Published on: 01/12/15
Challenge, fun, hard work, sense of achievement, a few aches, warmth and friendship sum up my Pilates and yoga experience. Several years ago, while still in my forties, a doctor diagnosed the pain in my lower back as a symptom of ageing! Refusing painkillers, I decided I’d have to do whatever I wanted however much it hurt, resigned to lifelong discomfort. I did do what I wanted – and it did, indeed, hurt! So, when on retirement I started Pilates, I had no expectations other than perhaps an improvement in flexibility and a slowdown of the decline.
From the start I loved the sessions, but others noticed the benefits before I did – my husband was so impressed with the improvement in my posture, mobility and general fitness that he joined PATS Pilates too! I added yoga with Pat and running to my activities, and was thrilled to find – after about 3 years - that my back pain disappeared. This remains the case - so, if the doctor was right, it seems that Pilates and yoga reverse the ageing process! Emma has observed that my progress has accelerated recently - coinciding with my daily (well, almost) practice of the foot exercises Pat gave me when I developed tendonosis. As she says, everything depends on the feet. But the benefits have not just been physical. I love the mindfulness in each exercise, the focus on matching the breath to each part of the movement. In yoga, the breathwork and poses become a form of calming meditation. However I feel at the start of each session, I guarantee I will leave feeling energized, alive and happy – so I owe huge.