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Pilates Can… Help You Reduce Stress

Pilates Can… Help You Reduce Stress

Friends, I have to confess: I’m dealing with a lot of stress right now. I bet a lot of you are dealing with stress, too. The last few months have been a wild ride of elder care, kids moving home and then away again, kids starting college, family health issues, personal injuries, funerals, and weddings, and many unplanned expenses. It’s a lot!

One of the things that I really make an effort to prioritise these days is my wellness. For me that means:

  • making time to work out,
  • planning, cooking and eating reasonably healthy meals,
  • getting fresh air and enough sleep (oh, hello, perimenopause),
  • fostering relationships with friends and family, and
  • doing a few of the things that feed my soul–maybe read a book, or go to the ballet.

But I’m not going to lie. It’s been hard to do all of those things this fall. Something always seems to be falling through the cracks. If I’m getting to the gym, I’m not seeing my friends. If I spend the weekend doing meal prep and grocery shopping, I’m not getting outside. Some weeks it feels like my partner and I are ships passing in the night–we have just enough time to regurgitate our days or confirm the next day’s plans before one of us leaves for work or takes my mother-in-law to the doctor or falls asleep, phone still in hand.

And while I’m really tired of clenching my teeth every night and worrying about the future–both my own and that of the planet, I’m also incredibly grateful that I have a personal practice that can bring me some sense of calm. Pilates is a great stress-busting tool. It takes me out of my head and into my body…and other times out of my body and into my head, lol. It helps me regulate my nervous system with a focus on breath and specificity of movement. It helps keep me social and connected when I might otherwise be swallowed up by anxiety because it places me in community with others. It builds strength and fortitude in my body, and helps me move through the recovery process when injuries occur. And it reinforces mindfulness, and gently guides me to be intentional in my interactions with other people, and with myself.

The holidays can be full of cheer, but they can also be a difficult time if you are coping with loss or disappointment, grief, uncertainty, job stress, or illness. While Pilates may not be a fix for everything that ails me, I know that I can come to class for an hour and set whatever is going on with me aside while I give my body some TLC (or tough love, depending on the class!) and share some laughs with a great group of people. And if I can only give myself ten minutes on the Reformer, or a short video on demand, often that can be enough to help me reset.

This month, Retrofit Pilates is focusing on all the ways Pilates can help you manage stress! Follow us at @retrofitpilates for exercises, tips and information on how Pilates can help you decompress this holiday season!

As we wind down 2023, allow me to send love and thanks to all the members of our teaching team, staff, and community of clients for making Pilates a consistently positive part of my life! Happy Holidays!

See you in class!

Pam Ferguson
Retrofit Master Instructor
Lead Instructor/Operations Associate