Stop. Focus. Breathe.

I am aching. All over.  Admittedly it’s a good ache – you know the type when you realise just how hard you trained and are slightly proud of the fact that you can feel every muscle in your body with every little move – a day or so later?  That first stretch when you wake up in the morning, and your muscles cry a little, reminding you that you did in fact give 100%.  My abs are squealing.  My hamstrings, those muscles I had to learn to deliberately engage (quite seriously, I kid you not, I have actually had to teach myself to use my hamstrings and not rely on the power of my quads – who’d have thought?).  Even my arms hurt.  How you ask?  Pilates.  Yes, Pilates.

I know what you’re thinking, Pilates is supposed to be a chilled out, relaxing experience.  How wrong you are.  Has this blog taught you nothing?  Pilates is hard, damn hard.  Don’t get me wrong – sure you can turn up and punce around a lot and sound like you’re on trend when you brag to your friends that you’re oh-so-Gwyneth Paltrow, and are all over this whole body toning business.  OR, you can take it, and yourself, a little more seriously and challenge yourself with each and every movement – mind and body.

And breathe. Focus on breathing.

I guess the bit like Yoga is the mind bit.  My headspace is pretty overcrowded at the moment.  Work is momentarily insane, but last night I walked out of the office at 5:45pm to get to my Pilates session.  I needed it.  I needed to stop the outside world and centre myself.  Focusing on your core is really quite therapeutic.  I’m sure Yoda and Ms P are convinced that I do a little ‘puncing’ and not much core-focussing through all of the chatter – but I am a remarkable multi-tasker, even if I do say so myself.  And centre myself I did.  I felt good and powerful.  I felt calm.

I put my body through its paces – I don’t think Yoda thought I was really committed.  Surprisingly my session didn’t involve my nemesis the Pike or other crazy antics.  Just some strong, good old fashioned movements.  I do recall Yoda having some expectation of coordination from me at one point, I just took it in my very uncoordinated stride.  I even invested in the breathing. I left the studio and returned to the office. Given the time I finally left, I’m glad I took the time out.

Ugh, re-reading this, it reads like a bloody Pilates advertisement, or that I have a thing for Gwyneth…  I’m not really evangelical about it.  Really, I’m not…

Shrinking - or not

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