Online Pilates Classes in Victoria, BC Near You - Norah Myers

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March 18, 2022by Norah Myers

We’ve all said some variation of, ‘I don’t have the time to exercise.’ I used to work for a book publisher and was at the desk ten to twelve hours a day. My colleagues made the time to fit in a run or a walk, but I used the excuse, ‘I don’t have the time to work out.’ I walked ten minutes to and from work every day, and I lived at the top floor of a building that had no elevator, so I lost weight because I took the stairs, but that didn’t mean I was healthy. My sleep was always awful, I was chronically stressed and exhausted, and I was deeply depressed. If I had made more time for exercise, I think it would have helped my mental health and overall wellbeing a lot more.

I left my publishing career in 2019 and became a Pilates instructor, and I made the time to exercise every day. I had to walk the talk as an instructor, and I wanted to be as strong and as healthy as possible, to be able to do my job well. When I told people that I was a Pilates teacher, I heard the same response over and over again. ‘I would do that but I don’t have the time.’ I used to say that constantly when I wasn’t working in the wellness industry. I wish I had made the time to work out, even if only a couple of days a week. Other people who were just as busy as I was – if not more – made time for exercise.

If you don’t make the time to look after yourself, eventually, you’ll have to make the time to manage pain, stiffness, soreness, and injury. If you build in wellness habits now, you can prevent discomfort and pain down the line. Do you ever see Marie Forleo or Michelle Obama skip a workout? When you see it as something that nourishes you mentally, physically, and spiritually, it’s not drudgery anymore.

How do you make time for exercise and self-care when you’re really busy?

Find exercise you enjoy

I used to drag my butt to the gym because I hated the way I looked. I couldn’t stand my stomach and thighs. The gym made those feelings worse because all I saw there were women who were more attractive than I was, in nicer clothes, with far better bodies. I pushed myself through hours on the elliptical machine and in the pool, hated every minute of it, and left my sessions exhausted and depleted. I never felt better. When I started doing Pilates and yoga, I loved them and looked forward to them, and felt better after. Find exercise that you look forward to and that makes you happy. It doesn’t have to be a tough slog in order to be effective.

Start slowly and build gradually

A hairdresser asked me if she should start with three Pilates classes a week. I said stick to one to begin with and then work up from there. It can be tempting to go deep at first dive and jump into an intensive routine, but it’s better to increase gradually than go full tilt and then stop because you feel burnt out. Come in once a week and, once you’ve got the hang of things and are ready to progress, build up to two or three classes a week.

Get a workout buddy

Why do we have personal trainers, yoga teachers, Pilates teachers, running clubs, and workout buddies? To stay accountable. That’s why I have an Apple Watch and why I still take private Pilates classes. Otherwise, it would be too easy for me to say, ‘Oh, I’ll work out tomorrow.’ Your Pilates teacher is human, just like everyone else. Even though we’re in the wellness business, we also have days where we don’t feel like working out. The social aspect of wellness can be just as beneficial for our mental health as the exercise itself, especially since we’ve just entered the third year of a global pandemic. If nothing else, going for a walk with a friend or joining a Pilates class together can be a great social activity. I have several clients who do classes with friends and family members, and it’s their fun time that they spend together.

Location location location

Find a Pilates studio or gym that’s either close to home or close to work. You can go in the morning before work, at lunchtime for an express class, or after work to burn off the stress of the day. When you build your workout routine around places you spend a lot of time in, you stop thinking about it and you just do it, the way you brush your teeth every day. Find a place that’s easy to get to, or buy equipment you can use at home, and make it as much a part of your day as housework or cooking.


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March 13, 2022by Norah Myers

Anyone who knows me for all of five minutes knows that I adore Billie Eilish. I only discovered her in June 2019, when I heard Bury A Friend on the radio, and I’ve been in love with her ever since. I spent months of quarantine dancing around to Bad Guy and My Boy in my underwear. I nearly had the lyrics Somebody new is gonna comfort me like you never do, from Bitches Broken Hearts, tattooed on my hip. I lightened my hair several shades after she bleached hers. My family and friends think it’s weird if I can manage to have a conversation without talking about her.

