I have always wanted to be one of those glowy-faced, green-juice-sipping, top-knot-wearing woman who move through life with long-limbed grace, oozing Zen from every pore. But I’m not. What I am is a high-energy, protein-shake-slugging, loud-music-blasting cycle instructor, runner, and fitness trainer who doesn’t feel accomplished unless I am breathless and dripping in sweat. So why would someone like me try the Pilates Anytime 10-Day Unravel Your Body Challenge With Niedra Gabriel?
Let me back-peddle a little to give you the bigger picture.
A few months ago, my go-big-or-go-home energy led to a nasty spill on my road bike and a broken collarbone. Two surgeries and several weeks later, I am finally easing back into my active lifestyle — and discovering that inactivity has left my usually limber body stiff and tight. But this challenge caught my eye — each of the 15- to 20-minute sessions promised to take up very little of my time, required minimal equipment, and could be done anytime I wanted in the comfort of my home. I figured I had nothing to lose, except hopefully some soreness. I grabbed my mat, a tennis ball, my foam roller, and hit play.
Ten days later, I’m sitting in lotus, lost in meditation, with a green juice by my side. OK, not really. But I do feel pretty darn good!
This challenge took my body on a 10-day journey — each day releasing tension in a different area, from hamstrings to hips, feet to face. (I’ve been told I suffer from resting bitch face, so that last one intrigued me.) The teacher, Niedra Gabriel, is a redheaded dynamo whose enthusiasm practically radiates through the screen. Appropriate for all skill levels, her instructions are easy to follow, and (although I was a little skeptical at first) by the fourth day I was actually looking forward to my sessions — mostly because I was feeling a difference. My hips felt looser while cycling, and my feet didn’t hurt after my morning run. I even started sleeping better, which may just be a happy coincidence, but I’ll take it!
The bottom line? It’s still a challenge for me to hit pause and prioritize recovery, but I for sure see myself incorporating the moves I learned from this challenge into my recovery days, because they positively affected the way I feel and perform.
Join the challenge at PilatesAnytime.com. Enter THEFINELINE at checkout for a free 30-day trial. The only thing you have to lose is tension.