Morning Pilates – a great way to start the day

April 30, 2019
Woman doing a pilates workout.

ZEN TIP TUESDAY #15

A big welcome to Barbara (Babs) Rodrigus who is our guest poster for ZTT #15.  Babs is a travel blogger who helps you decide which travel accessories are perfect for your family.  Today Babs shares with us her routine of doing morning Pilates.  I can relate to this somewhat because I do Pilates at least three mornings a week and love it!  Years ago I did mat Pilates (like Babs) and I still sometimes do a mat class – but these days I mostly do Reformer Pilates (similar yet different to mat based Pilates, it’s done using the Pilates reformer machine).  You can find out more about Babs and how to connect with her at the links in her Bio at the end of the post.

Before I go – just letting you know that I’m away in Sydney today at an all day event so won’t be able to respond to comments or read and comment on posts linked up to today’s ZTT Link-Up #013 until I’m back at my hotel room tonight.  I may be late … but I promise I’ll get to it all!  


Mother and daughter doing pilates

I believe many of you will stand by me if I state that life can get busy. Really busy. Especially as a young mother and a professional travel blogger. I sometimes get the feeling that I hardly get any time for myself. My 3-year old daughter wakes up at 5:30 am which marks the start of a busy day with getting ready for school, working hard on my website (believe me if I tell you that blogging is not a laid back job!), cooking, housekeeping, entertaining the kid and working some more when she’s in bed.

To keep my sanity and feel balanced throughout the day, I start my morning with 45 minutes of Pilates. At times, even that is a challenge, especially when my daughter is in the mood to climb on my back when I’m doing exercises. But it is a great way to get my mind and body ready for the day! And on good days my daughter and I even work-out together (for a bit).

WHAT IS PILATES?

Pilates is a movement method that was designed by Joseph Pilates at the beginning of the 20th century. The main goal is to make the body stronger and acquire a balance between body and mind.

A good posture and muscular control are the essence of this method, but flexibility, balance and strength are equally developed thanks to the wide variety of exercises.

Every move requires a conscious movement and a lot of concentration, while you have to also stay focused on your breathing. Because of the cooperation between mind and body it is similar to yoga, but instead of taking poses, each exercise is to be performed in a fluent movement.

When you think you’ve mastered an exercise, there’s always an adaption that makes things a little harder and/or different. This way, practicing Pilates never gets boring.

MY PILATES ROUTINE

It took me quite some time to find a Pilates routine that works for me. I originally started exercising to be healthier and lose some weight. Thanks to the busy life I’ve mentioned before, I didn’t see myself going to the gym or another sports club. So, I found a Pilates app that sounded like fun. After a couple of months I got bored with it and bumped into the Blogilates Youtube-channel. I really like Cassey Ho’s video’s and I’ve been doing them for almost a year now.

My daily routine starts with five minutes of warm up, to wake up my muscles. Then I choose two areas I want to cover that day. My favourites are thighs, abs, butt, arms and calves. Each video has about 10 to 15 minutes of exercises that focus on that specific region of the body. My last 12 minutes are spent doing stretching exercises that help my general flexibility and are a great way to become calm and relaxed.

HOW PILATES HELPS ME FIND MY ZEN

Even though I originally wanted to lose weight and just get fitter in general, I’ve noticed that my morning Pilates actually helps me accomplish a lot more.

Ever since I was a young teenager, I’ve been suffering from lower back pain and a hernia. 20 years later and I’ve learned to live with that daily pain. But I’ve noticed that my body responds really well to my exercises. If I miss a day, I feel significantly stiffer and I am in more pain. When I started noticing that, I began to crave my routine because it makes my body so much more tolerable. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have to be careful. There are days when an exercise suddenly causes pain or others when I’m stretching and I can’t get half as low as the day before. But that’s ok. I try to listen to my body, so that I’m benefitting from the Pilates in the long run even if that means quitting a certain move.

