Improving Strength and Flexibility with Susan’s Individualized Pilates Instruction

Improving Strength and Flexibility with Susan’s Individualized Pilates Instruction

This is a case study about working with Susan from PIlates Body NYC, written by Susan’s client Lisa.

Six years ago, some friends suggested I try Pilates. They thought it might be something I would enjoy. And of course, they also thought it would be good for me! I’d thought about doing Pilates before, so their suggestion stuck with me. When I saw a notice in our building about Pilates instruction with Susan, I remembered what my friends had suggested. I was interested in improving strength and flexibility, so I decided to try it.

I’m glad I did.

I’ve been practicing twice a week with Susan ever since, and the results have been great! I’ve reached my goal of improving strength and flexibility, and I continue to improve. I began to see results almost immediately. While I did expect to see these results (thought maybe not so quickly), I honestly did not expect to become as dedicated to the Pilates practice as I now am.

Overcoming Hesitation and Finding Time to Practice

I’d thought about doing Pilates for many years before I finally took my first class. I hesitated, because I didn’t think I’d be able to fit classes into my schedule easily. I didn’t think getting to Pilates classes would be convenient.

I’d done other kinds of physical activity in the past. As was the case with those practices, I was mostly interested in the physical benefits of Pilates. That is still the main reason I practice.

But there’s an added benefit of Pilates, and its importance surprised me. That benefit is mindfulness. Being present (mindful) is not only a significant part of Pilates practice but is important in daily life—more important than I thought it would be. I see all the time how mindfulness translates into other activities in my life.

A Customized Pilates Program with Dramatic Results

Before I started individualized sessions, I took a group class that Susan ran in our New York City apartment building. The group class was meaningful and fun, and I’m glad I was part of it. But the benefits from the individual, customized program Susan provides delivered more dramatic results in less time. The personalized attention, customization and flow of a private session means I can have a more efficient practice.

Susan is extremely passionate and innovative. While classic Pilates is the baseline of her teaching, she is always introducing something new. Susan cares deeply about her clients and about Pilates. At the same time, she makes the practice fun!

It’s still sometimes difficult for me to find the time to practice. But I do make the time, so I can continue to work with Susan on improving strength and flexibility. I want to continue to see improvement in this important area of fitness, and I believe I will if I continue to practice.

Susan has kept me motivated to stay with my Pilates practice over the past six years. Her flexible scheduling and routines meet my needs. I’m happy to say that because of Susan, Pilates continues to be an integral part of my physical fitness.

Pilates at Any Age: What You Can Do Now to Stay Forever Young

Pilates at Any Age: What You Can Do Now to Stay Forever Young

Regular exercise is the only well-established fountain of youth, but not all exercises are created equal. Are you looking for a way to stay fit throughout your life? Here’s good news: Pilates is for people at any stage of life who want to look and feel their best. You can practice Pilates at any age! While some forms of exercise are best-suited to younger people, Pilates is an exception. It will erase years off your body.

Chronologically you may be 50+, but if you stick with a regular Pilates practice and healthy diet, you can slow the aging process and may even begin to look younger. People will do a double-take and not believe how old you are. Imagine how awesome it will be to not only feel younger, but to look younger as well.

Why You Can Do Pilates at Any Age

Are you wondering what makes Pilates unique among exercises for people of all ages? I’m glad you asked! Here are just a few reasons.

  • Pilates presents a remarkable opportunity for an aging population to perform a series of safe and effective exercises. You can do Pilates at any age because the movements are gentle, progressive and performed slowly with good postural alignment at all times.
  • Pilates can provide people with the tools and techniques they need to age with dignity and a sense of well-being.
  • As we age, flexibility becomes much more critical. Pilates emphasizes flexibility and works especially well for people middle aged and up.
  • Pilates is a corrective, rehabilitative form of exercise developed to improve our body’s functioning by bringing it back into a natural state.
  • You can modify the exercises and work at your own pace as your strength and stamina dictate. A qualified teacher can help you learn how to work with your own body so you can continue to practice Pilates at any age.
  • Regular Pilates practice can lead to a stronger, leaner body, while developing body awareness. You will become more aware of how you sit, stand, and move. You will be able to relate those habits to the aches, pains, and injuries you have now or had in the past. Better still, you’ll be able to change those habits so you can eliminate aches, pains, and injuries.
  • Another great benefit of Pilates at any age is the practice improves the connection between your mind and your body. As you age, you will likely become more aware of the importance of a holistic approach to health that includes the mind and spirit as well as the physical body.

A Man Ahead of His Time

Joseph Pilates was ahead of his time when he developed the mind-body exercise method that bears his name. His philosophies on health and exercise hold true to this day. This quote from the man himself shows why it’s possible to benefit from Pilates at any age:

“I must be right. Never an aspirin. Never injured a day in my life. The whole country, the whole world, should be doing my exercises. They’d be happier.”

~ Joseph Pilates


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