Those of you who’ve been following and reading me for a while know that I’m not the most athletic person in the world. I often get letters asking what I do to stay fit. The truth was, I’ve been ignoring any form of exercise since Stella was born. So, that’s almost like five years of inactivity! I’ve gotten through life looking thin just by looking thin. I have small bones. By nature, I do not eat desserts. I’ve never been overweight. But lately I’ve been noticing a slump in my posture and a perpetual mound in my belly, not to mention the increase in body fat ratio. Since I do not do sports – I’ve retired from scuba diving, which wasn’t really a sport but a form of recreation – I thought, why not go back to Pilates.
I first started doing Pilates right after Stella was born. My main motivation then was to get back in shape as quickly as possible because I’d be filming a TV commercial five weeks after I gave birth. I’ve tried other gym routines and classes. Pilates was the only form of fitness that worked for me. After I shot the commercial and appeared on the runway for that beauty product, I bought pilates DVDs thinking I’d work out at home. I never did.
Early this year I had a major wake up call. All signs led to my health. Everything else had to take a back seat. Hence, the daily green juicing, more sleep, less meetings, more time to marvel at life, and getting in control of my kitchen and what we eat. I knew I had to have some sort of exercise. So I went back to the pilates studio.
I have found a new home in Options Studio. I’m back with my old pilates instructor, Jerald Jocson. Since April, I’ve committed to twice a week one-hour private sessions. Already though, my body is asking for more. So I may up the sessions to 3x a week.
The universe must have been convinced that I was serious about committing to pilates that the owners of Options Studio asked me to be their ambassador! I’m far from being an expert in pilates but I am so convinced that this is my form of exercise for life. Since I restarted I have found my inner balance again. I am centred not just physically but even emotionally. My posture has improved. I am conscious of my muscles, and my body is retraining them to contract in the right places. I feel taller and longer. I sleep better. And that crazy condition on my neck (myofascial pain syndrome) is starting to feel better.
I know what it’s like to be “busy.” I had to deal with erratic work schedules, commitments at my kids’ schools, and mommy pick-up duties at dismissal. I never had time for pilates. But now I found a way – and my schedule just opened up. If I can commit to my daily devotionals and meditation, my regular dermatologist visits, our doctor visits, I can commit to regular exercise. I also got rid of mommy guilt – that awful feeling when all you want to do is rush home and be with the kids because being away from them is not something good mothers do. That is just a useless thought. So I got rid of that. It is very important for mothers to take care of ourselves first before we can take care of our families.
Here’s why I love pilates –
Modern Pilates is designed to strengthen postural and core muscles and to create proper patterns of movement. This gives your body the correct alignment which in turn enables better function during any other activities you perform whether it’s sporting pursuits or just day-to-day things like sitting at a computer.
Having a strong core and postural muscles means that you don’t get tired as much during everyday activities and your back is less likely to get injured.
While practicing modern Pilates as taught at Options Studio your breathing is used in a natural way to encourage proper activation of the deep core muscles in the way that medical science tells us they are meant to be used.
The movements in Pilates are done in a controlled and stable manner and stretches are maintained with muscles still active to protect all the body’s joints. These exercises can be done on a thick mat which protects the spine or on specialised equipment. Small props are used for modifying the exercises to make them easier or harder depending on individual ability.
Here are some photos of the Options Studio team. I hope the next photos I do will have poses as complicated as these. One day I will get there… slowly but surely.
Click here for the different Pilates classes offered at all four Options Studio branches in Manila. I’d love to see you, my readers at one of the Options Studio branches. Say hi if you see me.
Salcedo village: 553-3314 / 585-1404 / 0917-874-6888
The Fort: 403-7154 / 0917-542-0460
Greenhills: 623-8449 / 0917-890-3229
Podium: 695-3263 / 0917-529-3307