Reality: Embrace the ChaosIn a perfect world, all of our Pilates sessions would be quiet, serene, and focused. In truth, we tolerate a level of imperfection everywhere we practice - even in the studio. Maybe the client next to you is sneezing, or there are four Private sessions and a Duet happening simultaneously in a studio that only comfortably holds four, or no one is claiming the cell phone ringing loudly from the cubbies. But your level of tolerance might be greater at a studio for one key reason: most of those distractions aren’t yours. There is a myth, however, that at home, you can control the space, and that myth allows the frustration of distractions to bubble to the surface more easily. Can you really control that space any more than you can control the studio? Maybe not. The phone rings; the cat throws up on the rug (true story); a baby wakes up early from her nap; somewhere, the gardener uses a loud leafblower requiring us to turn up the volume on the online Pilates video we’re watching... Sometimes, we can’t control those things either. So, what do we do to cope with inevitable distractions and keep our online Pilates practice alive and well?
If the distraction doesn’t need attention right away, keep going. Turn your phone off, turn up the video volume, close the door to your practice area, or turn on some music to allow yourself to fully sink into the moment.
Another Principle of Pilates is breath. If you find yourself getting irritated and unable to focus, return to your breath. Distractions can be an unwelcome, but good reminder to get back to the basics.
Reduce the pressure on yourself to make it perfect and make it fun. There is a time and place for a serious practice, but Pilates doesn’t have to be serious all the time. The goal is to move our bodies to feel better. If you’re accomplishing that, you’re doing great.
I said it - deviate from the video. Gasp! I’ll let you all in on a Pilates Anytime secret: we know you’re not necessarily doing all exercises the way they are presented on the video. Once, I paused a Pilates video and did jumping jacks. I just felt like I had pent up energy I had to expend before I could get into deep focus on a small movement. It worked, and I was able to return to the video, getting more out of it than if I had just pressed on.
Your at-home Pilates practice environment won't look like anyone else's, and it might change every single day. Press play, embrace the chaos, and just keep moving.