Start with acceptance to move forward productively.

Let me start by sharing what acceptance is not so that you’re more open to the idea. Acceptance is not a label or prediction of your future. It is simply the present state and your willingness to accept it as is rather than struggle against it.

Why now?

The concept resonates with me now more than ever. It rang clear a few weeks ago when I had another client ask me for tips to “shrink” just one part of her body.

The question also came on the heels of a related conversation with another Pilates Teacher about requests for “spot toning” to achieve a certain look. Better tone of a specific area is achievable with a consistent Pilates practice. If taken to the extreme, the result might be an imbalance that eventually causes mobility issues and/or pain. Shrinking however, requires a calorie deficit which generally is not achieved through exercise alone and cannot be done in spot form.

With that said, what I realized in having these different conversations is that I was really addressing was a need for acceptance.

Body Type

We all have a body type that gives us shape and makes us unique and special. Loving everything about your body type is often a struggle. What rang clear for me a few weeks ago is that struggle can last a lifetime and that it can be really detrimental to self esteem.

Acknowledge your body type before you head to the studio or gym so that you set your mind to working productively with what you have rather than struggling to change the parts that you cannot radically change. If you can’t do it, double click on your why.

When we double click on a link we get a better explanation and if we keep clicking, the answers become increasingly clear. Metaphorically double click until you understand for yourself, why you don’t like that one part of your body and what changing it really means to you. 

Mobility

It’s hard to accept changes in mobility whether age related or temporary due to an injury or life event. With the rise of longevity research, people seem to be struggling even more to accept mobility changes.

In the studio and gym it translates to people prioritizing the “burn” over form. Unfortunately, the body compensates for a limited range of mobility by using and in some cases straining another part of the body when pushed too far or too hard. The outcome isn’t good because the work needed to restore mobility doesn’t get done.

As a Certified Pilates Teacher, here are my tips if you’re noticing age related changes or you’ve been sidelined with an injury or life event:

1/ Accept what is and work with the mobility limit to heal your body.

2/ Do the needed work and trust that with a consistent practice your mobility will improve.

3/ Give your body the necessary time to restore your full mobility. As a general rule of thumb, the older you are, the longer it takes to heal.

Radical Acceptance

It seems like everything has to be radical now to be worthy of our attention. What I think is radical is to be less radical in your approach and to be more patient and accepting of yourself.

If you’ve been struggling against a “gravity problem” which is simply something that you cannot change, stop the struggle and change your approach. Start with acceptance. Acceptance helps you see the issue or roadblock for what it is, so that you can chart a new path forward.

 

Shannon Smith Living | Services & Resources
Pilates & | Balanced Body Pilates Mat Classes

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Mind & Body Self-Care Workshop - July 20th

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