Is Your Inner Critic Getting To You?


Most women dislike at least one aspect of their appearance. Your doing the pre-stretch warm up in your Pilates class when you notice the woman in front of you can get all the way to her toes!   Outrageous, your inner critic says to you, well if you didn’t have so much belly flab you could reach your toes too! Ugh!


Each and every day 97 percent of women think negative even hateful things about their bodies according to a national survey of more than 300 women. Further studies, from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA, found that 85 percent of women and 72 percent of men dislike at least one aspect of their appearance. This represents a national body image crisis that may contribute to an over active, and unchecked voice of your inner critic. Pilate’s instructors hear these comments almost daily.



In my Pilates studio clients often ask of me “how do I get rid of this fat?’, “how often do I have to workout?”, and “how long will it take?”.


Why are we so hard on ourselves? One reason is society has taught us the ideal for being beautiful or attractive is an unattainable standard. The continual images of tall, slender, large breasted, tight, firm young bodies is what we are bombarded with. Ask yourself are you tall, small boned, naturally endowed, tight and toned, ever given birth, how old are you, is there any form of stress in your life? So the downside of the desire for the tall, slender “perfect body” is it is not realistic. And when a client asks how long will it take to get the perfect long, lean Pilates body, a popular term used in the Pilates world, what will we tell them?


Negative self talk has negative self-effect. Research shows that if you continually say to yourself for instance, “I’m so fat and ugly”, it will eventually drain your self confidence in all aspects of your life. It can also have a physiological effect: you may start slouching and begin carrying yourself in a sloppy manner.   More information on this subject can be found at the Renfrew Center a woman’s mental health Center and Adrienne Ressler.


Not only can disparaging thoughts affect your psyche, but they can take a toll on your physical health too. Turn that around with positive and accepting self-talk which has been shown to improve well-being. When men and women learn to appreciate their own unique bodies and start to feel more comfortable in their own skin, they are more likely to treat themselves with kindness and respect.


Look for my next post when we address these issues.


Author: Stacy A. Price-Darkis, CPI, BCES.
Studio 59 Pilates Fitness, LLC



Finding Your Inner Yoga


I talk to so many people who say they tried yoga and hated it!


It just was not for me, they say. I am here to say there is no such thing. There are so many styles of yoga that it is impossible to make such a blanket statement.  Let me tell you the story of my first yoga I was in college, and in need of some serious stress relief. I had always heard of yoga and my gym at that time offered it for free.  Perfect! I was so excited for my first class that I got there early, laid out my mat and waited and waited and waited.



I am a very energetic person, so all this waiting was making me crazy! Then the lights went out and the soft music came on. The instructor softly instructed us to lie down on our mats. I was feeling very relaxed (this was my style of exercise).   As I laid there releasing all the thoughts and tension from my mind as instructed, an overwhelming heat engulfed my entire body.  I was being told to breathe deeply, focusing on my breath, but I could hardly breathe at all. I started sweating, and I hadn’t even moved.  As I moved into downward dog, I looked under my arm at the lady next to me who whispered It  hot yoga . She must have sensed my confusion with the heat (possibly through my panting). Who knew!? Hot yoga? Strange. So that evening I decided I didn’t  like yoga, it just wasn’t for me. I was wrong it turned out. I wanted to like yoga; all the flexible, thin girls liked yoga. I decided to go to another class, first making sure it was NOT Hot Yoga. I LOVED it! I was actually good at it, and I felt amazing after. I loved it so much, I became a certified instructor.


There are so many types of yoga, it all depends on what you’re looking for. You may need to try different instructors, levels, styles; but I promise if you want yoga to be for you, it is for you. Yoga is for everyone. Namaste.