January Client Spotlight

Meet Melody, Mint's Client of the Month

Mint: Why did you start practicing Pilates?

Melody: My first encounter with Pilates was during my first year of college. My college Physical Education department offered a mat class, and I signed up because I heard it could help alleviate some of my back/knee pain. I was diagnosed with several hereditary joint and spine issues in high school after a track and field practice caused a minor injury, and I was advised by several orthopedic doctors to never run or dance again. Determined to still be able to enjoy physical activity normally, I sought out Pilates in hopes it would help build strength and flexibility to prevent injury/pain. 

I took my first Pilates reformer class with Elaine at Mint Studios because I used to work down the block two days a week. I felt the difference in my body immediately and was hooked. 

Mint: What is your favorite move or exercise of yours? 

Melody: I love reformer moves where there is a great deal of movement/momentum. For instance, the most recent "mermaid dive" I learned from Natalie, where we are perched on the box and dip our entire upper half of the body into the well, and bring ourselves back up, or "free willy" from Gabby, where we go into a deep lunge with one foot on the carriage and push ourselves up into a plank with both hands on the foot bar, sliding the carriage forwards and backwards. Both are full body workouts, involving a bit of an adrenaline rush, and leave you sore in all the unexpected places the next day. :)

 Mint: What did you enjoy most about the Mint Retreat last August?

Melody: The Mint Retreat was probably one of the most memorable events of 2015, and I highly recommend Mint-goers to sign up for it when the opportunity comes up again. Practices were so fun, the view was incredible, and delicious food. But the most enjoyable part was how well we got along - the chemistry felt natural and the atmosphere was warm and welcoming. I think we really enjoyed being around each other, and took the time to hang out with different people during meals and downtown. Since returning, it has added a level of pleasure returning to classes to people I've now had the chance to get to know. 

 Mint: What advice might you give someone who is trying Pilates for the first time?

Melody: I hope people view Pilates as more of a self-exploration, rather than a physical activity/fitness exercise. The practice is always very hard, and I've found the more I pay attention to my body and strive to do movements as accurately as possible the more challenging it is. But the less concerned I am with achieving a certain amount of repetition, weight, or speed, which has been my experience with a lot of competitive sports, the deeper sense of awareness I have for my body's abilities (which can surprise) and needs (which we neglect often). I've noticed that adjustments I learn in class have carried over into my every day life. When I'm having trouble biking up a steep hill, or my shoulders hurt from carrying a heavy package, I've started noticing where tension builds up in unnecessary places or when I have used the wrong muscle to assist. This has helped me realign myself so I can pedal a little further or prevent strain in my everyday activities.