ran into their bedroom the other day to show them that she could finally do it. Another gentleman came in ready to register for Pilates classes because he wanted to look as good as his buddy who has been doing Pilates for a year. Kerry King who suffers from migraines, left me a phone message an hour after leaving her Pilates/yoga class to say, “Thank you for the class. My headache is gone and I didn’t have to take any pills or anything.” You may have friends who have been telling you the same things. The testimonies are great. They are encouraging, inspiring, motivating, and rewarding, but they are more than that. These people are giving their testimonies of hard work. Movements like Pilates and yoga are not easy. They are forms of exercise that try to teach you about your body and how to move it using the proper muscles. It teaches you to think about your movements in ways that you probably haven’t thought about before. So, if you haven’t thought about a certain process before, that would mean that you would have to be ready to learn something new. For those who have great testimonies of how Pilates and yoga has worked for them, they have received the rewards that come from a commitment to learning something new.

As adults, a learning environment has been something we’ve become unaccustomed with. We have created an environment that is somewhat organized, familiar, convenient and functional. We have to create this kind of environment in order to get things done for ourselves and for others who rely on us within the 16 hour work day. Therefore, it is hard for us to find the time and energy required to learn something new. It is inconvenient and can be stressful. If we have need of a new skill, then we pay for someone else to perform that skill so that we don’t have to learn it ourselves. This is one of the engines of our economy. But when it comes to our health, the past 30 years have taught us that we can’t leave our health in the hands of someone else. We can’t rely on doctors and drugs to give us the healthy lifestyle that most of us are looking for. We have to take responsibility for our health, especially if increased energy, vitality, and strength is a goal. Embracing that responsibility means learning about your body and what works for you. Pilates and yoga is one way to get to know your body. If you decide to try this way, be prepared to learn something new. It is not something that you can just jump into and perform perfectly right away. Because you are learning something new, be prepare to feel slightly vulnerable, a little humbled, and not be sure of exactly what you are suppose to be feeling or moving right away.

When people are learning something new, I hear comments like, “I feel stupid,” and “Lori, you’ve got your work cut out for you working with me,” and “wow, this is hard,” and “I don’t know if I can get this.” These are the thoughts and reactions of someone who is learning something new. Fortunately, they are incorrect statements. Very few people are stupid and actually, most people are not hard for me to work with, and yes, you will get this stuff eventually. So, as you are learning something new, be kind to yourself, do not judge yourself with thoughts of incompetence. It's not a matter of if you are going to get it, it's just when. Be committed to learning – patience, repetition, acceptance, question asking, positive effort and a sense of humour.

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About the Author

Lori Rockl graduated from UBC with a Bachelor of Political Science. After working with the Federal Government through two elections, she escaped back into her gifted life of fitness training and now owns a successful Pilates & Yoga studio. Although her clientel tell her often how much they learn from her, Lori would tell you that she is the one that learns the most from her clients. For Lori, the study of the mind-body connection is an infinitely fascinating study. She has found that Pilates and yoga are excellent tools for healthy living and incorporate those tools into her marathon and triathalon training. Please contact lori at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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