Before the pandemic completely sidelined her 2020 tour, I desperately wanted to get a ticket to see her in Vancouver, but there were no disability-accessible seats available. The same thing happened for this tour. Why did I think it would be any different?

I was selected to buy a ticket to her Vancouver show in the presale, the day before the tickets went on sale to the public. I grabbed the first ticket I could get because I knew that they’d be gone in seconds. I recently found out that the ticket is not disability-accessible. Given both my disability and recent ankle injury, I can’t stand up unassisted for long periods of time, and there is no grab bar or safety rail in front of the seat that I managed to get. All of the specific disability-accessible seats have been taken, understandably. It’s Billie Eilish – she’s been the hottest ticket around for years.

Billie’s shows are notoriously raucous and she’ll have the whole audience on their feet the entire time, dancing and moshing and jumping, just like she always does at her favourite shows. She creates the experience that she’d want to have as a fan. If I stay seated the whole time in the seat that I managed to grab, I’ll only see the show by watching the screen behind her. My only choices now are to find an accessible seat at the very back of the venue or to sell my ticket.

Billie is twenty years old. It’s not like she’ll never tour again. Even if I sell my ticket this time, I’ll likely have the same issue at every show I want to go to. The venue simply isn’t accessible. The same is true of sporting venues, theatres, ballets, and operas. I don’t think I have ever gone to a sporting event and not needed help with the stairs. The design of these kinds of venues has completely ignored and overlooked the needs of people with disabilities and injuries.

When I was thirteen or fourteen, I got a ticket to see Ricky Martin as a Christmas gift. I went with a couple of friends, and ran into this exact issue – there was nothing for me to hold onto when standing up, and I don’t have the balance to stand unassisted at a concert venue. Everyone was on their feet from the first count of the first song, and the only way I was able to see the show was that a friend held my hand the whole time while I stood. It made both of us very uncomfortable and I felt useless. I know now that this was my own internalised ableism, and that I should have found a way to get an accessible seat. It’s not a bad thing to need help or to ask for it, but I was a teenager, and I hated knowing that my disability was an inconvenience to someone else.

What would I do differently if I could go back to May 2021, days before I ordered my Billie Eilish ticket? I would call Ticketmaster, explain my situation, and ensure that I could get a disability-accessible seat. I was just so desperate to get any ticket at all, at that point in time, that I didn’t stop to consider that I might not be able to use it.

What would you do in this kind of situation?


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March 9, 2022by Norah Myers

I know this because it happened to me.

I’m the one who constantly shouts, ‘Get your exercise in every day. Don’t be lazy,’ and now I have to stay off my ankle while it heals because I overdid it. I’m from Winnipeg, where it’s snowy and cold from October until sometimes April, so I don’t walk a lot at home. I Uber to Pilates and exercise there, or I do mat Pilates in my apartment. One of the things that excited me the most about moving to British Columbia was the opportunity to walk more because I wouldn’t be contending with -30.

Up until recently, I lived about thirty minutes’ walk from work. I walked to and from the studio nearly every day, which amounted to just over an hour of walking after spending months hardly walking at all.

I strained muscles and ligaments in my right shin and ankle because of the pressure I was exerting on my body, especially since my right side is stronger and does most of the work. I’d heard about this kind of injury from people who run, and have treated clients’ ankle injuries, but I never thought I could sustain this sort of injury from walking and trying to do something that would keep me healthy.

My physiotherapist forbade me from walking to and from work for two weeks, at a time when it hurt to put even the tiniest bit of pressure on my leg. I’d feel fine first thing in the morning when I woke up, but my ankle would ache within seconds of putting my feet on the floor. I had to take cabs and rely on rides from family because I couldn’t walk anywhere without my ankle yelling at me.

