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Exercise with Heart

Be completely honest right now and ask yourself…
‘Am I exercising because it makes me feel amazing?
Or I am doing it because I hate something about my body and want to change it?’.

There is a huge difference!

When I was a teenager, I practised Ballet 5 nights a week after School and used to smash my body in preparation for performances. I’d feel guilty about eating a chocolate bar (but I ate it anyway) and would work a little harder in class to work it off. Looking back, I definitely didn’t need to feel guilty about anything. I absolutely loved Ballet- the way it made me feel & how I could express myself through movement and get fit at the same time. After completing School and starting a full time job, I had to cut down on my Dancing. I joined a gym and attended whatever classes I could get to, but absolutely hated it. I noticed my body changing and I just wanted to work off my jiggly thighs and tone up my butt. After a few months of being miserable with my body & smashing it in the worst ways, I set out on a mission to find some form of exercise that I could enjoy again.

I then discovered Pilates: A slower paced class working the deep postural muscles, to create long & lean muscles (like a dancer). I realised there is always an Instructor walking around to help with your alignment and technique, which is a bonus when you have hyperextended knees and slight scoliosis.

So basically, Pilates would help me to tone up without the bulk & I would get to enjoy the technique side of it, like Ballet. Oh my goodness – YES! Exactly what I had been looking for. I started classes and attended a few times a week. I instantly noticed that my bulky thighs were becoming leaner, but still had their strength. I realised that you don’t need to always be using the heaviest weights or sweating profusely to tone up. I became a lot happier with the natural shape of my body and I no longer wanted to look like a gym junkie.
I was instantly hooked with Pilates! 

Now here I am, a Diploma qualified Pilates Instructor with my own Studio. I fell in love with Pilates so much that I made it my career and have never looked back. Now, i’m not telling you that you should go and Instruct whatever form of exercise you love doing- because Instructing & participating are much, much different. But to know how important it is to respect your body, to listen to what it likes and dislikes. To be grateful to be able to move, strengthen and stretch. To create the body of your dreams by doing something that lights you up, that you actually jump out of bed with excitement to go and do. Now thats what I call exercise. If it’s not done from the Heart, you’ll probably get over it in a few weeks and hate your body again.

Mix it up, do Pilates one day and go for a run the next. Become more mindful in your exercise regime and figure out what does/doesn’t work for you. Everyone is different, what works for you might not work for your bestie. Do what feels right for YOUR body and don’t look back. Well, you might want to look back- because your butt will look amazing!

Nikki X