There is no hiding our love for Pilates, it’s the ultimate transformational workout. Not only has this way of movement changed our bodies it’s also helped our mindsets and confidence. And the absolute best part, you can practise Pilates at home.
We NOW look forward to our exercise, it’s fun and helps us feel amazing mentally and physically. It’s become “me” time… time to be entirely present, away from all distraction and in balance.
But we didn’t always workout like this… maybe you can relate to our stories?
Over the years we both developed extremely unhealthy relationships with exercise and our bodies. We had zero confidence in our appearances, we were constantly on a mission to lose 5kg. We were completely obsessed with exercise and dieting.
Exercise, diets and not feeling good enough consumed our minds. It left no space for anything else and it sucked all the joy out of life.
Exercise used to feel like a chore, something we had to tick off our to-do list.
We also had the very common mentality that if we weren’t killing ourselves at the gym, you know… dripping in sweat, huffing and puffing, the not being able to walk after feels… we were simply not working hard enough.
We had a belief that more time at the gym… meant we were then allowed to go out for dinner and get dessert.
Or vice versa.
If we hadn’t worked out that day, then ate something ‘bad’, we’d feel guilty until we had a chance to workout.
Somewhere, somehow and for some reason, our idea of ‘healthy’ had zero emphasis on loving and being kind to ourselves, it wasn’t about being happy.
Our old idea of ‘healthy’ was losing weight.
This way of exercise, this way of thinking and feeling was far from healthy.
NOW… we see the purpose of exercise in a completely different way. We exercise to feel confident, to feel empowered, to feel AHHH-mazing! And it was Pilates, along with Yoga and Meditation that helped us finally create a healthy relationship with exercise.
It’s no exaggeration to say Yoga and Pilates completely transformed our lives – and this is what inspired us to do our teacher trainings and to create MerryBody, so we can share our love of Yoga and Pilates to everyone who needs it.
But what makes Pilates different?
We love Pilates as it works the whole body in a super safe way that is doable for all levels of fitness, flexibility and age. Pilates is a practice with controlled, precise, repeated movement. With a focus on body positioning and alignment. And this is why it is such an effective way of exercise.
Traditionally there are 6 principles of Pilates
The principles of Pilates differ from studio to studio, teacher to teacher but they are all based on Joseph Pilates’ (founder of the Pilates Method) original system and foundations.
These 6 principles are breath, concentration, centre, control, precision and flow.
BREATH: working with the breath helps you get present and more connected to your body. In Pilates, we breathe out with the higher effort of movement and in on the return.
CONCENTRATION: with this presence comes the ability to focus and concentrate on what you are actually doing (not counting down the time or thinking about your to-do list hehe). It allows you to know what body part you’re working. It creates more effective movement with better integrity… which leads to better more effective results.
CENTRE: In Pilates, everything moves from your centre and this is why we have a huge focus on core work.
CONTROL: Control is the refinement of the Pilates method, it’s about creating a consistent practise to improve technique and create a safe and effective workout.
Controlled movement is better than ‘faster and harder movement’. This is why we are big on modifications in our MerryBody Classes.
PRECISION: Precision is the way a movement is performed. It’s about activating the correct muscles during the correct movements.
FLOW: Flow is the continuity of movement. And this comes with consistent practice of the above principles, they’re all linked!
But… do you need all the fancy Pilates equipment?
Originally Pilates used lots of different equipment, but all exercises have been also been adapted for mat work. This makes Pilates do-able and more affordable for everyone, you can roll out your mat and do your at home Pilates.
And what if I can’t do those Pilates moves?
We get it! When we first started Pilates… they got us doing roll-ups. This move is technically difficult, not very functional and not a do-able move for many bodies and ability levels.
This is why inside MerryBody we focus on technique and creating great foundations. Then we build from there!
This is also why we offer modifications for most moves… because everyone’s body, ability and fitness levels are different.
But ultimately we truly believe that the gamechanger to creating an amazing, transformational workout it comes down to your mindset and intention.
“A happy, healthy body starts with your mindset, not a meal plan. It’s about creating a kind relationship with your body, not a number of reps.”
The MerryBody Method thinks about exercising and fitness in a different, refreshing and entirely holistic way with two steps…
1: Building a positive, renewed mindset
Even if your body looks great in the mirror but you feel anything but positive, what’s the point? Through Meditation and focusing on your mindset, MerryBody Online Studio looks at your intentions and works first on accepting yourself.
By shifting your mindset, you can change your relationship with working out and your body. You’ll learn to cultivate a positive mindset that changes the voice in your head from “I need to lose weight” to “I’m doing this because I actually enjoy it and because it feels good”.
2: Movement that makes your body feel joy
The way we see it, the goal of exercise should be to make your body feel amazing. To give you the joy of moving freely and in an empowering way – it shouldn’t cause you to barely be able to walk down the stairs or cause you to need to roll out of bed after a workout.
Using a gentle yet effective approach of Pilates and Yoga, MerryBody workouts invite you to explore what feels good for your body. Take time to understand your body’s needs, how it responds and exercise in a way that’s just right for you – and brings you the most joy.
If you’d like to try a Free MerryBody Classes head on over HERE and get your Merry on!
Emma + Carla
Ps. or why not try this super short and effective core-focused Pilates class?! It’s literally about 5-7 minutes long and you will feel it! Find more classes over on YouTube here.