Interview with Juraj – An Iyengar Yoga Student practising Pilates

Name : Juraj
Age    : 34
Nationality : Slovak

What do you know about Pilates before you started class with me (Carol) ?

Growing up I had scoliosis as a child which improved throughout the time but I believe it made me more aware of my body posture in general. Besides that close family and friends would often tell me I should sit up or stand with my back straight which obviously made me think more about my natural alignment. This fact has always made me seek exercises or practices with the objective of improving this issue. While I started practicing yoga already years ago I continued having conversations about various types of exercise and its benefits for the body and mind. Pilates has been mentioned to me several times as an exercise which is particularly good for working on muscles in a controlled way as to teach body the most correct alignment. Even though one might try to pay attention to their body posture constantly, most of the time it is something we’re not directly aware of perhaps until we on our own or sometimes someone reminds us about the wrong alignment in which we might keep our bodies in. As time passes it might be our body that starts telling us something is not right due to pain or other discomfort or just lower energy levels. Body and mind are undoubtedly interconnected. Different friends talked to me about pilates as a great way to tackle this.

2) I understand that you are a regular student in Iyengar yoga. What were the benefits that you felt from The Breathing Pilates that was different from your regular Iyengar practice?

Yoga (in its various types) while practiced regularly and with the right attention is an amazing exercise which brings benefits to our body and mind and can let us achieve a great level of flexibility, increased balance and strength among other things. It is also a very complex exercise which I’ve always felt is great for me but I also felt complementing it with an exercise which would focus specifically on working on correct body alignment would enhance the overall result. Pilates uses a different set of exercises to focus on improving core strength and coordination while working on the relevant muscles and breathing for the benefit of the improvement in general body posture. In this way besides just being enjoyable, pilates is an excellent addition to my regular yoga practice whose focus is more general.

3) Did your posture get better after the breathing Pilates sessions? Can you share more?

While some of the exercises done during a pilates session may seem easier than others and some may even seem very subtle, I always felt a big boost of energy and an overall feeling of lightness in my body and in movements (which is the opposite of what I would usually feel after a regular gym session which would make me tired rather than anything). Being able to maintain correct body posture even while not paying attention to it is fundamental. Balanced body and the lightness it brings allows the mind to have more energy to focus on other things and it brings an overall feeling of peace and happiness. Pilates sessions with Carol had this wonderful effect on me. Now I only need to keep practicing more.

Interviewed by Carol