A Letter…

Woman pressing in on a magic circle with her hands

Written by Beth Sandlin

November 23, 2020

I think if you asked any of us where we would be right now, we wouldn’t have said, still managing COVID. Like so many of you, where I live we are back to more restrictions and so many Pilates studios are continuing to work remotely.

Bringing Pilates out of the studio and into your home has been one of the missions of Trifecta Pilates from the beginning. Joseph Pilates envisioned that everyone would move with Pilates out of their home, not just in a Pilates studio. This is why in 2011 I left the Pilates studio to bring Pilates to more people and taught on a college campus. 

The next step was offering Pilates online via YouTube. I started this in 2016 because I had a challenging time finding an online Pilates class I felt comfortable recommending to people. 

I was able to find beautiful Yoga classes, but Pilates was another story. The majority of the classes that came up for Pilates were push hard workouts, and to be honest a lot of times I felt like they missed the mark. Part of the Pilates system has always been meeting you where you’re at and exploring different options with the exercises. 

The Pilates system is also about so much more than the body. As I found workouts labeled, Pilates for Sexy Arms and Booty Lifting Pilates, I felt enraged. It may have been clever marketing, but I’m not here to make false promises… saying that only a workout will get you where you may want to be. I’m also not here to say that you are anything but beautiful with where you are right now. 

You see, we do things differently at Trifecta Pilates. I’m here to support you where you are. Even though challenging workouts can be beneficial, and I do teach these classes, sometimes you shouldn’t do a hard Pilates Workout. Instead try a restorative class, or maybe even focus on breathing exercises. This may not make me the most popular Pilates Channel on YouTube, but I’m unwilling to sacrifice the Pilates Method, my values, vision, and knowledge of both Pilates and health on this journey. 

Personally Pilates helped me recover from Cancer, two pregnancies, an invasive abdominal surgery and everyday life, which isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. 

I’ve moved with short and long workouts, most often in my home even when I exclusively taught in a Pilates studio. Why? Because I’m a mom and time with my family is important to me. And if my family is important to me, I knew my health had to be just as important so I can be here on my terms. I workout at home not because “I have to” but because it saves time, is as effective as going to the Pilates studio and is an example for my children. 

I’ve been frustrated with exercises, excited when I could finally do an exercise with more ease that felt elusive in the past and even cried on the mat. I’ve also been angry when I lost momentum with the method because real life is so real… 

  • When my dad died and I was home with two young children, managing loss, grief and depression. 
  • When my health was ripped away from me and I couldn’t move. I couldn’t do a push up, let alone roll over in bed without pain.
  • When the nurses congratulated me for walking around the entire floor, when the week before I was doing the advanced level work and running. 

Oh yes, I live a real life with ups and downs too. 

When all of this happened, there weren’t a lot of teachers teaching the method as restorative (beyond the body restorative). And if they were, they were teaching in the studio, which was not accessible to me. I really struggled to find my way back to Pilates. And wow, I found out it’s so hard… in the best way. I began with the Foundations and stayed there a long time before progressing. What you see me do now, that was far out of reach then. 

And with all of this, I’m here to say that Pilates is not about one exercise or the Level 3 classes. It’s about helping you feel good about yourself on and off the mat. It’s about feeling good as you age. Let Pilates meet you where you are, at home and with the class that’s best for you each day. 

If you want a promise of a better body, I’m not your teacher. It’s not that people who move with me haven’t experienced this and that my body hasn’t changed because of Pilates, but there’s so much more. A better body is ALWAYS about what’s trending now. When I first started Pilates it was rail thin bodies and big boobs. Somewhere along the way a thigh gap came and went, and now it’s about curves and a big booty.

I’m here to say BS and stop. Just stop. Some people are naturally thin and try their damndest to gain more muscle and weight. Others genetically have more curves and a bigger body. I’m tired of the media saying you are not enough, you are enough.

You have always been enough.

And if this means the workouts on YouTube aren’t as popular and not as many people join the Trifecta Pilates Membership, so be it. 

I will not say you have to look like someone else in order to be healthy or happy. Let’s also take into account the body is a reflection of workouts, nutrition, sleep, stress levels, genetics, medication and so many other factors besides a dedicated workout routine. 

If you’ve been lured to Pilates because of a better body, you may think now what?

If you ask me the power of Pilates, it’s that you feel in control of the exercises that you move with, and this can take time. It’s staying with it to find flow so you have fun along the way. And most importantly, it’s taking your practice off the mat, to step fully into your life.

* Move with Pilates to have a kickass workout or a workout that is not. 
* Move with Pilates because it feels good and it’s good for your whole being, not just your body. 
* Give norms the big middle finger.
*Find joy.

And most importantly, find you along the way. 

With all the love, support, connection, health and happiness I can offer, 

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