The Joy of Pilates

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Constant back pain led me to take my first Pilates class in 2009 and I’ve been involved with Pilates ever since. I love the constant challenge, learning about different pieces of apparatus, and enjoy how different it is from any other exercise that I have done before.

With time, my core (abdominals, lower back muscles and pelvic floor) has become stronger – now I rarely suffer from back pain.

The author Kim Padilla working out on a Pilates Reformer at White Mountain Pilates Studio in Mt. Shasta. Photo by Audrianna Thompson.

The author Kim Padilla working out on a Pilates Reformer at White Mountain Pilates Studio in Mt. Shasta. Photo by Audrianna Thompson.

My instructor, Jen Wood, owns and operates White Mountain Pilates Studio in Mt. Shasta. Jen says, “In many ways I’ve found that the Pilates Method gives people their power back in their lives. Pilates is not a fad or miracle cure, you have to show up and apply yourself to the work. In many cases, people come to me when they are in pain and out of options. I’ve heard many people say that they used to ski, hike, golf or take walks, but now they can’t. We help change that. Again, they have to do the work and make a commitment to their health, but I find that in most cases people get stronger, more flexible, overcome their pain and limitations, and most often exceed far beyond their goals.”

The Pilates Method was created by Joseph Pilates. He was a sickly child and sought to overcome these ailments through bodybuilding, gymnastics, diving, and studying Eastern and Western philosophies and forms of exercise. During World War I, Joseph Pilates interned in a camp and aided in the rehabilitation of the disabled and sick. Eventually he moved to America and opened the first Pilates studio with his wife in 1926. Joseph Pilates developed apparatus and movements designed to condition the entire body, ultimately leading to correct body alignment and balance. He regarded his method as a way of life and as a path towards total health rather than merely a series of exercises.

To deepen my knowledge about Pilates, I took the Body Arts and Science International (BASI) Comprehensive Course last year. BASI is a Pilates method; others include Fletcher, Stott, Polestar, and Winsor Pilates. I am continuing my internship at White Mountain Pilates Studio and find it inspiring to work alongside others who are dedicated to supporting clients to increase their strength and improve their lives.

art-515-pilates2Brooke Runnels-Vanni owns EmPower Pilates Studio in Redding. She sees clients experience physical changes such as weight loss, diminished lower back and knee pain, and fewer aches and pains when waking up in the morning. Additionally, “Clients gain a mind-body awareness,” Brook says. “Many rave about the mental clarity they experience throughout the day when they start it by releasing tension and stress in a Tower Pilates class. Pilates becomes their ‘me time’ versus other workouts that feel like just another chore to complete.” 

Whether your motivation is to target “problem areas,” rehabilitate from an injury, or gain greater physical strength and mental clarity, I strongly encourage you to try out a Pilates Mat or Pilates Apparatus group class. There are many benefits to practicing the Pilates Method – it can even improve performance in sports and other practices, such as yoga and cycling, by building strong abdominal muscles. If interested, seek out a Pilates studio or mat class at your local fitness center – it’s likely you’ll leave feeling inspired!  

Kim Padilla
About Kim Padilla

Kim Padilla is a bookstore owner and currently is doing an internship at White Mountain Pilates to become a certified Pilates instructor. She wants to share her knowledge and experience, and hopefully inspire and enrich others.

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