I’ve been fortunate enough to experience the profound benefits of Pilates first hand. However, hearing other people’s stories always warms my heart and continues to inspire me to pass along my knowledge and experience to others. I’d like to share this very sad and personal recent story that may help to also inspire you and many others to try Pilates or to never stop practicing this amazing form of exercise. These last few months have been extremely challenging for many, but for some, almost impossible to continue. A close friend of my mother’s in Fort Lauderdale FL, Sarah L Becigneul-Varela, lost her husband of over 20 years very suddenly on April 1st. In addition, Sarah had struggled with poor body image and managing stress her whole life, but when she found Pilates five years ago it was a game changer. Sarah said to me, “Pilates can and will change your life. I’ve been missing it so much during these last few months of quarantine due to Covid-19, and that has not helped my situation. It is actually something I look forward to in my current state and I don’t look forward to anything any longer I’m sorry to say.”
One of the things in life that has kept Sarah feeling good about herself over the last few years is Pilates. This full body workout on the Pilates Reformer that encourages you to use your mind to connect with your body with focus, breath and precise movements is extremely therapeutic. It forces you to remove other thoughts from your mind and empowers you to focus on you and only you. This mindful movement via Pilates helps promote acceptance verses reactiveness. Sarah’s wonderful and loving Pilates instructor has become an extension of her family, standing by her side and helping to keep her going. One of the only things that Sarah is looking forward to doing very soon, now that things are opening back up, is getting back to her regular Pilates routine. After the tragic loss of her husband she feels so alone and too devasted to continue with life’s activities. She sadly feels no sense of purpose anymore, but gradually, with the help of her Pilates practice, I have every hope that she will find the strength within herself to move ahead and regain her purpose in life again. Sometimes it only takes one thing after a tragedy to keep you moving forward and if I can help just one person with that through my Pilates practice, I am truly grateful.