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Unlocking the Secrets of Pilates: How It Turned My College Fitness Journey Around

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Brown chapter.

I have never been super athletic or into working out. My entire life, I have tried different workouts, from crew to CrossFit, soccer to spin, yet I was never able to find something that I truly loved and felt good for my body – until I started doing Pilates.

While I find it difficult to describe Pilates to someone who has never done it or seen Pilates equipment before, it is essentially like a more difficult and muscle-building form of Yoga. Pilates and Yoga share many of the same positions, but Pilates also combines other elements of strength training and muscle development. Beyond that, Pilates is good for the mind, and it emphasizes a strong mind, body, and breath connection throughout your practice. 

I began my Pilates practice five months ago, and, from my first class, I absolutely fell in love with it. I love the calm atmosphere, challenging exercises, and work that focuses on quality of movement over quantity. Doing Pilates has truly transformed my relationship with my body and fitness and has had a tremendously positive impact on my body image and self-confidence.

Before beginning Pilates, and I’ll admit even when I started, my focus was mainly on weight-loss. I’d seen trends on the internet and Tiktok about the benefits of doing Pilates in gaining muscle tone and slimming your figure over other types of workouts like cardio or weightlifting. While I first started going to Pilates because of these benefits, I have stayed for many other reasons. Even on my worst body image days, I am amazed by my ability to still complete challenging exercises and test the limits of my abilities. 

Another great thing about Pilates is that it’s suitable for most groups of people. Besides muscle strength, Pilates also focuses on breathwork and posture, which everyone can benefit from in the world of iPhones and laptops. Because the movements are slow and focus on quality over quantity, Pilates can be tailored to help pregnant women, people who were recently injured, and older people who can’t participate in different kinds of movements and workouts. I’ve found that most Pilates instructors, especially in private sessions, try to tailor the workout to meet the needs and goals of each client and always provide alternatives for potentially strenuous movements. 

I truly cannot recommend Pilates highly enough to anyone—it is genuinely just so amazing for your mind and body. If you’re looking for a great place near Brown to try, check out Rareform Pilates in the Jewelry District

I am a member of the Brown Class of 2026, and I am planning to concentrate in history and economics. In my free time, I enjoy reading historical fiction novels, baking chocolate chip cookies, and trying new restaurants and cafes in Providence.