I took painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication. The physio massaged, stretched, and taped my ankle. She prescribed exactly the exercises that I would give to clients who have ankle pain or injuries: medial footwork and running on the reformer, both of which work the calves and ankles. This caused me a huge amount of discomfort, and my Pilates instructor told me that I couldn’t always exercise my way out of an injury and needed to rest.

I’ve spent the past few weeks staying off my ankle as much as possible, and stopping to rest when my ankle hurts. There are many days when I’ve wanted to do Pilates or even walk to the grocery store, but I’ve stopped because of my ankle. I haven’t been able to go for walks with my family or join in on bike rides, and taking three flights of stairs hurts. If I push myself, it’ll only make it worse.

Does this mean that I’m not a good Pilates instructor?

No.

Does this mean that I’m a bad person for not exercising?

No.

It just means that I have to listen to my body, let myself heal, and adapt my routine.

Yesterday, a Pilates client said to my manager that she has a habit of overdoing new exercises right from the jump. That can lead to burnout, resentment, and injury. It’s better to ease into a routine and then gradually build it. Start with one Pilates class a week and ten minutes of walking a day, and then progress to two classes a week. Better to establish a routine that you can maintain than deep dive and then pull back because you’ve hurt or exhausted yourself.

How many of us break our resolutions every January? Most of us, because we set goals that are too high and have unrealistic expectations. Set manageable goals for yourself, and don’t berate yourself if you can’t reach them – simply adjust them.


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March 9, 2022by Norah Myers

What was the thing that held me back from first trying Pilates when my doctor recommended it?

Fear that I couldn’t do it because I wasn’t flexible.

My doctor Karen specialized in treating cerebral palsy, and inflexibility is something that most people who have it struggle with. I realize now, after all this time, that she recommended I do it because she believed that I could do it and that it would help me.

She wasn’t wrong.

She recommended it to me in November 2007, and I thought to myself, ‘Isn’t that for people who are already flexible? There’s no way I would be able to do that.’ I didn’t try it until nearly a year later. My massage therapist told me that getting massages was a waste of money if I didn’t go to the gym. I didn’t like the gym, and I was awful at sports like basketball and tennis, and swimming often exhausted me. There happened to be a Pilates studio right up the road from the massage therapy clinic, and I went there and never looked back.

I realized right away that Pilates could be adapted for my disability, and that it was the thing that would help me become more flexible. I am more flexible now, since I trained to be a Pilates instructor, than I have ever been in my life. Flexibility isn’t required to start Pilates classes. Pilates is what makes you more flexible, especially when you do it regularly and stay consistent.

I had a client recently enquire about Pilates classes. She was in her early eighties and had chronic pain as the result of a hip fracture. She said she was afraid that she wouldn’t be able to do what I asked of her. I told her I felt the same before I tried Pilates, and that’s what had held me back from even starting. I knew exactly how she felt, and I know how common this assumption is: that Pilates isn’t doable unless you’re already strong, fit, and flexible.

I specialize in patient, slow, beginner-friendly classes. I love helping people who are just starting out to feel comfortable with Pilates. The whole reason I became a Pilates instructor was to help people who didn’t think they could do Pilates believe that they were capable of it.

Here are three ways Pilates helps you to become more flexible:

Strength

Strength is the foundation of everything. Strength gives you a solid foundation to be able to stretch and improve mobility and flexibility. We get you grounded first with strengthening exercises, and then we progress on to stretches that can help you with flexibility.

Fascial work

Pain and stiffness in your body can come from tightness and dryness in your connective tissue, your body’s structural system. When we do fascial work with props like foam rollers, stability balls, and resistance bands, we hydrate the tissue. This leads to pain relief that’s often quicker than taking a painkiller, and it helps to increase flexibility in the body.

