"Patience and persistence are vital qualities in the ultimate successful accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavor." - Joseph H. Pilates
The chatter in my mind is often times the toughest part about my run… and actually, it's probably the toughest part of any yoga practice. It's hard to get to that moment where you actually forget you're running and are just there. When the chatter has finally quieted and the run is all there is. Does that make sense? Since this is obviously something I struggle with my practice, it's no wonder I'm always looking for ways to improve this. The obvious one is yoga. Through yoga exercises you're constantly challenged to quiet the mind and focus on breathing. I am an avid fan of bikram yoga but decided maybe it was time to try another form of yoga. As I was doing a search for yoga studios near me, I stumbled upon Pilates Anytime. It's an online pilates studio that offers thousands of classes at the tip of your fingers. They have both a website and android app, making it nearly impossible to never be able to complete a class.
Not sure what Pilates is? It's similar to yoga (from my own personal experience) in that they both encourage balance, awareness and flexibility as the foundation of the practices. Pilates emphasizes core training centered around six basic principles - concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow. One of the most appealing parts of the practice is that is so easily modified so that anyone at any physical level can participate and begin the practice.
|Pilates Anytime Website|
Pilates Anytime offers a 15 day free trial, which is a great way to "start" your practice or maybe even just test the waters to see what this exercise is all about. The site offers several filtering options including beginning, intermediate, levels to filtering by teacher, time, etc. There are a few playlists set as well. So, you can start the beginner's series if you've never practiced Pilates before and learn the basics right from the comfort of your home or a park or wherever you choose to start. I have tried pilates before and remember the basic moves so I was comfortable moving straight to the 30 day challenge. If you start taking a course and realize you prefer a specific style or maybe decide to try random classes, there is the ability to create your own playlist. As you move through the thousands of classes that are offered, it's a great way to keep track of those you like or don't.
|Pilates Anytime - Android App|
For the most part, the app and the website are very user friendly. When you visit both the number of filtering options can be slightly overwhelming but once you do start using the service frequently, it's actually a really nice feature. The videos themselves are shot at a high quality and viewing has not been an issue for me. I haven't experienced buffering or delayed playback issues. The sound is also synced with the video play (as one would hope!) Of course, I do have a small gripe about the site. Several times while on my 30 day challenge - I went to start a class only to realize I didn't have the equipment necessary to complete it. I'm assuming when the videos are uploaded there is some sort of metadata that allows the uploader to include certain text. It would be nice if that was listed. The newer videos seem to be more accurate. As a new user to the site, I was automatically drawn the pre-existing playlists, which all seem rather old (still accurate but created over a year ago.) A few more recent ones could potentially be a great added bonus for us newbies. Overall, at only $18 per month it seems like a bargain for an at home pilates studio with such a wide variety of classes.
Quieting the chatter in my head will continue to be a work in progress but adding in a mixture of yoga and pilates to my workouts will help exercise the mind in a way that running can't.