April 12, 2024

How Christina found her flow again

Our new series, ‘Begin with Pilates’, is here to help you enter your pilates era with confidence. We chat with our Pilates trainer Christina about how she’s found her flow again now that she’s a mum. 

You’re a mum of two beautiful boys, has pregnancy and motherhood changed your relationship with exercise?

The way I think and feel about movement has changed immensely since having little ones – mostly because I view my body so differently now. When I look at my children, and I see my features reflected in them, it truly makes me wonder why I ever wanted to make my body look different. It’s made me see that my body is perfect and always has been, and if there’s not a thing I’d ever change about the way my children look, why shouldn’t I have the same approach for myself? Exercise is no longer simply a means to a smaller body, but rather, a true celebration of my bodies adaptability, of its strength and power, it’s capacity to grow and stretch. I move with a much higher purpose now, to show my children that our bodies are more than how they look, and that movement can have a profound impact on your quality of life. 

You’ve learnt to rebuild your strength, twice now! What advice do you have for anyone ready to return to exercise?

Coming back to movement can be so daunting, so coming in with realistic expectations is so important. The mistake I’ve made in the past is to compare myself to how fit and strong I used to be, and not honouring the place my body is in right now. Making sure that you start small and build slowly is going to help you stay motivated and hopefully avoid feeling disheartened by any changes in your strength or fitness level. It’s also so helpful to find a movement modality that you genuinely enjoy! That might mean returning to something that you’re really good at and have loved in the past, or it might mean trying something totally new. Either way, setting yourself an intention to use movement as something to enjoy, rather than something to punish your body with, will make the journey back to movement a beautiful one. 

We can often compare ourselves to our previous fitness levels, what are your tips to be remain present?

I think the way we perceive our bodies in the fitness space has a lot to do with how we deal with self comparison. The more toxic side of the industry might lead you to believe your body should run like a machine – focusing on numbers, intense regimes and “challenges”, and an all or nothing approach. The reality is that our bodies are not machines, they are living organisms that are constantly in flux, changing on a cellular level all the time. If we can think of our bodies as an environment, something that has seasons, that is malleable and adaptable, it makes it easier for us to meet ourselves where we are, rather than where we were. 

What advice do you have for beginners who want to try Pilates but feel intimidated?

I think it’s important to remember, especially if you’re heading into a Pilates class, that everyone there has been a beginner, just like you. That being said, if the in person classes, or simply the look of some of the big fancy Pilates moves are making you feel overwhelmed, our beginner series on the Kic app is such a beautiful and supportive way to give Pilates a try from the privacy of your own home, and will you give a solid foundation to build on. Feeling safe and held in your body when starting something new is really important, the beginner series has been designed to do just that. 

What are the most common barriers you see that hold people back from Pilates?

I think the biggest one is that people feel they need to already be at a certain strength or mobility level to participate – when honestly that couldn’t be further from the truth! The whole purpose of a Pilates practice is to build strength and stamina, and of all the movement styles I’ve tried, it’s the one that’s most supportive of beginners, where the foundational movements are even more important than the  big flashy ones. There’s also heaps of variations to every Pilates movement, making it, in my opinion, one of the most accessible movement modalities. 

Do I have to look a certain way to do Pilates?

Absolutely not. Pilates is for every body, and every body can be a Pilates body. Your size and shape has exactly zero to do with how you move and your capacity to create a Pilates practice.