Consistency

How did the ballerina dancing in Romeo and Juliet learn all those jumps? How do gymnasts stick their landings? How do swimmers and high jumpers beat their best times? By practising. A person who makes something look easy has trained and practised for years and years to get to where they are today. They grow when they put the work in, and the same is true for you in your Pilates practice. I didn’t become flexible overnight. It took years of hard work and dedication for me to be where I am now, in my own Pilates practice and in my career as an instructor.

Lots of my clients say to me, ‘You’re so patient.’ Many other instructors have told me the same. I work with you to help you get to where you want to be, whether that takes five weeks, five months, or more than a year. The most important thing to keep in mind with Pilates is that consistency is the only way to make progress and then to maintain it.

I don’t judge you if you come into class and are stiff, inflexible, and in pain, because that’s exactly where I was at the beginning of my practice. I want to help you to get better, feel better, and feel safe and comfortable in your body. When you struggle with exercises, we either break it down into manageable steps or we find another exercise that serves the same purpose but might be more doable. Pilates is infinitely adaptable, which is why it’s so brilliant, and I love coming up with different ways to help you.

I see challenging classes as an opportunity to learn. I learned, very early on in my career, from one of my mentors, that I would learn the most from a difficult class. Don’t be intimidated if you present with injuries, pain, scars, or weakness, or you use mobility aids. The harder the class is for me, the more I learn new ways to help new people, and I am able to stay calm under pressure because I love helping others and learning new ways to problem-solve.

Book a class with me if you struggle with flexibility and I can get you sorted.


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March 3, 2022by Norah Myers

What’s my biggest pet peeve as an instructor, aside from when you don’t listen to me?

Great question – I would love to tell you.

It’s when you think you have to do every exercise perfectly and you beat yourself up when you can’t do something.

You don’t come to Pilates to do every exercise perfectly. You come to Pilates because you want to feel better, whether you want to manage pain, rehab an injury, or get some exercise. Perfection is not the point of Pilates, and you shouldn’t leave class feeling worse than when you walked in.

My client finished class by saying, ‘I’m a perfectionist,’ and she’d spent the whole class frustrated and mad at herself when her foam roller slipped a little sideways, when I had to explain things a couple of times, and when she couldn’t get every exercise perfect right away. I understand why she beat herself up, but it’s counterproductive and unnecessary. I don’t judge her, so why should she judge herself?

Here are five ways you can shut out the noise in your head during your Pilates class and stop beating yourself up.

Breathe

It always comes back to the breath, the foundation of Pilates. In through the nose, out through pursed lips like you’re blowing through a straw. Take big breaths and feel your ribcage expanding. Let the breath relax you. Coordinate your breath with your movement. When you focus on what you’re doing at the moment, you can stop the endless hamster wheel that might be telling you you’re not enough or reminding you to pick up curry paste from the grocery store on your way home.

Count

Count the reps as you do them to keep the rhythm and pace going. This helps you to ground yourself back to the movement and stop overthinking. Your Pilates instructor might lose count because she’s doing a correction or modification, and she’ll ask, ‘What count are we on?’ or say something like, ‘Just two more,’ when she isn’t counting at all. Counting fills the space and helps you stay present in class.

Be precise, not persnickety

Pilates is about deliberate movement, but I would prefer to keep the flow of class going rather than be too nitpicky. I get you moving and then we clean up the exercises as we go so that you do the work correctly while still getting a good workout in. Just today, I forgot to cue lifting the ankles in Stomach Massage, so we had to clean up my mistake, but then we laughed and moved on. Don’t dwell on the small mishaps. As long as you’re safe, comfortable, and you haven’t injured yourself, you’re okay.

Take it seriously, but don’t take yourself seriously

My favourite classes are the ones where I get everyone laughing. I love classes that are fun, where we all giggle like imbeciles. Those are the classes I most look forward to and love teaching. That’s why I love my career – I like to make other people happy. If you can’t laugh at yourself in Pilates class, when can you? Take the work seriously, but take a moment to laugh at yourself.

