Ad I’ve blogged about before, my goals for the spring are to 1. move more, 2. reclaim time in my schedule to move more, 3. strengthen my core.  Since January, I’ve started running 4 mornings a week, so that takes care of 1 and 2. But what about my third (and arguably most important) goal? Getting my core on.

Our core is more than our abs. It’s the core of our body–what gives us strength and stability. I’ve always had a weak core, but lately I’ve been noticing it more:  I realized that I hunch over when I run.  I got increasingly frustrated that I could never do a proper chaturanga during yoga class. My back always seemed to hurt and I could never find a comfortable sitting position.What sealed the deal was that I got concerned how my weak physical core translated into my emotional and psychological core: was that getting weak, too?

It was time to get hardcore.

My new gym offers a private pilates session to new members, so I decided to try that out. I had taken mat pilates classes before and enjoyed them, but I had never used the Reformer machines (pictured above).

I quickly realized that while I had done pilates before, I have never *done* pilates before. Using the reformer–and having an instructor (Robert, who is AMAZING) there to urge me on and adjust my movements–made a huge difference in the workout. I realized I had been ‘cheating’ during my mat classes, so didn’t get that great of a work out.

I left the first session drenched in sweat and limping slightly, yet exhilarated determined to do more. The next day, I was deliciously sore and felt stronger. Seven sessions later, I’m noticing that when I run, I support myself from my core (versus hunching over and hoping for the best). I hold myself taller when I walk. My sleep is even better!

Has anyone else had a good experience with Reformer pilates? Noticed that strengthening your core had a positive effect on your generally psychological well-being? Please share!