My Movement: How Pilates Transformed My Self Confidence

We chat to our favourite fitness fans about the movement that motivates them

This month, pilates instructor and physical therapist Audrey O’Connor tells us all about her love for pilates, and how it changed her life. 

Were you always into fitness?

Honestly no, I dreaded P.E. in school and I found it really hard to connect with a fitness practice that I liked. Like so many teenage girls, I was so self conscious, and felt growing up if you were not good at football or basketball you were neither fit nor sporty. This all changed when I discovered Pilates in my 20s.

How did you first find Pilates?

I was a quantity surveyor in Toronto. It was a high stress environment and I felt burnt out. Something had to give, and for me it was my lower back! My physio recommended Pilates and I’ve never looked back. It became an integral part of my lifestyle. It helped alleviate my back I could see and feel myself get stronger and my self confidence grow. I felt a calling to return to study and immerse myself in the science of movement.

What do you love most about Pilates?

I love how Pilates connects movement to the breath, to allow you to focus your awareness into your body and out of the busy mind. When you move, the attention is there for you to strengthen, mobilise, connect with your core, and simply be in your body. Pilates is a practice that allows for consistent progression regardless of your level or experience.

Do you think there are any misconceptions about Pilates?

“Pilates is just stretching”. I can assure you Pilates is definitely more than that. It’s all about building strength, and finding alignment in your body. I incorporate equipment like dumbbells, resistance bands, and a chair into my CoreStateHQ Pilates classes.

You connect not only with the larger muscle groups like the glutes and biceps but also those little muscles you never knew existed. You definitely feel a Pilates class the next day. Pilates is also not just for rehabilitation, ironically for me. It’s about looking after your body, your overall well being, and by extension your mind and soul.

What is your advice for people looking to get into Pilates?

Start with the foundations and build your way up. Learn to connect with your core, your pelvic floor, your breath, and find a teacher that you like. Connection is key for me and my clients online at CoreStateHQ, making it a personalised experience and tailoring the practice to the client’s expectation.

Be patient. They say with Pilates it takes 4 weeks to feel it in your body, 8 weeks for people to notice the change, and 12 weeks to see and feel the positive effects on your body.

Why is movement important to you?

My health is my wealth. When I’m in consistent movement practice it helps me not only reach my potential on the mat, but off the mat too. Movement trickles into every other part of my life and I feel so much more grounded in my body.

How do you like to relax when you’re not doing Pilates?

I light a few candles and I play my Crystal Alchemy bowls. I trained with Susy Markoe Schieffel in in LA and these bowls bring me so much release. They work at different frequencies to regulate my nervous system, helping me to move from a state of doing into a state of being.


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