It's Keri here. I wanna share a story with you.
I started doing Pilates in my late twenties and it changed EVERYTHING. I was already pretty physical, going to the gym about 4 times a week doing a combination of strength training and cardio. Those workout weren't changing my body in any way though and they were leaving my joints tired and painful. As a gal with rheumatoid arthritis that was concerning. So when my mother suggested I try Pilates with her I said 'fine,' though a little reluctantly. I, like a lot of people had misconceptions about Pilates. I thought it was a workout for women over 50, bored housewives and b list celebrities. Thats the thing about preconceived notions, they are usually hella wrong.
What I discovered was that Pilates is for EVERYONE. Within two weeks I was hooked. Within a month I had given up my gym membership and within two months everything changed. I lost inches and gained muscle weight; my posture improved; I slept better and had more energy and focus; I looked forward to going to the studio because there was a supportive community and, I knew I was going to enjoy my workout and feel amazing after class. At the time I was a server and long shifts on my feet were causing a lot of back pain. That went away as my core got stronger. My joints hurt less and less and and felt stronger and supported. The biggest change was with my relationship with my body. I have had arthritis since i was four. I had come to get used to pain and I was pretty disconnected from my body as a result, like 'i just didn't want to deal.' Pilates made me curious about my body, and 'the body:' how it works, how it moves and ,all of its wondrous functions.
I was amazed at how taking an interest and creating a connection could change how I felt both physically and emotionally. I remember being in class one day and my knee, which was the main sight arthritis, was hurting. I had a conversation with it. I said 'listen, this movement is really safe, we are doing a good thing for you here buddy so can you just ease up a bit surrender?' Guess what? It did. That was an aha moment. I realised there was some real truth and power to Joseph Pilates' claim that "it is the mind itself that shapes the body."
I digress, because this is not a story about how awesome Pilates and movement is, you all ready know that for yourself. This is a story about finding myself.
After 8 months of practicing I decided to do my teacher training. I was, at that time, pretty unclear about what I wanted 'to do with my life,' and it was causing me some grief. My best friend had recently completed her 200 Yoga Teacher Training and I saw what it did for her soul. Even though she didn't plan on teaching she just seemed so much more grounded and happier. So I thought ' *&^% it, what do i have to lose?' I had no visions of being a teacher, I had no idea what to expect. I just knew that this practice had started to change my body and my life and I wanted to explore that further.
I mean y'all know how this story goes now. I wouldn't be here writing to my beautiful community of Muses if I hadn't fallen further in love in that training. It was a real shock to me, but I learned that anatomy made me excited and that I loved teaching. I had always wanted to be a writer and teaching Pilates allowed me to explore the use of language and metaphor and to indulge my creative side. I was also very academic at one point in my life and Pilates, dissecting movement and the body satisfied my analytical mind too. I value deep and meaningful interactions with people. There is no doubt that the connections you make with people when you are exploring body and movement are sacred and invaluable. The most meaningful for me though was discovering that moment when you see you have may have made a difference in someones day, maybe even in their life. That, that is the heart of teaching.
My point is this. You don't have to make a career change and become a Pilates teacher to get value from a teacher training. You might realise that teaching movement is your dharma or you might not. You will unearth a lot though. No matter the outcome the journey will change you. You have nothing to lose from learning about how your body works, how to move it safely, functionally, creatively. You will discover how to communicate better and how to teach and you will gain more confidence in your practice and in life. Those are skills that are invaluable no matter where the road takes you. This is a promise from me to you: This training will make you get closer to and understand yourself more. You will move body, mind and heart.