I have been participating in MarchMATness challenge this month. I haven’t missed a day. Matwork got me started with Pilates. I  went to a class with my mom when I was in high school. I fell in love instantly. It actually took me a while to be convinced about the amazingness of the Chair and Reformer. I was really loyal to my Matwork. I now understand why they are all wonderful. But Mat was where it all began for me. This month has been nothing short of fun. Returning to things I haven’t done in a while, mostly because I was pregnant.

Yesterday’s challenge, The Hip Twist, humbled me a bit. I was really struggling to do it on the mat. My shoulders are so tight. Lately, the rounded over nursing position has been taking its tole on me. 6 months baby! Not to mention the 39 weeks of pregnancy before that.

My core is not exactly where it used to be. It is getting there. It is close, but I still have some rebuilding to do. I was 3 years post baby before I got pregnant with Alexander. I had THREE years of rebuilding under my belt. I was at my strongest. Now, I only have 6 months, so I must cut myself a little slack.

I have been running for nearly 10 years. I can actually recall when I started getting into it. Not the exact date, but the timeframe. In a month or two it will be 10 years. I wasn’t as hardcore into it as I am now when I began. I do know, if you run, you’re a runner. It doesn’t matter how, when, where, you do it. If you move your body into a run, you’re a runner. With that though comes tight hipflexors for me. I stretch them, but my hips are just in their own world. I also am still recovering from the separated pelvis my lovely last born gave me. It doesn’t bother me too much, but I can tell there are imbalances at times.

All of that together, The Hip Twist is a challenge for me. I was getting so frustrated. Then I thought about doing The Teaser on my WundaChair. Surely, I could turn this into a Hip Twist modification.


I did. It worked so much better for me. I wasn’t pulling into my shoulders. I wasn’t holding my breath. I wasn’t straining my arms, trying to figure out how to get them to stretch behind me the way I wanted them. I could move my hips in small circles while keeping my low belly pulled in and engaged. It worked! I added two medium springs, for support. I wasn’t looking to press the pedal down. Although, with time I could see turning this into a whole little series. Teaser into Hip Twists! Food for thought for the next coming weeks for me.

That is what I love about Pilates. In one moment I can make a small change that will entirely challenge me in a new way. I can make myself shake just by changing a spring. At the same time, adding a spring can mean added support and assistance when I need it. There is no shame in modification. You must continually work to perfect your form. You cannot perfect your form if you are flat out struggling to even move in the slightest amount. It is better to work gradually towards building your strength, balance, and control, rather than trying to muscle through something with your shoulders in your ears and your belly popping out.

When I was all done with my modified Hip Twists I hopped off my chair. I walked around to the other end. My back facing the pedal. I rolled down, walked my hands out in front of me. I brought my feet onto the pedal. I then did 15 pushups without blinking. So while my Hip Twists may be a work in progress, my pushups are on point. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Pilates can help to highlight the former and correct the latter.