Leave it at the studio

When you’re done for the day, leave any mess-ups at the studio. Take note of what you need to keep in mind for next class. Then, forgive yourself and let it go. I’m the kind of person who holds grudges for a long time, who has a hard time letting go of things, especially in work. I used to spend weeks and months beating myself up over mistakes at my job. Now, as an instructor, I learn from my mistakes and I get on with the next class. If I held on to every screw up, I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed in the morning. I wouldn’t give myself room or permission to learn and grow as an instructor.

Failure is natural, unavoidable, consistent, and useful. It’s the only way that we make progress. Don’t hold yourself to a standard that’s so impossible that you are unable to move forward. Get yourself out of your straightjacket, laugh at your mistakes, and sign up for your next class.


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February 21, 2022by Norah Myers

Last spring, I bought myself an Apple Watch SE (after watching Emily Cooper close her rings in Emily In Paris). I bought it because of the one thing Pilates doesn’t provide: a cardio workout. I wanted to use the watch to stay accountable to getting cardio in every day, whether that meant taking the stairs, going for a walk, going for a swim, or just turning up Billie Eilish and dancing around my apartment in my underwear (spoiler alert: I did all of those things, especially the dancing to Billie).

I’ve used the watch for nearly a year now and, many times I’ve found myself wondering if it was worth it, especially when I accidentally erased four months of data, proof of weeks and weeks of hard work. After that data was wiped and I couldn’t get it back, I nearly sold the watch. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to continue using it. Now, I’m glad that I kept it and that I wear it every day, especially since I’ve recently moved to a new city and I wanted to track my patterns of exercise, especially since, with the milder climate, I can walk a lot more. Being in British Columbia inspires me to be healthier.

I would say the watch is worth it if you need the accountability to work out every day, even if just for fifteen minutes. I definitely haven’t spent much time exploring all the watch’s features, and I’m sure that I could do a lot more with it, but I’d like to break down the pros and cons, from my own experience.

Cons

You can feel bad when you don’t close your rings

Sometimes you just don’t feel like working out and, personally, I feel bad if I want to miss a day of exercise. I took my watch off last year while I recovered from surgery and was literally banned from exercise, and I took it more personally than I should have. It’s okay to have a rest day.

It sometimes doesn’t count your ‘stand’ hour, even when you’ve been on your feet

A few months ago, at the hairdresser, she and I both received notifications from our watches that it was time to stand up and move around a little, which the watch reminds you to do every hour that you wear it so that you don’t sit around for five hours straight. It made sense for me, since I’d been plonked in her chair, but she’d been standing the whole time while she coloured my hair. A few weeks later, it didn’t count my ‘stand’ hour when I’d been on my feet teaching Pilates for an hour.

You end up constantly talking about your Apple Watch and driving your family members bonkers

Pretty self explanatory.

Pros

You get more exercise

Last summer, because I wore the watch, I swam for at least thirty minutes every day at the cabin. My mum was amazed at how I’d put on my bathing suit every single afternoon, run down to the dock, and jump in the lake, swimming until all my rings had closed.

You don’t stay sedentary for six straight hours

We all love a good scroll through TikTok until we find the funny video that we watch fifteen times in a row, but it’s good to make sure you move every once in a while, even if it’s just to get another cup of tea.

You challenge yourself

Last summer, while swimming every day, I pushed myself to stay in the water for longer, burn more calories, and swim to different places. I’d spent years swimming the same beat over and over again, sometimes twice a day. With the watch on, I swam to other places and challenged myself to outdo my calorie count from the previous day. I definitely wouldn’t be as strong as I am now if the watch hadn’t forced me to work out every day.

Is the Apple Watch SE worth it?

Yes.

What do you think?


