Lockdown – What I’ve learned and how Pilates can help you!

Soon it will have been over 2 months since the lockdown began and life is only just starting to feel a little more stable. Like most people the 23rd March was an inevitable but hard day and will be something we remember forever. I went from teaching classes at over 5 amazing studios and doing 1-2-1 sessions in my home studio, to nothing. My heart sunk – how was I going to manage? What was I going to do?

Luckily, I had seen this coming and had already started planning. Plus, I have an amazing support group of family, friends and colleagues and we all rallied together to help each other and get our ‘creative juices’ flowing in regards to online content but it didn’t make it any easier. Like most people I had to learn how to cope in lockdown and admittedly for the first few weeks I was very stressed. However, a new routine started to emerge and I got my online content up and running and started to see and feel the relief from my clients when classes started again.

You see Pilates isn’t just about your physical appearance or how you feel physically, though that is a major part, but it is also about your mental well-being. You hear a lot of Pilates teachers and studios talk about the ‘mind-body connection’ but what is it?

To me the ‘mind-body connection’ has a few elements:

1. Having a stable connection between mind and body to aid in posture, alignment and proprioception (where your extremities are/ balance).

2. Being mindful of your body’s needs. Knowing if it needs to stretch, relax or release some energy.

3. Taking time to rid yourself of all distractions through mindful movement and enjoying this ‘me time’

4. Learning to breathe correctly - yes you read that right you have been breathing wrong your entire life! This is one of the many things we do without thinking about, something we take for granted but it is one of the most important things we do!

5. TLC – our mind and body are complex and we are often too busy or stressed to give it the ‘tender loving care’ it needs. Be mindful of this and take time to look after yourself.

Joseph Pilates believed that you can learn to use your thoughts to positively influence your body’s physical responses, therefore decreasing stress. Let’s be honest, lockdown has caused us all a lot of that!

So, what things can you do to help your time in lockdown?

1. Plan ahead! OK you may not have that much to do compared to before or maybe you are busier and need to fit more in. Whichever it is, by taking the time to plan out your day you will accomplish so much more.

2. Aim to fuel your body the right way – plan what you are going to eat and when. Drink at least 2 litres of fluid a day, eat healthy nutritious food and I promise you that your body will love you for it! You will feel more energised and you will be less likely to snack on the unhealthy alternatives.

3. Schedule in some ‘move your body’ time. We all get stiff and achy if we sit down all day, so make sure to move your body at least once an hour. You could do a few stretches or walk around the house for a few minutes. Instead of sitting down for your lunch break why not pre-prepare your lunch the night before/in the morning and go for a quick 15-minute walk. You could even do my quick Pilates flow on my website.

4. Write down your goals for the week/month. It could be ‘I will exercise for at least 30 minutes every day’ or ‘I will learn to do …….’. Take this time in lockdown to do things you normally don’t get time to do or improve on goals you have wanted to accomplish for a while.

I personally have taken this ‘lockdown’ as a time to improve on my qualifications and also reflect on where I want my business to go. I have managed to complete my Advanced pre/postnatal, Pilates Barre, Suspension Training, Pilates for Neurological and Orthopaedic conditions and I am now studying for my Level 3 GP referral. I have decided to keep my online Pilates video subscription going even after lockdown so I can help more people and will most likely still do online classes/ 1-2-1 sessions.

I’ve managed to learn how to use Zoom, Vimeo, Facebook Live and I have succeeded in challenges that a few months ago I wouldn’t have dreamed at attempting. I have learned the importance of family. You don’t really understand the importance of something until it is taken away from you and unfortunately my Grandad passed from COVID-19 on 1st May. I have a new found respect for my body and the amazing things it can do but also the value of listening to what my body and mind need – doing 14 hours of exercise a week definitely takes its toll on your body and I had to take a few days off to recover.

So, whether you want to join a class, have some 1-2-1 sessions or just need some advice, then give me a call! My aim is to help as many people as possible and I want to help you on your health and fitness journey.

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