How to Make Time for Your Own Workout…and Other Fairy Tales

make time for pilates

Several weeks ago Alisa asked me to write about how one can manage, as a practitioner, a teacher or a devoted enthusiast of the Pilates Method…


I agree, it is easy to put off doing good stuff for yourself until you actually begin your workout and then you remember – “Riiiiight… I feel better already.”

Well, I dashed off an email to a dozen or so colleagues to see if others had any helpful hints about carving out some space for their own workout. I had my own ideas, but I thought I would inquire anyway…Very telling what came back to me…or should I say, what did not come back to me. Initially I received only one response. It just so happened to be from the fantastic lady in the photo above. 

Surprised? Well, I have to say, no, not really. That is why she is Kathi Ross-Nash.

Kathi actually employs some of the same strategies that I do. Yay me  🙂

Get on the KRN plan!

Start with the High Bridge. NO.

Set Goals

While maintaining your over-arching goal of perfection in every exercise (no pun intended) it is often helpful to have some stepping stones along the way. In Pilates when one exercise gets better, everything gets better. Look for exercises that you can use as components to the bigger, perhaps fancier exercise. What is the challenging part of the exercise? Where can you find this same action elsewhere in the system? More specifically, see if you can find it in an exercise that you do well. Use these components to cultivate all facets of the goal exercise. Be diligent and perfect every skill necessary to execute the goal. 

It is all the same work, now just in a different, more challenging scenario – so a little more Double Leg Pull I say!

Use your mind to stimulate your workouts and mark your progress!

Schedule workouts with friends

Kathi & her workout buddy Chris Robinson


This one works like a charm – put it on your calendar! Sometimes we think it is okay to flake out on ourselves, but when there is a friend involved it helps you to be more accountable. Kathi likes to Skype with friends and colleagues to workout – especially fun if you like to workout with your technology (I iPhone). No excuses if your workout friends live far away.


Wait! This just in! Another instructor friend of mine, Ethan Carter weighs in at the 11th hour, just as I’m writing this post!

Ethan has spent countless hours playing team sports and says he enjoys the social component of a group workout combined with the mental component of perfecting one’s skills. We usually plan to meet once a week in my home studio in pursuit of the perfection of form that is the Pilates Method. While we are at it we can catch up during those brief moments that it’s acceptable to chat it up on the Reformer. Seems to happen mostly during the Short Box Series.

Keep Moving!

“I exercise for sanity, not for vanity.” Ethan cracked me up with this one, but it is so true. Honestly, for me, it is a little bit of both…as I do like to keep my girlish figure…

But do whatever you have to do.

Stay in the moment.

If you tend to get distracted during your workouts (hey, did I hear my phone ring? what’s for lunch? wow, my toes look terrible, I really need a pedicure…). Aim to strike the delicate balance between focused precision and moving it along. Hear your instructor’s voice (or even your own voice) in your head spurring you on!

Remember how great you’ll feel afterwards!

And eyes on the prize, people – remember that one of the reasons you do your workout is because you love the way Pilates makes your body feel afterwards. Return to Life!

PS – Stay tuned for next week’s post, Inside The Pilates Studio, featuring Kathryn Ross-Nash

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Andrea Maida

Andrea Maida

A native of Pittsburgh, Andrea began her study of the Pilates method in 2000. She holds two comprehensive certifications from Romana’s Pilates in New York and Excel Movement Studios in Washington, DC.  Andrea continues to study with numerous world-class instructors including Romana Kryzanowska, Jay Grimes, Sari Mejia-Santo, Junghee Kallander, Cynthia Lochard, and Kathryn Ross-Nash whenever possible. Andrea was privileged to be in the inaugural class of The Work at Vintage Pilates under the direction of Jay Grimes, 1st Generation Master Teacher and student of Joseph Pilates.

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