Hi there, soon-to-be yoga & Pilates enthusiast! :)
Do you keep hearing your friends and co-workers talk about yoga and Pilates? Do wonder, “What’s the big deal?” Are you secretly intrigued, but hesitate? Do you think, “How do I get started? I’m not sure I can do this.”
Maybe you feel like you’re too busy or you’re on the road too much. Maybe there are no classes offered in your area. Or, maybe you’re terrified to go to a class because you don’t want to look foolish. Maybe you feel too out of shape. Or, you’re not sure you can afford it. Maybe you even tried a class once, but it was really weird.
If any of that sounds familiar, you’re in the right place. I’ve got your covered!
Let’s start here:
“But, I’m not flexible enough to do yoga. And, I’m definitely not strong enough to do Pilates.”
I’ve heard these exact words, or the essence of them (“I want to, but (insert perceived limitation).”), hundreds of times throughout my 10+ years of teaching. And, I totally get it. In fact, I used to say things like this all the time. Here’s the deal, though…
You don’t do yoga & Pilates because you’re flexible and strong. You do yoga & Pilates and then you become flexible and strong.
“Everyone who got to where they are had to begin where they were.”
-Richard Paul Evans
Before I started doing yoga and Pilates, I was no where near being able to touch my toes, I had awful posture, and I had a really hard time holding myself in a plank position for more than 25 seconds. I’m happy to say, because I’ve practiced yoga and Pilates consistently for many years now, that that’s not the case today.
These forms of exercise are all about respecting where your body is currently at and taking baby steps to improve with each workout.
“In 10 sessions you’ll feel the difference, in 20 sessions you’ll see the difference, and in 30 sessions you’ll have a whole new body.”
Here’s something else I hear a lot:
I tried yoga/Pilates once and hated it. It was (weird, too hard, too easy).
I was a hater, initially, too!
Everyone who is new to yoga and Pilates feels overwhelmed, confused, weirded-out, and/or challenged at the onset. There’s no way to skip this stage. What if you just accepted that those feelings are part of the process and moved forward anyway?
The good news: this stage doesn’t last as long as you may think. The weird poses become familiar and the awkward movements become ones that you appreciate much quicker than you may expect.
I think it’s also important to realize that every instructor has a different way of teaching. So, give yourself time and permission to experiment with different instructors to find ones who align with what you need.
Additionally, there are many different styles of both yoga and Pilates.
For example, there’s everything from restorative yoga to power vinyasa yoga.
- Extremely relaxing and gentle
- Poses are held for up to 10 minutes (or more)
- Blocks, bolsters, pillows, and blankets are utilized to support your body
- Not much focus on increasing endurance, strength, or cardiovascular health
- Focused more on breath, relaxation, and flexibility
- You won’t sweat
Power Vinyasa Yoga:
- You’ll probably sweat…maybe a lot
- You may be sore the next day
- Challenging for most people
- “Vinyasa” means “flow”…so, you flow from one pose to the next
- A lot of focus on increasing endurance, strength, and cardiovascular health
Those are two very different ways to spend an hour on a mat. Both are known and described as “yoga”, though.
My point: give yourself time and permission to experiment with styles. You’re going to find one you love! I promise.
And, regardless of what style you choose, you’re going to experience huge benefits!
Yoga and Pilates offer so much bang for their buck! You’re going to notice (among other things):
- Increased muscle tone and strength
- Less chronic and acute pain
- Weight loss
- More flexibility
- Better sleep
- More energy
- More confidence and comfort in your own skin
- Less stress & confusion
- More focus, clarity, and efficiency
- Better, more attractive posture
- A heightened sense of well-being and happiness
Sounds good, right?! So, what’s next? Check this out: