Pilates Is Not an Exclusive Club, And I Am an Inclusive Instructor - Norah Myers

January 23, 2021by Norah Myers

A couple of days ago, a prospective client contacted me and asked me if she could do Pilates with me online. She said that she was overweight, and afraid to approach a Pilates studio because they might reject her for her size.

I was so taken aback by her message that I stayed in bed and cried. I realized that if she actually believed that a studio would outright turn her away for being plus size, other people think the same way.

We had a video chat to talk about working together, and she showed me a few websites of local Pilates studios in her area, all of which had nothing but stock photos of rail-thin instructors doing exercises that most people wouldn’t be able to do, regardless of their size.

This infuriated me, because it only alienates people that the industry claims to want to help and support.

She said that I was the only instructor she’d found who made any mention of rehab Pilates, adaptability for disability or illness, and body inclusivity.

We booked a class together, and I’m excited to help her manage her pain and to get some regular exercise.

I want to make this perfectly clear: your size, disability, and fitness level are not barriers to entry into Pilates. They should be the reason that you start Pilates and why you continue it.

I work with clients who have arthritis, vertigo, nerve pain, disc herniations, whiplash, and cerebral palsy. I’ve also helped many pregnant women who feel huge and exhausted. I’ve helped clients who are fit and non-disabled, who use Pilates as a form of exercise, but those clients are few and far between. Most of the people I help are managing a disability or an injury.

I was a broken mess when I started Pilates. I had an enormously exaggerated curve in my lower back. My pelvis was completely twisted. I had a very obvious limp and my foot clunked when I walked. I had no balance, no abdominal muscles, and very little coordination. I had fierce chronic pain that I managed all day every day. Within a year of consistent Pilates, it was like I had an entirely different body.

I became a Pilates instructor because I wanted to help people like me, those who were fed up with pain, stiffness, and exhaustion. Please know that I would never turn you down or reject you because of your size, disability, or for being out of shape. A few months ago, one of my most dedicated clients told me that I was the first fitness professional who’d said that being in shape is not a requirement to start any form of exercise or fitness modality.

Please don’t let your size, disability, injury, or weakness deter you from starting and maintaining a Pilates practice.

Email me to book a free consultation about which Pilates classes are right for you.