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February 3, 2022by Norah Myers

It makes me really sad that these kinds of questions – ‘Is Pilates for weight loss?’ and ‘Will Pilates help me lose weight?’ – are amongst the most common things that people search for when they want to know more about Pilates. Your health is so much more than your weight, and weight loss shouldn’t be the main reason that you exercise, especially at this time, in the middle of a pandemic, when we need to focus far more on our mental health and our emotional wellbeing than on the numbers we see on the scale.

Joe Wicks said it best: exercise for your mental health first, and the weight will come off when it’s not your primary goal. We should exercise to feel well and to manage things like depression, anxiety, and fatigue, rather than focusing on our weight. Weight loss shouldn’t be the main reason why we lace up our running shoes or put on our swim cap.

In the past twelve years, I have been every size from 109 pounds to 164 pounds, and I was just as unhappy at my smallest weight than I was at my heaviest weight. Even if you do lose weight and manage to keep it off, it won’t necessarily make you any happier. What will make you happier is exercising regularly for your mental health, because exercise helps you manage your stress and sleep better. It’s also a way to be social during Covid time – there’s no better way to see friends right now than by going for a long walk, a run, or a bike ride.

If you can’t lose weight with Pilates, what actually helps you lose weight? Doing cardio exercise and strength training, staying hydrated, managing your stress, sleeping well, and eating healthy.

If Pilates doesn’t help you lose weight, what does it do?

Injury rehab

Most people start Pilates at the recommendation of their physiotherapist. The physio takes care of the acute pain and then the Pilates teacher helps with the chronic pain. Clients who have been coming to Pilates for twenty years typically start classes to rehab an injury, like knee or hip pain, and then stay on and use it as a form of exercise.

Pain management

I’ve helped clients manage pain from arthritis, whiplash, and rotator cuff injuries. It also helps with discomfort from sitting all day, and even the soreness and tiredness you can experience when pregnant. Many clients with fibromyalgia, who can have pain from something as simple as doing laundry, find that Pilates doesn’t cause them pain. It helps to manage their pain and it boosts their energy.

Strength

I came into Pilates with no ab muscles and no bum muscles, and flabby arms and weak hands from having no upper body strength. Now, my arms and hands are much stronger, and I have way better balance, strength, and body confidence because, for the first time ever, my obliques and glutes actually kick in to support me.

Balance

I have had only two falls in the snow since December 2019 and, in the winter, I used to fall every day, sometimes multiple times a day. Pilates also makes your balance better because you can catch yourself when you slip or stumble and prevent falls. It improves your reaction time and reflexes.

Aren’t all these things more important than losing weight?


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February 2, 2022by Norah Myers

Covid has meant that so many surgeries have been delayed, so many of us might be waiting for knee and hip replacements. It can be frustrating and debilitating to wait for a long time, and when the surgeries keep getting pushed back or canceled.

If you’re waiting for a hip or knee replacement, what can you do in the meantime?

Pilates exercises at home or in the studio.

We work with lots of clients after they’ve had their surgeries – you can resume activity eight weeks after major surgery – but you can also do exercises and stretches before your surgery to manage your pain and discomfort.

Getting into the habit of exercising before your surgery will make it easier to resume stretching and exercises when you’ve come out of surgery.

When I was first training to teach Pilates, my hairdresser told me he’d had a double knee replacement. He did his exercises religiously, and he said that it was the only way that he’d been able to resume working in the hair salon.

You can use a prop like a mini stability ball to manage hip discomfort by sitting on it for 90 seconds at a time. Sitting on the stability ball also helps to relax a tight pelvic floor. You can relieve hip pain (and strengthen your glutes too) by doing mat stretches like heel squeeze prone.

Everything is interconnected. Knee pain and issues are, 95% of the time, issues with the ankles or the bum. So, when you do exercises to manage knee issues, don’t neglect the ankles and the glutes. When you’re in the studio with me and you have knee aches, I go right to the tush and the ankles to help with the knees.

One of my clients who has arthritic hips had a flat pancake bum when she started Pilates (which is why she had arthritic hips in the first place). We worked a lot to build her glute strength and wake up the sleepiness in her bum, and it drastically helped the chronic pain in her hips.

