Why everyone over 40 should do pilates and how to start

Are you eager to prolong the strength and flexibility of your body and live your best life for many years to come… Yes? Well Pilates is for you and in this article with Romanas Pilates Expert, Kirstin Ferrie we’re going to share why everyone over 40 should do pilates and how to start.

If you have never had an introduction to Pilates, it’s never too late to start! With an increasingly ageing population and so many of us determined to live longer and stronger than ever before, strength and conditioning habits like Pilates, are high on our daily agendas and are a big reason why everyone over 40 should do pilated. With the additional holistic benefits of breath work and mindfulness, Pilates is a fabulous way to increase fitness, protect ourselves from injury, maintain flexibility and prolong the lifetime of the things we enjoy most; whether that’s intense sport, staying active with the family or simply enjoying optimum core strength and good posture. 

As our bodies age, we’re more prone to; weight gain, muscle loss, and stiffening up in our joints. Pilates is a fabulous way to combat all of these. With the use of the springs and our own body it is the perfect form of exercise to do after 40. For women as our oestrogen levels decrease we need to this type of exercise to keep our joints and bone density healthy. Pilates makes everything else we do easier so for those still wanting to continue contact or impact sports this method is a must after 40.

Romanas Pilates is the classical method of Pilates, named after Romana Kryranoskwa, who took over running the original studio after Joseph Pilates’ death. The Pilates method is based around reshaping and strengthening the body, strengthening the core, realigning the body and posture and improving flexibility, without stressing the joints. It’s all about strength, stretch and control.

If you’re just starting out on your Pilates journey there are some great habits to consider and get you started:

Fresh air and breath work

If I had to pick one exercise from Pilates mat work, one that ticks all the boxes is ‘Hundreds’ – this exercise focuses on breath, strength and gets circulation pumping. Joe (Pilates) always said to get out and get some fresh air.

Listen to your body

You know your body better than anyone, listen to it. More often than not you’re right. If you are tired, rest. If you know you’re just feeling lazy, a short walk in the fresh air will get all your endorphins going and you’ll probably find yourself more motivated as a result. Allowing yourself to feel is really important and we encourage that within Pilates. We cannot separate ourselves out, so whilst we might think the main aim of our work is physical, the emotional and mental benefits will be evident too. If it feels good and right it will always be beautiful. 

over 40 should do pilates

Find a recommended instructor

One of my personal aims is to establish a centre of excellence in the North, because when Pilates is taught properly, it can be life changing. I want to invest in instructors so that many more people can access Pilates in its purest form. You should have complete confidence in your instructor!  Romana’s Pilates has a network of teachers around the globe, as do other classical schools. When searching for teachers and studios in your area, the main things to look out for are class sizes; they should always be small. Ask where the teachers are trained and how long this took them. On average a fully qualified teacher will have been actively in a program for at least 18months, but most are over 2 years. If you are going for an injury, make sure the teacher has experience with this and you are confident. Pilates should always be safe, other than normal muscle working feeling you should never ever feel pain. A matwork class is not suitable for most injuries, you need to be seen privately first before joining a class. Any good teacher will welcome your questions, I am always happy to answer or help someone and quite often get DM’s to our Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/purepilatesilkley ) asking for advice both from clients looking for a teacher or from people starting their journey to become a teacher.

Keep moving

You just can’t beat really simple Pilates mat work done well – if you just did the basic seven exercises, you are definitely going to release endorphins, work out and stand up off that mat with beautiful posture, standing tall and feeling confident. 

Be prepared to throw yourself in

Pilates classes can become your community. It’s not surprising to find yourself laughing and crying in a class, because Pilates is a deep and meaningful exercise, connecting your heart, mind and body; therefore strong bonds are developed and friendships formed. The more you are prepared to invest in yourself and your journey, the more you’ll benefit from a healthy body, a happy heart, and a mind at peace,

over 40 should do pilates

Consider food and nutrition

If I eat well and fuel my body properly, I feel better. Putting the good stuff in means feeling better in every sense. Taking the time to cook and enjoy food, rather than it being a purely functional exercise or eating ‘on the go’ benefits my overall wellbeing too, so that the hard work I’m putting into Pilates is reflected in every part of my life.  

