At the start of 2019, I knew that I needed to focus on becoming more active. During that time I was slowly, but quickly approaching 30 and had heard a slew of nightmarish stories on how everything changes with your body after you turn 30. I was freaking out, as I was uncertain on how I wanted to tackle incorporating more physical activity into my life. I’m one of the lucky ones, as my day-to-day job is very active. Lots of walking, loading, and unloading, carrying, setting up rolling racks and some days, taking Betty with me (for those of you who don’t know, Betty is Team Wardrobe Therapy’s model). I often joke with clients that being a stylist is my daily workout! And while being a stylist does contribute to my overall day-to-day health, I still need to carve specific time that allows my entire body to engage and my mind to take a pause on all things life, to simply focus on the body.
During February of 2019, I decided to start taking adult dance classes. With my background in dance, it felt like it was the right move for me. I knew what to expect, how the class would progress, what my results would be, etc. For those first weeks, I found a lot of joy pulling out my old dance clothes and heading to the studio on a Wednesday night for a late-night contemporary class. It was fun to be in a familiar element, but I found myself frustrated, as I simply did not have the same skills as I once did. In 2012, I had back surgery for scoliosis and that just changed the narrative in terms of my mobility and range of motion. While my body still knew what to do during class, I was extremely limited. In addition to being limited by motion, I wasn’t permitting myself to mentally escape, because I was so focused on trying to perform to the level I use to. I continued going for a few additional classes, but things eventually tapered off, as I knew I needed something more.
In typical Candace fashion, I took some time to journal my goals about increasing physical activity and working out, so I could determine what would work best for me. Some of my goals included pushing myself mentally, gaining strength (as I never quite recovered from surgery in this area) and flexibility, and tone! As I pondered on this list, I found myself thinking of Jordan Sugarman, who I had met at a Wardrobe Therapy event and remembered that she was a Pilates Instructor (who has the fiercest arms). I looked her up, did some reading on her site and felt this instant peace about Pilates being my new focus. Also, I had briefly studied Pilates during my college days while training as a dancer and totally forgot about how much I enjoyed it. So, on July 11th I sent Jordan an email and started class in August! It’s been exactly 9 months and I can already see a difference physically, and also mentally. Attending class 2x’s per week has become a part of my weekly formation and I absolutely love it <3
Now that you’ve heard a little bit about my story, let’s hear a few things from the professional! I sat down with Jordan, Owner of Lifted Studio for a quick minute, so she could give us the inside scoop on why Pilates is beneficial:
Benefits of Pilates from Jordan Sugarman
Balance The Body: Pilates works both sides of the body the same way. This draws attention to any of your imbalances. If you favor one side of your body over the other, Pilates will demonstrate the difference.
Improve Posture: If you haven’t been giving your posture enough love because you sit at a desk all day, drive in a car endlessly, or just don’t know how Pilates will mother your posture into alignment. Pilates corrects poor posture by strengthening the muscles that “lift” you up. Good posture is not just for your appearance – it’s also for your health. Proper posture reduces the wear and tear on your spine and improves your balance.
Breathe Better: Pilates focuses on diaphragmatic breathing, which oxygenates your muscles (and your entire body), so that they can perform better. Quality breathing allows for deeper muscle activation, which means better function of the nervous system.
Increase Your Range of Motion: Pilates’ focus on flexibility and lengthening will increase your range of motion, making everyday movements and physically related movements significantly smoother and easier.
Mindfulness: The other unique part of Pilates isn’t physical, but mental. One of the key concepts of Pilates is called “centering,” or understanding that all movements originate in your core. It’s all about breathing and focus and being mindful of your body’s movements. Studies link Pilates to enhanced mindfulness and something called sensory awareness, which may induce relaxation, mood improvements, and stress reduction.
As you can see, lots of amazing benefits! And if you haven’t taken a Pilates class before, then I’m sure your interest is peaked a bit. Keep reading because I’m super jazzed to be collaborating with Lifted Studio to bring not just one of you, but FOUR of YOU a chance to take a private group class with Jordan and myself at the studio. Yes, you heard that right! It’s going to be mega fun and empowering. Oh, there will be a few nutrious tasty treats for you once we finish with class. All in all, it’s going to be rocking time! For a chance to win, be sure to following me on Instagram at @candacemread, as entry details will be released there TONIGHT.
For more information on Lifted Studio, be sure to check their site, www.liftedstudio.com.
Get The Look:
The giveaway class is currently scheduled for mid-April. But of course, we will take precautions and reschedule the class if needed to due to COVID-19. Winners will be notified accordingly of any changes.