Finding my way back to ME through Pilates

When Jana reached out to me this spring from Lead with two lines from Olivia Newton-John’s infamous hit song – “Let’s get physical! Let me hear your body talk!” – my answer was a resounding YES!! The proposition was an introduction to Pilates through private sessions with Jana herself and, as someone who has been wanting to dip their toe in the Pilates pool with very little idea of where to begin, this seemed like a perfect way to start learning! Little did I know Jana had a master plan in mind…

To give some background, I have been a steady client of the “Health” side of things over at Lead since May 2017 when I was first introduced to myofascial release as a form of massage therapy. At that time, I had been living with all kinds of aches and pains and chalking them up to “the new norm” of my body but, deep down, I knew that my body was not running at its best. Regular massage appointments eventually branched into coordinating treatments with the chiropractor and physiotherapist too and, truth be told, I heavily relied on my health team at Lead to keep me in functional form.

Enter Jana’s idea to start incorporating a physical component to the regimen which would complement the treatments on the health side, show us exactly where my weak points were, and help me regain the strength and mobility I had lost to various life events, such as pregnancy, surgery and injury.

Working with Jana was an experience like no other. I can’t even begin to fathom the amount of knowledge she can store in her brain and recall at a moment’s notice. I’m can’t even remember what I ate for supper last night! She tailored all of our Tuesday morning sessions to cater to the needs of my body and was able to connect so many dots for the cause and effect of why I was experiencing the aches or pains I was feeling. This often resulted in switching things up mid-session because her plan and my body were on different pages, which was fascinating to watch her play detective and effortlessly switch gears as the lightbulb went off – A-HA! – and the connection was made as to why my body was moving the way it was.

I promised Jana in our first session that I would own any pain I was feeling and use it as a tool to discover a root cause and a solution. The physical component of Pilates is very much aligned with a cognizant mental aspect. This realization ultimately spilled over into my daily life as I began carrying my body differently, performing regular tasks while paying acute attention to what “levers” (Jana’s favourite word for limbs) I’m using and how much – or how little – exertion is required to ensure the least amount of stress on my body. Now it’s become second nature to move through the world in a way that takes into account my areas of strengths and weaknesses without that clunky “Tin Man” feeling I was becoming so accustomed to. When I now have any aches or pains, I can almost always determine what my body is trying to tell me. I’ve become a Pilates queen and I think my health team might miss me a little bit because I’m not longer a weekly fixture in their offices!

I gained so many valuable tools through my sessions with Jana and I couldn’t be more thankful for the guidance in finding my way back to ME, both physically and mentally.

Mandy G