Pilates has the power to restore us to ourselves. Pilates can provide us with an holistic rhythm for life, positively impacting every part of our lives; emotionally, physically, mentally and even socially as our body confidence soars. 

Pilates has taught me that the best way of living is holistic living and I like to think that, when we look after ourselves and one another we all stand to gain.

Romanas Pilates Expert, Kirstin Ferrie, 42 is a passionate Pilates Instructor and the Founder of Pure Pilates, having herself followed a robust journey of training and development having travelled worldwide to learn from the very best; Kirstin is Romanas Pilates trained, following in the footsteps of the creator of Pilates, Joseph Pilates. With over 20 years experience, having taught Pilates around the world she has a long list of impressive clients including well-known names from the worlds of sports and dance, celebrities and royalty. Kirstin is passionate about highlighting the true power of strength-based Pilates for mind, body and soul, working with strength, control and stretch techniques, which ultimately give her clients renewed confidence and agility. To find out more about Kirstin please visit her website or connect with her on Instagram. 

Difficult mother? Here’s how to heal your mother wound

It’s no secret that many of us have a difficult mother. The thing is – growing up with a difficult mother is not something you manage to just leave behind when you enter adulthood. It’s a burden you carry with you throughout your adult life. Whether you have a needy, co-dependent mother, a controlling mother, a narcissistic mother, a jealous mother, or an emotionally unavailable mother. The mother wound is a very real phenomenon which can spill over into every thread of our being, the way we live our lives, the decisions we make, and how we conduct our relationships.

So for everyone out there who has a difficult mother in their life, here Charlotte Pardy, The Meditative Counsellor – an award-winning psychotherapist who specialises in working with women who have difficult mothers – shares her tips for healing your mother wound.

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Dear Daughter of a difficult mother,

Mother wounds can happen for a lot of reasons, mum may be depressed, bereaved, traumatised, addicted, have mental health issues, or a difficult relationship with her own mother that’s never been resolved.

It’s this difficult relationship caused by her emotional absence that is often at the heart of a mother wound, because the criticising, controlling and at times competitive behaviour takes its toll on you.

You’re just too sensitive.

I never said that.

I’m only trying to help.

This is for your own good.

I wouldn’t do it like that if I were you.

That’s nice, but everyone loves my…

Comments like these undermine your confidence and self-worth, they may drive you towards perfectionism and people pleasing, you may struggle at work and in relationships, you may even worry about passing it on.

I see it so often where women hide their mother wound and try to take it to the grave, they often feel ashamed of not getting on with mum, that there’s something wrong with them, but it’s just not true.

Culturally we tend to put mothers on a pedestal, they can do no wrong, and they always try to do their best, but it’s a fantasy.

Mothers are just as flawed as anyone else

The more we brush it under the carpet the more we allow our mother wounds to thrive, because it stops them, and us from seeking help.

Shame keeps us stuck in the pain and hurt, and it’s time we brought the problem into the light.

You see this hidden hurt can leave us dissatisfied with life, feeling like we can’t achieve our dreams, and by the time we hit our 40s, like it’s too late to change things.

Yet there are women I see in their 60s and 70s who are filled with regret that didn’t do something sooner, especially now they are feeling so much better.

The truth is it’s never too late, you just need the right help and support.

Many women wonder if they can do anything if mum has passed, they often feel left with their mother wound unresolved. I want you to know that healing is possible regardless of if you have contact with mum, are no contact, or even if she is no longer with us.

Acknowledging and dealing with the issues allows us to break the cycle that often goes back generations, meaning we don’t have to hold onto the pain or pass it on to our family.

It takes courage to face the fear, shame and hurt we have been through, it takes faith to know we can come out the other side feeling calmer, more confident, and happier in ourselves.

So, if you are ready to step up and not carry the burden what can you do?

Here are five simple proven strategies I use with clients in my practice.

