Meet our Cover Girl at Mindful Pilates (3 minutes read)
We all know that exercise is good for our health for many reasons, but why did I choose to practice Pilates?
I started exercising since the age of three. My mother was a ballet teacher and my father was a volleyball team coach. Hence, it occurred to me naturally that it is important to take care of my body, be physically fit, and stay healthy with a consistent exercise routine. For 15 years, I followed my mother's path with ballet and rhythmic gymnastics and my goal was set high, which is to take part in the 2012 London Olympics. Unfortunately, due to a bad knee injury, my dreams and goals in gymnastics vanished.
In the years following, while I was still living in Estonia. I partook in various sports and found Pilates by chance. I was attending a group class of 20-30 people with the Pilates instructor demonstrating the Pilates exercises in front of the class. It felt nice and easy in the beginning, but then it became more challenging class after class. I was enjoying those Pilates classes but it felt like something was missing. The class seems like a regular work out where you are on your own completing a routine of different exercises… and that’s all. I started making excuses not to go anymore and stopped after a year.
After moving to Hong Kong, I met Karen though swing dancing and I fell in love the way she dances. She is an amazing person with harmonious presence and her movements were very composed but expressive and elegant. The flowing movements made her stood out on the dance floor. On one occasion, I got to know her and discovered her secret of beautiful dancing. She told me that she is a Pilates teacher. I thought to myself, it’s Pilates! The polish for graceful and flowing movement.
Less than a week later I was in her Mindful Pilates class to rediscover Pilates for myself. In the beginning, I was a bit out of my comfort zone, just like everybody does when they are trying something new or relearning something.
The class started with a few minutes of breathing and relaxation, allowing me to leave all the worries of the day behind. It felt so soothing and gave me time to set the mood for the Pilates class. The exercises in my first Pilates class at Mindful were a good introduction to learn good body alignment, practice being in a mindful state, and learn about the Body Control Pilates method itself. What an inspiring start and I wonder what else could I achieve with Mindful Pilates’ classes.
I felt different after the class. My mind was filled with a sense of peace and serenity. There were no room for other matters; the reflex to frequently check my phone, emails or jump to the next task in line disappeared. Quite the opposite to my daily routine, I took time for myself.
The time practicing Pilates is the time just for you. You, your body, your breathing and your mind. Practicing Pilates is the perfect opportunity to take a break from your busy, stressful life. Developer Joseph Pilates believed that physical and mental health were extrinsically linked. He developed Pilates believing that it was good for your physical as well as mental health.
Through Pilates exercises and conscious breathing, I’m changing my everyday life for the better. Feeling more happy, calm and balanced. Every lesson at Mindful Pilates motivates me to discover how far I can go with my Pilates journey, and I see myself practicing it for many more years to come.
P.S. My favourite exercise:
I love to start my mornings with a roll down, especially the side roll down. It really wakes up the body and sets a mood for the day. I feel energized and ready to take on the day.
- Stina Lill, a dedicated student and cover girl at Mindful Pilates, Hong Kong