by Heather Burgoyne, Owner, Soar Pilates
In the Pilates industry, we have a vast range of clientele.
We have kids in their early adolescence to our loving seniors. We have professional athletes to those who have never worked out a day in their life. Some who are flexible and others who can barely bend over. To those whose bodies are injury free and others who come to us in extreme pain.
We have a high percentage of clientele who are healthy. Some with minimal injuries and the common “low back pain.” However, we also have clients who had multiple surgeries, joint replacements, have suffered from traumatic accidents, osteoporosis, debilitating arthritis and those who have recovered from cancer to those who are battling cancer.
As an instructor, and business owner, it can be daunting and overwhelming to work with this type of client. However, as a teacher and human, it is often the most rewarding.
I have seen clients barely able to move. Completely stiff and unbalanced where you can see the pain in each step they take. They are nervous and reserved and almost completely disconnected from their own bodies — they have almost stopped allowing their bodies to move.
We’ll work together slowly on a one-on-one basis. We start by going over their physical history and finding out where their pain is and what they have been doing to manage it. We always check to see if their doctor is aware they are wanting to begin Pilates.
With each session we begin with connection to breath and stretch. We then go into some gentle movement allowing the body to warm up and get the blood circulating. We then slowly add in movements either focusing on rebalancing or strengthening the area needing attention. We draw focus to the mind and the body.
I’ve witnessed what movement and Pilates can do for struggling bodies. I have seen someone able to bend their knee to tie their shoe where previously they could not. I have seen the struggle and pain of movement but witnessed the perseverance of an individual and their commitment to themselves by allowing their body time, grace and forgiveness. With that comes strides of improvement week after week, month after month.
Our life and our bodies are ever evolving, but one thing remains the same:
Change happens through movement, and movement heals —Joseph Pilates.