Hi everyone! I’m Andy, and this is my Pilates story.
Pilates really transformed my body completely even though I started practicing frequently for not even two years, but I’m having and carrying a totally different body right now.
I have been a student for a very long time. Since middle school all the way to grad school, prolonged sitting several hours a day has been a very common situation throughout the whole 15 years, and I believe that applies to many of you. With that intense amount of sitting, I started noticing tension in my neck and shoulder region, but that didn’t really cause any symptoms or issue with me. I just feel like it’s a normal situation everybody is having. But then I started having some shoulder pain probably a few years ago without any specific injury, and there was not any specific motion causing the shoulder pain. And me being a PT myself was trying to figure it out, and even saw some friends to help me figure out what’s going on, but then nothing was really working. I tried some stretches that was able to relieve the symptoms a little bit and also improve the mobility a bit, but then I was still feeling some nagging shoulder pain coming and going. I just didn’t know what was actually causing them.
Until about two years ago, I started doing Pilates. Within one session, I feel like I was growing taller even though I was already in my late twenties… (Getting two more inches in height late twenties?? Nobody ever heard of that!!) I feel like I was growing taller, and the world looked different. I feel like I can look further away for some reason. One of my patients during that time said “why don’t you measure yourself??” (which I did) And that indeed was two inches different in height per measurement. Also, a few months ago from my trip back home for Chinese New Year, everybody in my family did say that I look different, I definitely look taller, totally validating my body transformation, and that’s really fascinating.
I also noticed I’m not carrying that much of tension in my neck and shoulders anymore. I was in the prolonged sitting situation for too long for several years, so that already became a habit and internalized without me even noticing that, which I know applies to many of you guys. But then after practicing Pilates, I don’t really have a lot of tension anymore, and also my shoulders are not really bothering me anymore. Occasionally, I might start to feel some soreness happening if I was sitting for a little bit longer period of time making videos or something, but I do know what exercise in Pilates that I can help myself to relieve those symptoms and so that’s never an issue to me anymore.
So that’s how Pilates helped me get a better body, which really prompted me to eventually become a Pilates instructor, as I think this method is fascinating and I want everybody else to experience this. I know that nowadays everybody is having very similar issues. If you are a student, you are probably sitting for a very long period of time. I like to work with musicians, and a lot of musicians need to sit for several hours a day as well playing gigs or practicing, which could easily cause very similar symptoms and problems. If you ride a bike to commute, you’re obviously sitting on the bike seat, and you also need to reach forward to the handlebars in that position, which is very easy to cause shoulder and neck issues, and a lot of tension with that. I was living in New York in my previous job. For New Yorkers, if you need to commute to and from work, from Queens to Brooklyn for example, that’s easily a one-hour subway ride with prolonged sitting if you are fortunate enough to have a seat. If you are in standing but reading the newspaper or watching anything on your phone, you would easily move yourself into a very slouched position for one hour one way. So these different scenarios just gave you examples that nowadays we are very easy to move into the slouched position, and that would cause a lot of neck and shoulder issues.
So I know that that’s definitely a big problem that I was able to solve and that prompt me to become a Pilates instructor myself. I couldn’t complete a hundred at all when I started the teacher training, but then throughout the whole training I was able to build up my endurance and muscle strength much better, like the other videos you are seeing me doing – hanging pull-ups, the snake and twist and things like that. Those were totally impossible when I was starting my teacher training.
Joseph Pilates said that there’s always a method behind the madness, and that’s definitely true. There is a system and as long as you’re putting to the work, take baby steps each time and then make a little progress, eventually you will get there and then achieve amazing things. So that’s totally true and after six months of Pilates teacher training definitely got a lot of new tools in my belt. I feel like I was able to treat my patients better because I was able to see their bodies from a more holistic point of view, to see how their entire body structure looks like instead of what we learned in PT school is trying to be very specific to pinpoint the problem. I learned how to look at the whole body at the same time to address the problem as the entire body. So that’s definitely very different.
It was also because of the community and the accountability I got that helped me to get through the entire teacher training process, the whole six months of training and hundreds of hours of practicing. It was totally because of the instructors, the cohort I was having to practice together and then which helped me to commit into putting to more work and so that’s the reason why I am Who I am today. And the reason why I wanted to become a Pilates instructor, and serve more people is that I know if I can do it and experience a total body transformation, I know that every one of you can achieve that as well. So I definitely want to serve you, and I want to provide the accountability, the support and then give you the encouragement so that you know that it’s possible for you to start your healing journey to get better, feel comfortable or to be stronger.
So, this is the message I’m going to share with you today–my Pilates journey, and I encourage you to take action, and start your journey as well.
Have a great day.
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