Are you familiar with the exercises?
Have you heard the name before but always wondered what it actually was?
That was me, until about a month ago.
The Pilates Sanctuary is a new pilates studio located in the Offices on Eleven on Highway 11 in Travelers Rest. The studio is owned by Terri Josephson and once you meet her you’ll likely think of her as your personal pilates guru from then on.
There’s an amazing history to the exercises actually and it’s pretty fascinating. Terri shares it so well that I want to leave some of that for you to experience first hand. (But did you know there was an actual man named Joseph Pilates and he served veterans and prisoners during World War I and created these exercises as bed-based exercise to strengthen the core and to stretch the entire body using pulleys and leverage because folks were both relegated to bed rest and there was no room to exercise.)
At TR’s Pilates Sanctuary, you can receive personal instruction or you can attend group classes. I’ve attended the personal sessions so far, but now that I’ve finished those, I think a group class would be quite beneficial. I think you can definitely just jump into a group situation, but I would definitely call myself a slow learner with any sort of new specialized exercise so having Terri’s one on one was invaluable. Classes are also offered on either the apparatuses or as a floor class with props.
Like I said, I am a slow learner and when I would receive multiple instructions to do at the same time, my brain would freeze. Exhale with the exertion while releasing my rib cage and lengthening my legs? What?
Terri speaks softly but with confidence and she explains the process as you go and she never makes you feel ridiculous or small or silly. Instead she cheers you on verbally and offers guided touches to direct your movements and exclaims with joy when she can tell you’re getting right. When I was slow to catch on, she simply chose other words to help me understand and was positive that I could make it happen in my own time.
What’s amazing to me about pilates is that for our hour long sessions, I never broke a sweat and I never got short of breath. But I left feeling longer, leaner, taller. My core was strengthened and my concentration was improved and my body felt limber.
I think Pilates is great for all bodies, but as a woman of a certain age who has given birth to a certain number of children, this form of exercise is vital. It stretches and tightens and strengthens entire muscle groups I wasn’t even aware of having.
After my first few sessions, I was taking a walk around the lake at Paris Mountain State Park. I fell (oh it was super embarrassing) and took a dramatic little tumble. While it certainly hurt and my knee still feels tender, I truly believe that having limber and stretched muscles allowed me not to have a serious injury.
It’s a funny thing, but I think we tend to put this sort of self care low on our list of priorities as humans. Taking a pilates class might make your to-do list, but usually after carpool pick up and grocery shopping and lawn maintenance. We need to do all the necessary tasks on our lists, of course, but I am suddenly realizing that what we need to make a priority is our physical health, which directly links to our mental health and if this sounds a little preachy, you can believe that I am talking to myself as much as I am talking to you because that’s the truth.
Every lesson I have also been picking up helpful tips – elongate that spine, for one. Plus, did you know that when you are standing up, your toes should be able to wiggle freely. Turns out, I am a leaner. When I am standing, my weight is often positioned to my toes with my knees locked. Even learning that simple tool as I stand has been a game changer for my posture.
If you’re looking for a pilates home, Terri’s Pilates Sanctuary is a great place to land. She offers personal training sessions, group opportunities, special events and virtual lessons. Her first session in complimentary so you can try it out at no risk.