Freedom and Pilates

Asphalt Road with 2021 on it in the forest, mountains on the right.

Written by Beth Sandlin

January 4, 2021

With the New Year the energy is charged with yearning for a much different experience compared to the whirlwind of 2020. And since I’ve been around a while at this point in my life, I have been through the fads of setting resolutions, intentions, goals, and now it seems the trend is to set a word as a theme for year. 

Well, I’ll hop on that since words are powerful. Personally and professional, the word that resonates this year is Freedom. The more I think about this word, the more layered it gets. 

People crave freedom. Time freedom, money freedom, freedom in the body, the list goes on. And for freedom to take off, and not feel overwhelming, there’s a lot of structure, systems and understanding that needs to occur for freedom to soar, otherwise you get trapped in your former patterns and habits.  


Moving with Pilates isn’t about doing the teaser perfectly, it’s about freedom you gain in your body. You can move with the method and in everyday life with more ease. You feel good, and if you’ve ever been in pain or had aches, you know how liberating it is to move and not feel discomfort in your body.

For freedom of movement it takes a consistent Pilates practice while moving with the classes and exercises that are best for you.  Sometimes this means taking a slice of humble pie and scaling WAY back, not necessarily by advancing to the more challenging exercises. This is because you’ll get the most benefits from Pilates by refining your technique, unwinding movement habits and slowly building new ones,


Take freedom out of the physical practice of Pilates to the human experience and so much of what people struggled with in 2020 were the restrictions and loss of freedom to move about their life on their terms, in their way. New considerations needed to be taken into account, even for the simple act of traveling to the grocery store. Whether people individually identified with 2020 as a traumatic year or not, it was a year riddled with chronic stress. 

And it’s important to keep in mind that experiencing trauma and chronic stress can automatically activate the same response in a person. This makes it more difficult to absorb and retain information, communicate, and basically use the thinking brain overall. 

So if last year felt heavy, exhausting or overwhelming, that was a normal response to trauma/chronic stress. Releasing that which you do not have power and control over, can be the most challenging lesson to learn. But once you do, it frees your energy to better serve you elsewhere. 


No matter your career, human interaction can be the most beautiful, and at times the most challenging, part of the job. When you’re managing a crisis, short term or long term, it can make it more difficult to hold space for others. 

As a Pilates Teacher, taking the opportunity to teach classes that help to connect the dots to not only the physical benefits of a consistent Pilates practice, but also the mental benefits is extremely helpful for clients to experience. For the people I work with, they credit Pilates to managing through the year and thriving, now that’s powerful!

As we embark on this New Year and it holds the optimism for change, let us not forget that although change can be liberating, it can be challenging as well. 

As you move forward, keep hold of your lessons learned, release that which no longer serves you, rely on your strong foundation AND have fun! Being committed to showing up to your Pilates practice, to life and to teach Pilates in a way that’s in alignment with what you need today and supports your future vision. 

I wish you well this year and far beyond!

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