This morning the conversation began with “I’m doing Pilates reformer classes but I’m really bad at them”. I overheard this sentence spoken by one of my yoga clients to another and I couldn’t help but interrupt. “You can’t be bad at Pilates or Yoga or any type of movement for that matter. What is really important is that you are moving, and often.”
Neither of them really agreed with me and this is so often the case. What makes you ‘good’ at Pilates or Yoga? Is it that you can create the best ever pretzel shapes or balance on your head whilst doing the splits? Sadly we are being bombarded by these ideals and perfect shapes through social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram. The age of the fitspo is upon us and they are yet another way we can feel bad about ourselves (along with magazines and billboard advertising etc.).
What if we just take the time to notice just how we feel in our own body today? Can we move a little bit easier or more than we did yesterday or last week? Look for the small changes and strive for the good sensations. For example, last week when I was doing tree pose, I wobbled all over the place and couldn’t hold it for a moment. This week, I was able to stay still for about 5 seconds. Or…I felt like a tree blowing in the wind and swayed from side to side before toppling over. Did anyone else really care how I did? They were more interested in just how long they could hold it. Besides, when you wobble you are moving and that’s what it is all about. It doesn't matter what the outside looks like - it's all about how it feels on the inside.
Let's focus on a basic movement and make it more challenging – cat and cow.
Cat and Cow Poses
Begin by arching your back to the ceiling into an angry cat pose. Then inhale and curve the other way into cow. Do this a few times making it as fluid as possible. Then, widen and flatten your shoulder blades onto your back. See if you can continue the movements whilst keeping your shoulder blades so engaged.