The senior population will most likely begin their Pilates journey with their movement being significantly compromised, and a fair degree of skepticism that their situation can be improved. This may be especially true if they have never been sports-oriented, let alone ever been a “gym rat”. Nevertheless, it is important for the Pilates teacher to work with those who have not lost all vestiges of hope, and who are ready to dedicate themselves to practicing their Pilates exercises. Likewise, the Pilates teacher needs to be endlessly patient and cognizant that this population is not aspiring ballet dancers or Cirque de Soleil performers, but they do crave movement and the tiniest increases in strength and mobility are huge victories. These tiny victories need to be celebrated; all human beings respond better to teachers of any discipline who are authentically encouraging and celebratory of progress. It takes fortitude and courage for the senior Pilates client to go the distance, and the teacher who believes that the end goal is attainable is an essential part of the process.
The miraculous part of this kind of Pilates journey is that over time, the victories, hardly perceptible at first, begin to mount up, providing the impetus and opening to be more adventurous in physical activities undertaken, perhaps in ways never imagined. And as the clock gets turned back in any individual’s aging process, it is both a source of joy and a realization that life can be lived forward again.
And why do I believe this passionately? I have lived every moment of this journey which is why I know why the seemingly impossible can indeed be attainable.
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