Pilates and my Stiff Neck

This is the story of how I happened onto Pilates in the first place, and you’d think that it would actually be as titled above, first and foremost because I had developed a stiff, tense neck.
But, no.

As a working actress I had been cast in a new play. When I saw my costume I was terrified. Baring my arms and midriff in tight black vinyl was surely going to challenge my confidence on stage, so a friend suggested I abandon my Tae-Bo videos and check out a Pilates class.
Ok, it’s like yoga right?
Uhm, no.

I enrolled in a 6 week Beginning Mat class and did my homework exercises every day. I am very diligent student and at first we were given just 5 exercises which took almost no time at all to complete. I soon discovered that I really liked this Pilates stuff. It was fun, challenging and I even made some new friends in my class. After our initial 6 weeks we were told we could move to the next level class: Intermediate.

Meanwhile, back to my stiff neck…
A friend referred me to her Chiropractor and I had been going as much as I could given that his office was about a 45 minute drive from my house. It made me nervous when he would “adjust” my neck and although I did feel better afterwards, my mind kept speaking in a tiny voice that this couldn’t possibly be the answer. I’d started my Pilates classes and after a few weeks passed I suddenly realized that my neck felt much better. I was starting to make the connection between better posture and the relief I felt in my neck, well my whole back really.

The Pilates exercises were something that I could do to help myself.
It felt vigorous, elegant and strong instead of awkward and scary like the chiropractic treatments. I was in my mid late-twenties at the time and didn’t want to feel like an invalid that needed to be ‘fixed.’ I loved Pilates for putting me charge of how my body felt every day. I learned that I could do something about my neck stiffness and maintain it – who’d have thought?
I love Pilates for empowering me to care for my body.

Thank you to Andrea Maida, Pilates studio owner, Pilates Instructor, and Pilates Blogger at Pilates Andrea in Solana Beach, California.

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