Pilates student Anna tells her story of how discovering Pilates has helped her body and her life…
How long have you been practising Pilates?
I took up Pilates nine months after giving birth to my second son and on average, I have been doing one hour a week of practise with Sarah for the last 10 months.
Why did you start Pilates?
Whilst pregnant, I gained 20kg, which is rather a lot for my frame. It caused terrible back pain, which unfortunately didn’t stop after my son was born. I lost the extra weight, but not the back pain! I started Pilates as I was hoping for a bit of relief. In honesty, I have never enjoyed exercising, apart from walking and riding a bike, but discovering Pilates – and Sarah – has been the best thing ever.
How has it changed you?
During my first class, I had to stop half way through as I felt shaky and could not catch my breath… I think my body was in a bit of a shock. I’ve always had a healthy diet, but it made me aware of how little muscle strength I had. A few weeks later, I noticed an almost unbelievable change… my back stopped hurting and I haven’t had any back pain issues ever since. I could do the washing up, lift the baby and other everyday things with no pain at all. Now after 10 months of practising Pilates I am much stronger; I can do almost all the exercises and my body has toned up nicely, including my belly. I can even touch the floor with straight legs! There is of course still room for improvement, but I feel great about myself.
What is your favourite Pilates exercise?
My favourite Pilates exercise is definitely the Roll Down: the one where you stand up and slowly roll forward whilst breathing out (as if you are deflating). I am sure it helped a lot with my back pain.
If you would have to describe Pilates – what it means to you – in one sentence, what would it be?
Pilates gently shapes your body, strengthens your muscles and make you feel energetic after the class – ready to take on the world! It’s great!