Furthermore, it is such a calming moment and I can totally relax even though I’m exercising. I have these big windows in my home, so when I roll out my yoga mat, I get to watch the sun rise above the forest in the distance. The need to focus on the moves and on my breathing plus that lovely view, prevents me from letting my thoughts wander. So, it is actually an exercise in mindfulness as well.

After these 45 minutes of me-time (in which my wife tries to occupy our daughter so she doesn’t bother me too much) I feel very much in touch with myself and ready to take on the day!


BARBARA RODRIGUS

Barbara Rodrigus

Originally a teacher, but a traveller in heart and soul, Babs recently quit her day job to be able to work location independently. She now writes about travel equipment for children on her blog Travel Gear for Kids when her 3.5 year old daughter is at school or asleep. When she’s not travelling the world with her family, you can find Babs in her tiny house in Belgium with her 4 furry friends.

Here’s where you can connect with Babs: 

BLOG  |  INSTAGRAM  |  FACEBOOK  |  PINTEREST


#ztt, #zentiptuesday, #zen, #balance, #mind, #body, #spirit, #tuesday

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12 Comments

  • Reply Natalie April 30, 2019 at 6:20 am

    What a great way to start your day and find your Zen! My morning walks give me my zen moments. The photo of you and your daughter doing pilates together is so cute. Thanks, Babs and Min for sharing #ZTT

    • Reply Min April 30, 2019 at 5:04 pm

      I love morning walks too Natalie. In 2016 I walked early every day of the week and saw some incredible sunrises – many of them shared on Instagram. I don’t walk every day now but now and then mixed in with my pilates. Goes to show how moving our bodies and getting out in nature can be calming and soothing and so many other good things for us, don’t you agree? 🙂 xo

  • Reply Denyse Whelan April 30, 2019 at 8:47 am

    I have heard so much about the benefits of pilates and this was really good to read and learn more. Thank you for sharing on Min’s blog Babs.

    Denyse

    • Reply Min April 30, 2019 at 5:05 pm

      The benefits of Pilates are very real Denyse. I can vouch for that! I feel the benefits much more now that I go 3 x week rather than when I did it 1 x week but any movement is good for us! 🙂 xo

  • Reply Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond May 1, 2019 at 5:36 pm

    My running friends do Reformer Pilates and there are so many benefits from this practice. I do yoga but haven’t tried pilates. It would be a great way to start the day. Thanks Babs for sharing your story and another great Zen tip this week, Min. #ZTT . Min thanks for sharing and linking up at #MLSTL as well. Have a great week ladies. x

    • Reply Min May 2, 2019 at 6:15 am

      As you know Sue I do pilates 3 times a week and love it. I really feel the benefits – to my core, my strength, my mind, and for toning up. I love yoga too and still need to try and find a way to incorporate that into my life! xo

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au May 1, 2019 at 7:44 pm

    I haven’t tried Pilates – the classes are SO expensive! But maybe an app or a youtube tutorial might be a good starting point – food for thought and lovely to meet you Babs!

    • Reply Min May 2, 2019 at 6:20 am

      The classes can be very expensive for sure Leanne. I’m lucky that I have found a place that isn’t as expensive as the more well known studios. If you’re interested in giving it a try – it might be worth checking out Blogilates as mentioned by Babs – it’s here: https://www.blogilates.com/ xo

  • Reply Pradeep May 2, 2019 at 12:46 am

    Thank you, Barbara, for this post. I had heard of Pilates. But never in this detail. I am surely going to check this out.

    • Reply Min May 2, 2019 at 6:23 am

      It’s well worth giving Pilates a go. I do it and not only love it but really feel the benefits. The Blogilates that Babs speaks of can be found here: https://www.blogilates.com/

  • Reply Michele May 3, 2019 at 11:40 am

    I tried Pilates once years ago but didn’t get into it. I should try it again. I like the idea of starting with a video and jotted down the one you recommended.

    • Reply Min May 3, 2019 at 4:28 pm

      I might give the pilates at that link a go myself Michele. All the best! 🙂

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