“Easy Pilates” (?) With Debbie Young

This article is written by Vintage Pilates instructor Debbie Young.

Ever heard the phrase “Pilates never gets easier, it only gets better?” What does that even mean?

How can a form of exercise that you practice day after day, week after week, never actually get easier? Why can’t it be like riding a bike? That used to be hard, but now it’s a piece of cake (as long as you don’t count that really big hill by my house…).

The fact is, Pilates falls into that rare category of adventure where the more you experience and understand it, the more you realize you have oh so much more to learn. It’s what keeps your practice of Pilates endlessly fascinating through the months, years, and decades.

Now I will concede that once you learn the essential form and order of exercises, the basics will come more readily. But this feeling of fluidity is just the beginning. Having a firm grasp on the building blocks really just frees your mind and body to realize the infinite nuances involved in the exercises – nuances you weren’t aware even existed, much less mastered! This is the key to the perpetual challenge you will face as you continue to practice and delve into the work!

As you begin to focus on the textured layers of the exercises, your body continues to strengthen and change; you are essentially creating a new structure or playground to explore each time you practice. Throw in a skilled teacher’s watchful eye and guidance, and your practice will become increasingly meaningful. You may find yourself suddenly able to bend in a previously immobile place, scoop more effectively, or stretch from a completely new area. And somewhat miraculously, your execution of Pilates will become BETTER!!

Each time you lay on the mat or the reformer, a world of possibilities exists and you cannot help but experience the exhilaration of a “breakthrough moment.” You may even shock yourself by suddenly liking, or even loving, an exercise that you previously dreaded or avoided. It took me almost 15 years to make friends with the Stomach Massage…but now it’s one of my “Top 20”!!!

So, the next time your Pilates workout is just so ridiculously hard, that you barely make it through, just think about how much better and deeper your work is becoming, and the results and your satisfaction will soon follow.