“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgiving, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” - Proverb
I am grateful for YOU. The way you show up for yourself. The way you ask questions and dig deeper into the work. The way you share who you are with me. The way you agree to try - and succeed with - the seemingly-impossible things I ask of you. The way you take the time to feel the sensations this beautiful work instills in your beautiful being. Thank you. Truly. Another sensation we can actually feel is gratitude. In fact, we feel all emotions in our body. That's why a smile adorns your face when you're happy; or you feel heavy when you're sad; or you feel momentarily peeved when I ask you to do 10 more bridges. (Sorry, not sorry.)
Plus, research shows that demonstrating gratitude can reduce pain, release toxic emotions, regulate stress, and reduce anxiety and depression. Much like we must practice Pilates to get stronger in our core, we must practice gratitude to feel it in our body and gain all those positive physiological side effects. Look your cashier in their eye and say Thank You. Give your partner a squeeze when they do the dishes. Tell yourself you’re grateful for your beautiful body and all it allows you to do. It literally does your body good - deep into your core - to practice gratitude.
For me, gratitude, it's always been an overwhelming feeling, akin to joy. It usually brings tears to my eyes, and yet I'm smiling; it's warming and heavy at the same time; it at once makes my body swell and feel weightless.
In a time when California and all Californians are reeling from the largest and most devastating wildfires in its history - and we're all feeling that weight, that helplessness, that heaviness - it's perhaps difficult to to feel gratitude. We may feel guilty for what we have while so many are experiencing such loss.
Gratitude is full of opposites. Pilates is full of opposites, plus energetic balancing and awareness. And now, more than ever as we get closer to Black Friday and the holidays, and school breaks, and winter vacations, it's important to remember that doing your body good, does other bodies (and some would argue, energetically, the entire world) good too.
It's important then, to return to our bodies and check in. And though we definitely need to update our history lesson on Thanksgiving (Adam Ruins the Pilgrims), we can take time to honor ourselves, our loved ones, and those that we know are suffering by coming together and concentrating our energy on taking care of ourselves so we can really show up for everyone. Counterintuitive, I know (like Pilates...).
I'm grateful for Joseph Pilates, that he shared his inspired and intelligent movement technique with us all. I'm so so grateful for you all. For sharing time and space with me. For choosing to continue to work together toward your health and well-being. For reading this newsletter, and commenting on my Instagram feed. For sharing your special California gifts with me, like lemons and herbs from your own garden. For opening your home to me. For coming in and trying your best every damn day.
To get the ball rolling, or, like Joe Pilate would do - to get rolling-like-a-ball - I'd like to share some things I'm grateful for because of YOU. #gratefulheart is something I feel when I take time to reflect on how teaching this great work is more than teaching exercise. It's making connections and building community. I'm honored, and overwhelmed sometimes by it all. Thank you. All of you. Happy Thanksgiving.
Giving me your trust. I know how important it is to find someone you can believe in and give your bodymind over to to guide you through what you know is good for you, but what may be difficult to do on your own. Like ab work. Or planking. Or Pilates in general...
Remembering that the energetic exchange is a two-way street. Our sessions are partnerships, and I'm honored that you keep coming back each week. That's how we make progress together.
Awesomeness. A client recently asked, "How do you stay so excited about everything?" referring to teaching clients. And I simply responded, that my excitement is genuine, and it's a surprise gift you give me, every time you remember to breathe, or take a moment to redo a movement, or embody the work so much that it's embedded in your spinal motions. It's. Awesome.
Thinking of me after our session is finished. One of the best things is when our session is over, and I get an e-mail about a Pilates product, or an article you read on alkaline water, or something you were reading about scents and thought I would enjoy. Or when you come in for your session and mention that you were thinking of me when you did your own homebound Pilates workout. It's the freaking best.
Energizing Sayezz Pilates & Beyond with your special and unique perspective on life. Have I told you much how much I've learned from you? From things to do while my mama and brother were in town, to an amazing exhibit at a new museum downtown, to how best to keep the aphids away in my garden, to where some good local hikes are, to where to pick apples this fall, to upcoming sound baths and yoga classes - the list goes on and on and fills Sayezz with so much depth and joie de vivre.
Full of love for the work. Listen. I know the work is difficult. I know it burns. I know it doesn't always feel good. But I also know that you absolutely LOVE IT! Pilates never really gets easier, because we simply get deeper into it, and that love of going deep is what I love about our sessions too.
Unplugging. Sometimes, definitely lately, the world, the news, the headlines, the social media is just a lot to bear. It's a weight, and I'm so grateful that you and I, if only for an hour, can focus on creating awareness, breath, balance and flow in our own bodies to then share with everyone else.
Laughter, which, of course, is the best medicine. Not only does it release endorphins and allow us to connect with each other, it also helps us through HUNDREDS ON THE REFORMER! HA! I have amazing clients, with amazing senses of humor, and I'm so glad, because this work is FUN above everything else, all those other sensations, and I'm grateful we can laugh and learn and lubricate our joints all at once. Plus, laughing is great ab work. :)
i'm stephanie. my last names mean "hedgehog" in Czech and "pretty calf" in French. i have an MA from Oxford in English lit, and a MFA from Riverside in experimental choreography. i like to write. i have lots of thoughts on the body. and i want to help you understand your own better. oh, i'm also plant-based and love to bake with vegan ingredients.