has helped me
It’s never too late to turn to Pilates! In my early sixties I became determined to change my poor posture. These postural problems were definitely hindering me in my daily life.
This was especially so in the perceptions that other people formed of me based on my posture. It was time to correct this situation!
In other respects my appearance was lean and muscular, I was (and am) exceptionally fit, and I was a certified advanced gym instructor in the final stages of work for my PhD in the field of sport and physical activity.
From my background knowledge as a health educator and fitness professional I knew that, with a high level of self determination and consistency, Pilates could help me with my postural problems. I was extremely fortunate to find Karen Pearce, who was a professional ballet dancer before training in Pilates with Alan Herdman. After experiencing marked success in working with Karen for just a year, I realized that further correction of my postural problems would be very possible, but would take me time, after all I had spent decades holding my body in poor muscular alignment.
In fact, it was through my initial Pilates with Karen, that I began to recognize that I suffered from a very distinct all round inflexibility, which, in turn, stemmed from poor thoracic and pelvic alignment. The reason? Well, this had been locked into place over the years, emanating from a psychologically and sexually abusive childhood. These were postural issues that I once believed to be unchangeable. This poor body alignment, unrecognized by me in my younger days, obviously hindered much of my development and prowess in my sports participation (except swimming). My poor shoulder posture together with holding in unexpressed emotions from my childhood were also reflected in my abdominal shape. This emotional tension had created very tightened psoas muscles, which in turn caused my tummy/lower abdomen to bulge outwards.
Through doing the Pilates exercises which I had learned from Karen, I was able to start to release my psoas tightness as I continued to work on pelvic stability. I also began concentrating on my thoracic stability. I did this through stretching my pectoralis muscles (chest muscles) combined with exercises focusing on strengthening my rhomboids and lower trapezius (upper back) to help me retract my scapulae (shoulder blades). Through Pilates I have been able to almost completely release these muscles. However, I am not totally free of the physical effects of my poor postural alignment and realize that there is still work to do. Yes, I’m not perfect yet, but I’m well on my journey to correcting the severe postural problems that I was convinced were here to stay. So, it is not surprising then that when I decided to train in Pilates, I returned to Karen to enroll in her teacher training course accredited by Alan Herdman Pilates London.
For me to fully engage with the Pilates exercises, I had to concentrate on focussing on body awareness, which then needed to be continued on into my daily life. Once I started to do this and made my own body alignment corrections, I really felt the difference in my body and was amazed at how much better I felt, not only physically but in my mind and spirit as well. This is what I would like to share with you.