“I’ve got a couple blown discs, probably from years of gymnastics and throwing myself against the ground as a soccer goalie. Although I really love yoga, when I was doing just yoga I still experienced regular bouts of severe back pain that would land me in bed dosed up on muscle relaxants.
I’m thrilled to say that since beginning pilates (maybe 3 years ago now?), I haven’t had anywhere near the same level of difficulty. I get stiff and sore when I spend too much time hunched over in the garden and such, but my body is stronger and I can work through it. Pilates focuses a great deal on building core strength and maintaining proper spinal alignment. The exercises are usually done on either a mat or with a “reformer” (a machine loaded with pulleys, springs, and straps for resistance, leverage, etc.).
Rachel usually offers the first session free of charge so you can see what all the hoopla is about. I do semi-private, which means I work out with one other person; the cost per person for semi-private is $25 for the hour. It’s kinda pricey relative to other exercise options, but I justify it by the fact I am highly unlikely to cancel the standing appointment (e.g., the “I’m too busy to get to the gym today” excuse) and I know it is a good form of preventative medicine.”