Building a Practice
At CoreSelf we know forming habits can be a challenge. We also know that you can do it!
So, here are our top tips for making Pilates a regular part of your life:
1. Start With Why
Let's be clear. You do not need to be able to do Teaser 3 with perfect form to say you have a Pilates practice. You do not need to fit someone else's definition of a "bikini body" to be beautiful, powerful and perfect as you are. Your work with CoreSelf is not about trying to have a body like anyone else's; it's about unveiling your own inner strength. A Pilates practice builds deep core strength and honors the body that enables you to chase athletic performance, kiddos, and professional achievements. Ask yourself: Why do you do Pilates… like, really? If you have specific strength goals, think about how it will feel to achieve them, and what you can do with that strength. Write it down. When you feel your motivation faltering, return to your “why.” We encourage you to do Pilates not because you're lacking, but because you are worth the investment.
2. Get Your People On Board
Sit your dog down and have a serious conversation about not walking all over you while you're trying to do the stomach series... we’re not sure how well that will work, actually…. but if you share your life and dwelling with a partner &/or kids, let them know that you're making a commitment to yourself, and ask them to support you by protecting the space and time you need. That understanding and support will make things a lot easier, and when you set the tone for creating the space for yourself, your family will follow suit - and they may even be inspired to join you!
3. Make Space
This seems like a small thing, but it can make a big difference. Figure out where you're going to work out with CoreSelf. If you can, station your mat there (& your weights & magic circle if you have them). Add a stand for your computer if you want one, a set of headphones if your workout time is during nap time, one of our seasonal element cards or piece of art for inspiration. For the travelers among you, find that spot in your hotel room, on a side porch, in a hallway… you don’t need much space to do mat work so get creative! Your space can be simple or extravagant, but the idea is to create a visual reminder to take some time for yourself, & more importantly to make it as easy as possible to jump into it.
4. Put It On Autopilot
I know - this seems contradictory right? We want you to connect to your body, not go on autopilot, right?! Here’s what I mean: We make too many decisions in a day as it is. It's exhausting, and the more decisions we have to make, the harder it can be to make healthy ones. Do whatever you can to make movement a habit and a ritual, not a to-do list item to fit around other things… So that it isn’t something you have to “decide” to do or not do on a daily basis.
Pick a time to work out and show up for yourself consistently. This can be an actual time, i.e. 8:05am or a specific cue, i.e. when the baby falls asleep, as soon as you wake up, on your lunch break or first thing when you get home from work. Make sure the cue is something you can count on (not: "when I finish everything on my to-do list") Protect your time from your responsibilities. Think of things that can get in the way and brainstorm ways to respond in advance. Block time on your calendar, pack snacks or put your alarm across the room. Remember, you're worth it, and you are better able to show up for others when you put your own oxygen mask on first ;)
5. Listen To Your Body
Pilates is not about muscling through and numbing out, it's not about pushing until you puke or doing things that feel "off". There is a difference between working hard (working hard is great!) and ignoring or overriding what your body is telling you. One of my favorite parts about teaching is helping clients figure out how to listen to their body’s own unique language, to decipher what it’s telling them. In the CoreSelf videos, I call out where to work and where to find ease. I offer modifications or variations to keep the work in your powerhouse, such as planking from your knees or using your arms to deepen your roll ups. Some days you'll feel good, and that's a great time to try a more challenging or advanced video (like Chisel!). Other days you might be overtired, sluggish or under the weather. Those are good days to keep it simple, stretch a bit more, and focus on form.
6. Be Kind
To everyone, but first, to yourself. If you miss a day, or a week, or a month, if you're starting from scratch or have tight hamstrings or a "flat spot" in your back or "no" outer hip strength, it's OK. You're OK. Actually, you're GREAT. Acknowledge these things as information - as the teachers that they are - but don't dwell on them. Start, restart, show up, do the work, celebrate small progress. Let yourself notice where you are stuck so that you can get free. We are all human. We all have moments that we forget, just can’t, let it slide, etc… the beauty is when we remember to be kind to ourselves in those moments too, and return to our devotion to ourselves again. It’s the choice to return over and over that matters.
We’re on this journey together - let’s move and have fun!
Scoop deep, you’ve got this!