Why I Love Pilates

Why do I love Pilates so much? 

I love many forms of exercise – pilates, distance running, strength training, sweaty spin classes and more.  Pilates is the one movement discipline that ties them all together for me.  It is my number one favourite of all of the activities that I participate in.

What is it about Pilates that puts it on the top of my list for movement?

Here are my 7 reasons why I love Pilates:

1. Pilates feels amazing!    I will always remember my first Pilates session on the reformer.  I left the studio feeling marvelous and excited about what I had done.  There was also a feeling of confusion about why I felt so great.  It was a beginner level workout that wasn’t super hard. I did break a sweat, but it wasn’t anything like what I was so used to from my spin or the fitness classes.  A day later I noticed some muscle soreness, a feeling that I quite enjoy.  I was definitely sold and ready to learn more.  Twelve years later, I’m still learning and practicing Pilates and loving it more and more.  

2. Pilates challenges my mind and body. – There’s always more to be learned. At first, I was challenged with learning each exercise and the basic choreography of those exercises.  I love that in every Pilates workout I learn something new about how I move, breath, or align myself.  The more I do Pilates, the more I realize I can learn.  I will always continue to be a Pilates student, learning from attending Pilates classes with various instructors, as well as going to workshops and conferences.  Hearing and seeing new ways of approaching an exercise challenges me physically and mentally, making me both a better student and teacher. 

3. Pilates helps me to be more self-aware. – When I first started doing Pilates, I became very aware of my posture and breathing, particularly when I would be driving. The more training and Pilates education I have completed has made me more and more aware.  I not only catch myself standing with more weight on one leg or with my hips twisted. I now correct myself and work to find uniform alignment, better posture and take fuller breaths.  This awareness spills over into daily life as well as the other physical fitness activities that I participate in.

4. Pilates makes me stronger and feeling more connected. – I have several hobbies that I started long before I found Pilates and continue to participate in now.   Endurance running and cycling, functional strength training, spin classes, downhill skiing, and gardening are some of my favourites.  Pilates has made me so much more aware of how I move and align my body while doing these activities. Overall, I feel stronger and more efficient in my own movement.  Even more special to me is having a Pilates client come tell me how strong they felt doing one of their fitness hobbies.  Especially when it is an activity that they thought that they may have to give up prior to finding Pilates. 

5. Pilates creates goals and helps me achieve goals. – There are a great number of Pilates exercises that are challenging and require practice and patience,  along with improved flexibility and strength.  Every time I do Pilates, I have goals.  Sometimes its to improve upon an element of an exercise, while other times it is to attempt an exercise that perhaps I have only done a couple times.   Accomplishing my Pilates goals always feels amazing.  

Another big goal that I always have, is to get through my training for running events, cycling races and now a triathlon, injury free.  Being consistent with doing Pilates has equated to success in achieving this goal. 

6. Pilates Friends. – Through Pilates and my other fitness activities, I have met so many wonderful people with common goals and interests.  People start doing Pilates for various reasons and there are different styles of Pilates. But we are all continuing to do Pilates with the common reason of feeling better inside and out. Having this common interest and bond can be the seed to grow beautiful longtime friendships.  

7. Pilates travel and adventures. – As a Pilates teacher, I began traveling to conferences and workshops about 8 years ago.  My Pilates knowledge and community has grown from only knowing of gym based mat classes, and of a couple of local studios, to now knowing instructors and studios all over the world.  I have always loved to travel and explore new places, so to now do that partnered with Pilates, makes it oh so much better!

Pilates is my glue.  It’s my one activity connects all my other activities, with the added bonus of travel and new relationships.

I love movement!  I love feeling strong!  I love being aware!  I love my community!  I love Pilates!

Are you a Pilates lover too?  Are you a lover of movement?  Do you love to travel and explore?

Come join me, along with an amazing line up of Pilates and movement teachers at Momentum Fest!

Melissa Nagai is a 2018 Momentum Fest ambassador and the owner of b.Pilates in British Columbia.