December was a pretty busy month, full of parties, food, family and trying to stay regular with our fitness practice. So, our December client of the month comes a little late, January to be exact!
January client of the month is Erin Tomlinson! Erin has been a twice a week member of Janae Luxe Pilates since February of 2017. She is strong, smart, funny and an overall joy to be around, from the minute I met her! Erin came to Pilates already pretty aware of her body in space, because she has been doing Yoga for several years, and even became a certified Yoga instructor just before starting Pilates.
It’s been a lot of fun for me to work with Erin because she has challenged me as an instructor to find different ways for her to find and strengthen her core. A lot of things that would have challenged a beginner in Pilates were easier for her because of the similarities between the two practices. But there were also things that were more of a challenge because they’re done in a completely different way that she was used to. Also when I met her, I was starting my journey in my own Yoga practice, so it was really cool to be able to ask her questions about Yoga as well as being able to show her how Pilates and Yoga blended together. Often times I feel like our sessions become these fun play/ workout sessions, where we both learn something!
So, I asked Erin a few questions about her time in Pilates and her time in Yoga….
Jessica: You are a pretty bad ass Yogi! How long have you been practicing Yoga and what do you love about it?
Erin: I have been practicing yoga for 7 years. Since beginning my practice, I have loved the challenge of it. The physical challenge of the asanas as well as the mental challenge of focusing on your practice and letting go of everything beyond your mat or the intention you have set for yourself.
Jessica: I've actually had this conversation with you before, and I love your answer, so I'll officially ask you...You've been practicing Pilates now since February, (congrats by the way, almost a whole year!) How would you compare Pilates and Yoga?
Erin: Yoga is a path toward spiritual enlightenment (some would say a religion), which includes a physical practice (Asana) among its various components or "limbs". Pilates is a physical practice. There is a focus on mind/body awareness and use of breath; however, there is no spiritual element that I am aware of.
Jessica: What is your favorite Pilates exercise and why?
Erin: My favorite exercise is [Pull Up on the Wunda Chair] - the one where we do like a handstand press up on the chair and I'm using just my lower core to pull up my legs]. This is my current favorite because it has great application to my inversion work in my yoga practice and allows me to isolate my lower abdominals effectively.
Jessica: What's your least favorite Pilates exercise and why?
Erin: The "tree" because my hamstrings are so tight I find it quite difficult.
Jessica: What positives have you noticed in yourself since you've been practicing Pilates?
Erin: Greater core strength as well as overall energy after my Pilates practice.