It’s hard being a woman these days. Despite many of the advances made by the feminist movement, the pressure to look a certain way has never been stronger. Thanks to photo shopping, cosmetic surgery, injections and unsafe weight loss diets, women feel an even greater need to look perfect Having a destructive body image with an ever growing desire to look younger and fitter is not healthy for women at any age. Pilates helps to overcome this constant pressure from the media and from peers by not only giving clients a stronger and healthier body, but by helping to increase self confidence using the power of movement.
Women have to ask themselves questions regarding the pressure to look a certain way. Should they buy into all the hype of using expensive products to change the way they look? Should they spend several months’ income on plastic surgery, Botox and the latest fountain of youth? Or, should they look to Pilates as one way to improve on their body image?
A client of mine told me that prior to taking Pilates, she felt unattractive and invisible. After just a few private sessions, her demeanor changed. She walked taller, moved more gracefully and even commented that she finally felt visible after so many years of being a wallflower. She started dated after a nasty divorce and her confidence skyrocketed. How did Pilates help her overcome these deep feelings of insecurity? How does Pilates differ from regular gym workouts? Why should people add Pilates to their gym routines or maybe consider doing it on a regular basis as their main form of exercise?
Pilates is so much more than a series of exercises that gives one a bikini ready body or fabulous abs. Yes it does all that too, but the benefits of Pilates go much deeper. Pilates is what we call ‘intelligent exercise’ in that it is more than just fast moving, sloppy out of control movement. It takes a little while to understand the method, but once you do it changes everything. The work out works as it’s not about doing more reps, but doing fewer reps exactly the right way. Not only does one look better or stand taller, but posture improves, gait is more graceful, nagging back pain disappears and the body just feels so good that it’s impossible to not like yourself. People notice this newfound grace and confidence which is more than just having firm muscles. Pilates does wonders for people who may not look like a supermodel, but who can benefit immensely from better movement patterns and a stronger more graceful body. And let’s not forget those amazing abs!
The ads, the pressure, the endless beauty products may never go away. Yet if women can learn to embrace their beauty by learning to move better and to feel better, we can finally say we’ve made progress in this constant battle. How beautiful is that?