  1. Recognise that you are feeling shame. You can tell the difference between guilt and shame by asking the question: Can I fix this? If it is guilt the answer is yes, if no, then you are feeling shame. Shame doesn’t belong to you, it has been given to you so give yourself permission to feel shameless.
  2. Understand that you can only fix you. It can be hard to know that we can’t help mum, that if she wants help, she needs to reach out for it. Know that by going through the process yourself that you are showing her it’s possible.
  3. Find your internal compass. If your value and self-worth are always dependant on mum or others you will always be at the mercy of their moods. Find other ways to value yourself such as measuring yourself against virtues or principles you aspire to.
  4. Stop pretending. It’s ok to not be ok is a phrase we hear often, but we also need to stop pretending things are fine when they are not. You’ve probably lived a lot of your life being what you think others want to see, now is the time to put down the mask and be real.
  5. Learn to love yourself. Just because mum struggled to show you the love and care you needed doesn’t make you unlovable. All it means is she couldn’t show you. Let yourself listen to and take onboard compliments, love, and affection not only from others but also from yourself. I promise you, you won’t get ‘too big for your boots’ but you will start to develop your self-esteem.

Healing your mother wound can feel daunting but know you are not alone, there are thousands of us out there.

The five strategies will help you to shake off the shame and start to invest in your self-worth.

Do you have a difficult mother in your life? Are you longong to heal your mother wound? Leave a comment below and share your experience and connect with our community on Instagram here.

Leaf photo created by rawpixel.com – www.freepik.com

I tried naked yoga and here’s what happened

It seems that being naked is having a bit of a moment. From naked yoga, to the rebirth of the nudist beach as well as influencers baring all on Instagram, slowly being naked is starting to not only be something you do whilst in the bath.

I actually grew up in a household where being naked wasn’t a big deal. As weird as it was being confronted with my mum’s drooping boobs and catching sight of my dad’s penis aged 8 on a daily basis, I actually have a lot to thank my parents for. Being naked in front of me was probably one of the best things they ever did for me in terms of my body image and self-acceptance. Thanks to them I never felt that weird about being naked, even in front of other people. I continued this trend in our house, even to this day.

But even still, when The Naked Yoga Effect by Doria Gani landed in my hands, my daughter part-balked and part-sniggered at me with disbelief that I was entertaining the idea of doing yoga…..naked.

What’s the big deal – I thought – doing naked yoga in my own home? I wondered whether doing yoga naked could really feel that different. After all, a sun salutation is a sun salutation, naked or not…..or is it?

The Naked Yoga Effect

Doria Gani wrote The Naked Yoga effect having overcome a critical illness (cancer), having experienced first hand the liberating effects of practising yoga naked. It was the day after my dad had told me that he had a mutation in his BRCA1 gene widely known to be a cause of various cancers including breast cancer. I had a fifty percent chance of having inherited the gene and would also need to be tested. I was feeling ill at ease in myself having already had to have my entire thyroid removed due to the existence of pre-cancerous cells over a decade ago. I needed to feel free from the mental prison I was currently trapped in.

My experience of naked yoga

And so I grabbed my copy of The Naked Yoga effect, and flipped over to The Beginner’s Yoga Guide. I stripped off all my clothes there and then with purpose – relishing in the moment. That act alone felt so unbelievably freeing.

I instantly felt the difference as I moved through the sun salutation sequences. It felt amazing to not have a single piece of material on my body – feeling the gentle air against my skin. I felt more in tune with my body – and indeed myself – during a yoga practice than I had ever been.

I didn’t mind seeing my breasts swinging down underneath me, or seeing the folds of my tummy from my vantage point. For I was doing something mighty and I could see every single bit of it – every single movement and muscle working away without anything blocking my view.

I think part of the reason naked yoga feels so empowering is that you are doing something you might ordinarily do, in a way you wouldn’t ordinarily do it. So it’s not something completely new and hairy scary, but the fact that you are doing it completely bare makes you incredibly aware and mindful of everything. It also puts you gently out of your comfort zone. It’s a beautiful feeling! Just you, and yoga without any barriers, annoying bits of material or limitations. I honestly never realised that being naked could be such an inspiring and positive act.

Is naked yoga for you?

If you want to feel more comfortable in your skin, practice self-kindness, reconnect with yourself after some form of personal struggle, feel stronger and more confident, more positive or be more mindful that take off your clothes, and get on your yoga matt….because you’ve got nothing to lose apart from the clothes you are wearing.

What’s next?

I loved the feeling of having this special, private practice all to myself. Would I do it in a group class? Well, never say never, but for now, I’m happy to practice naked yoga just by myself. Just me, my body, and I.

Do you think you could give naked yoga a try? Do leave a comment below and connect with us on Instagram here to keep the conversation going.