Pilates Pandemic

Jen Day
Jen Day

In Pilates Pandemic Posted

On the 24th March at 8.30pm our prime minister announced The Lockdown. We knew it was coming. We had been social distancing for a week. Coronavirus was killing hundreds of thousands globally, we had to take action.

I closed the doors on my pilates studio on Friday the 20th March. Nothing could have prepared us for the unfolding of this Pandemic.

There were many tears. I felt the weight of the worlds pain. I cried in frustration (trying to work with technology that I seriously had no clue about, to offer virtual online classes) and I cried from grief that ‘my work’ that I’ve poured my heart and soul into for so many years may end. I cried for people not being able to get essential food, for the elderly not being able to see their family, for businesses just shutting the doors. For families all over the world losing loved ones.

There have been moments where I lay there early morning, wide awake with the first bird song, the peace and stillness as the world wakes up of pure calmness, there is a faith that everything will be ok. 

Then suddenly, as the emails flood in, the news seeps into my soul, the anxiety starts to rise and that calm is quickly lost. And this is a process of grieving. Our lives will never be the same.

But perhaps this is our time, our opportunity to take stock, reevaluate and stop for a moment. Give Mother Nature a break after all we really haven’t been very helpful. Coronavirus has cut emissions faster than years of climate negotiations I’m sure (I’m no expert) and this could be the prompting we need to change our habits going forward. This could be a gift. I was to receive this gift very soon.

April 2020 Coronacoaster 😉

A sunny day, I had taught my zoom classes with a little frustration but gratitude that I still had some wonderful support from an amazing community I have spent 10 years+ building. The days were a rollercoaster, so were the hours.

After the initial shock and a steep learning curve into this whole virtual teaching malarky, as mother nature rests, my heart and soul had been pulled into a Mac Book freaking air. Not what I ever imagined at all. 

But aside from salvaging some kind of teaching presence, I was fully aware there was a shift emerging.

I defined myself on what I could give, the more I gave the more it defined me as a Pilates Teacher. The more I learnt, the harder I worked, the rewards were many – watching people get out of pain, seeing movement transform peoples physical and mental health, lifting spirits, connecting people within a community, connecting people back to their own source of light, making lights shine brighter, making a difference.

 I left the studio and took myself off for a walk. I was feeling frustrated and sad at the loss of connection and community, financial worries were truly scary, never mind the threat of a potentially deadly Virus. 

My head was down, my ego was hurt, my mind was full of worry and anxiety. I couldn’t breathe. In fact I think I held my breath for a very long time. Boulders in my rucksack, shoulders heavy, heart heavy and vulnerable. I walked. I cried. 

Then the shift slowly started to happen, as always in Nature I feel connected, my eyes began to lift to the horizon and I start to notice The Beauty that surrounds me. I pass the spring lambs, still pacing but I slow down to notice how the baby’s run to their mothers for reassurance and milk. I pass through a kissing gate to a narrow track, either side is fenced, I am surrounded by woodland. Dense Trees, stillness, silence, I keep walking. An awareness, I start to find a rhythm to my breath. 

Then it happened. I heard ‘STOP’ in fact I didn’t hear it I felt it, I had to STOP. Right there and then I stood still. Abruptly. Halted. In the next moment I turned to look directly 90 degrees to my right and my eyes met the eyes of a Majestic Stag Deer. We were transfixed. We looked into each other souls. We froze in this quantum moment. Then, intuition led me to move just my eyes – being very careful not to move an inch of my body,  I scanned to the right of The Majestic Deer and there out of nowhere, in a line were five more, all looking directly at me.

It was at this moment that everything changed. I felt my physical form disappear and my soul absolutely shine like white light. I felt so connected that I became nothing and everything. I felt light, free, conscious, present and truly felt a deep down sense of overwhelming faith. 

So I am not my ego, I am not defined as a Pilates Teacher, not even as a Mother or a wife. I am just passing through making connections and that is good enough for me. I am all and nothing, I am nature, I am connection, I am light, I am good enough. Just that. Mother Nature yet again restores my faith. 

So today, April 30th still in Lockdown there is a light at the end of the tunnel, albeit very small. I am learning to ride the storm. My teaching hours of pre-lockdown of thirty hours a week are now just ten, I have time and space to be creative. My body is resting. I am taking stock and hopefully will rise again in a capacity that suits me better going forward. I have decided to do less to give more. There is a slight anxiety about returning our lives back to ‘normal’ as I truly believe it was time to stop, listen and become present.

To be gentle and to always choose peace and kindness, always.

Jen Day


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