Don’t wait until after your surgery to stretch and exercise. Get into the habit now, especially if your surgery is pushed or you’re not sure when it’ll happen. It’s one of the best ways to feel better while you wait for your surgery.


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January 28, 2022by Norah Myers

Pilates is one of the best ways to manage cerebral palsy. How does it actually affect your body and make it easier to live every day with a lifelong disability?

Strength

We work on muscle tone and strength, which also helps balance, mobility, flexibility, and reflexes. I have a much faster reaction time now when I stumble or slip and I can often catch myself before I fall down. My abs, bum, arms, and legs are far stronger and more toned. I can see my strong abs, and my arms aren’t as flabby as they used to be. My clothes fit differently, and I’m not as bloated or uncomfortable after a meal. Using props and the pull down bar also help with grip strength and hand dexterity because you have to hold the props correctly to use them.

Stiffness

We open the jammed hips, release the tight back line and relax the achy shoulders. Releasing and relaxing the hips also helps a tight and tonic pelvic floor. Having cerebral palsy means the body is always stiff to a certain extent, and regular Pilates is one of the best ways to manage it.

Tiredness

Having cerebral palsy can be exhausting. You burn so much energy just trying to do normal things like walk somewhere to get groceries or take the dog for a run in the park. Just getting out of bed and having a shower can be tiring. Pilates is great for a boost of energy. It’s good exercise, but it doesn’t deplete you.

Posture

One of the biggest ways Pilates helps cerebral palsy is posture correction. This goes for every client with any kind of concern. Clients who come in with their shoulders up by their ears (we call them earrings) leave standing straighter and carrying themselves with more confidence. One year of Pilates led to a complete transformation in my posture: my pelvis untwisted and the huge curve in my lower back was much less noticeable.

Balance

Balance is often a huge challenge with cerebral palsy, whether it’s getting over a snow bank, stepping off a curb, sitting on a bar stool, or using an escalator. Once we work on strengthening the abs and the tush, the balance significantly improves and the back pain diminishes. Strong abs and a strong bum are essential for good balance, and we use lots of props to challenge the balance and make it better.

What challenges do you have with cerebral palsy?


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January 19, 2022by Norah Myers

If You’ve Got Back Pain From Yoga, Try This

Wanna know a secret that shouldn’t be a secret?

Yoga instructors do Pilates to manage pain they think they aren’t supposed to have. They come in with back pain because their practice often emphasises stretching over strength.

What makes that pain go away?

Core strength, oblique strength, and glute strength.

If you’ve got weak abs and a sleepy tush, your back takes all the responsibility that your bum and obliques should be taking.

Making your bum and abs stronger helps to manage that pain.

If you teach yoga, don’t be embarrassed about any pain you might feel or injuries you might have.

Pilates teachers cross-train all the time and, in order to be able to do more advanced exercises, they need to incorporate strength training.

Doing other forms of movement means that you’re mature enough to leave your ego at the door and do what your body needs.

You aren’t less of a yoga teacher if you do something other than yoga.

My massage therapist told me that she wouldn’t be able to do her job if she didn’t get massages, do Pilates and yoga, and go for regular acupuncture treatments.

I complement Pilates with lots of walking.

My Pilates mentor regularly uses the elliptical machine, does step classes, and gets runs in.

Isn’t doing the same thing all the time kind of boring?

Why not switch things up with other forms of movement that you love?

I switched from bikram to vinyasa yoga in 2013 because the flow is different and because the order of the exercises varies from class to class – it’s not the same thing in the same order every time (though there’s no issue with that if it’s something you enjoy and can sustain).

All I’m trying to say is: if you teach yoga and do yoga regularly, and you have aches and pains because of it, try strength training or Pilates to help your core connection, kick in your abs, and wake up your sleepy bum.

There’s no reason to be ashamed of doing something other than the form of movement that you teach.