Starting something new can be daunting. I remember when I attended my first Pilates class. My background in sport and fitness meant that I was used to being good at my pursuits. I was also used to pushing through pain. That’s normal right? No pain, no gain.

I left that first class feeling taller, lighter and slightly confused. Not only did I not hurt, I felt great. I felt challenged, both mentally and physically.

Pilates was hard, it took so much concentration and the instructor kept pointing out how I could improve on everything I did. It was challenging in a way I had never experienced.

I was used to just pushing through pain, telling myself that because I looked strong and fit I must be doing myself good.

I look back now and wonder what I was thinking.. or what had I been fooled into thinking.

I know now that the pain I was feeling was my body talking to me but I hadn’t yet learned to listen. I know now that movement should be effortless, graceful and flowing.

If I had known ‘back then’ what I know now, I would never have ended up in so much pain. But then, again that’s what led me on this path to discover what is now a passion for life.

I know now that the best sports people in the World, the best dancers, the best movers do so with ease, with precision and with control. And they didn’t get there solely with grit and determination. They got there with mental clarity, focus and intention.

Pilates has taught me mindful movement. And with this, I have moved past pain and I am stronger (and smarter) because of it.

I hear my body talking to me well before it is crying out. I now know that pain is the end of the line. It was my body’s last hope to get me to listen because I had ignored the subtle communications I should have been in tune to.

Pilates has taught me to be present in movement, it has brought me back to an intuitiveness I had lost somewhere along the way. I am forever a student, an apprentice to the work. And as my understanding develops, the work doesn’t get any easier. It just delves deeper. That’s what I love about Pilates.