“The body doesn’t care whether we call it Pilates, yoga, Alexander, Feldenkrais, Nia, Continuum—or, for that matter, washing the dishes. What it does care about is if we’re moving with awareness.”
So says Wendy LeBlanc-Arbuckle, in the current issue of Pilates Style magazine. I completely agree with her.
I started out doing yoga in my 20s with a wonderful teacher in the office blocks of Craig Gardner/Price Waterhouse in Dublin. I will never forget my first few classes – the joy I felt at discovering movement and connection to my body.
Ever since those early classes, I have included weekly yoga into my schedule where possible. When my kids were young and it wasn’t always possible to get out to classes, I used to earmark Sunday mornings for yoga practice.
Then about nine years ago, I discovered pilates and I loved it. It spoke to my body in a different way to yoga; I felt energised and could feel physical changes happening more strongly in my body than with yoga.
When I came to a career crossroads in 2008 and wanted to try something new, I decided to undergo professional training in pilates. I am now certified in STOTT PILATES. I still practice yoga, I go to classes whenever I can. I often include chest and hip opening yoga moves into my pilates repertoire and teaching.
What is more important for me is to keep learning, to keep an open mind and not to close myself to other possibilities from other movement disciplines.
So back to what Wendy LeBlanc-Arbuckle said above: your body doesn’t know care what name your particular movement routine has. The many different disciplines are all working with the human body to the same end: movement with awareness. Body movement is key for preventing pain or sometimes to help you get free from pain.
At different times, you may dip in and out of the different movement disciplines. Your body may need different things at different times of life. You can be enriched and empowered from many different sources.
What really matters is that you get to know the structure of your body to connect with your breathing and that you learn to nurture your own lifeforce.
Pilates certainly empowers you to do that – as too does yoga, Alexander technique and Feldenkrais; never had the chance to try Nia or Continuum!
And, yes, you can can carry that same body awareness and inner strength through to when you are doing chores or playing golf or whatever!