There is a quote that says,” If you listen to your body when it whispers, you won’t have to hear it scream.” As a Pilates teacher, this is a lesson that I often find myself trying to teach clients. Sometimes, I think people think I’m a little crazy when I suggest that they try the “easier version” of an exercise. This is so they can do it properly, and not injure themselves. For some reason, we have this belief that just because we have done something at a harder level we are failing if we don’t do that all the time.
First of all let me say, There is no failing in Pilates! If you have shown up, are doing the work, and are paying attention to your body as you are moving, you are succeeding! Second, one of the biggest gifts you can give yourself in your Pilates practice is learning how to pay attention to your body and adjust your movements to what your body needs and can handle on any given day. As a teacher, I can tell you it is always one of my goals to teach clients how to listen to their own body. This is such an amazing health tool in your life!
So the next time your Pilates teacher suggests you try a different, or maybe easier, version of an exercise, don’t let yourself go down that negative road of saying, “I am not strong enough, I’ve gone backwards, I can’t believe I can’t do that.”
More than likely your instructor (who spends a lot of time helping people find the best movement for each body) is trying to give you a version that is best for your body that day, and one that will help you continue to create balanced strength and flexibility in your body. Be nice to yourself, listen to your body (and probably your instructor too!), and see what happens!