Welcome to the Blog.

Apparently, you don’t need to be a writer to write a blog, which is just as well because I’m not a writer; I’m a Pilates Teacher (and a Pilates Studio owner).

This is where I'll try to add another layer of understanding of what we do, how we do it and at times some shorter items of random thoughts and/or reflections.

Efrat (Aoife) Kahanov

✨ Don't be afraid to sparkle a little brighter

Published on 16th Dec 2021 at 15:38 by Efrat (Aoife) Kahanov

Back at the end of November I set an intention, a vision if you like, for December. 

I wanted to send out an invitation, perhaps an inspiration, for us all to NOT BE AFRAID TO SPARKLE A LITTLE BRIGHTER as we're coming into the Holiday season.

I figured we can all use a dose of positive lookout to step out of fear and into the realms of possibilities to allow us to shine despite it all.

There never was, nor ever will be, an intention
of fake toxic positivity that dismisses real
emotions and creates a false sense of security
- that is just something I stay clear of (always!) 
-  but looking at the possibility and seeing the
chance to sparkle
that I was looking for.

My vision was of putting on our Pilates STAR
Shashi sparkly socks and working together in
the studio coming out feeling better in ourselves
(physically, mentally, emotionally) so that our
days feel better for us and with a ripples effect
touches other lives around us - sparkling a bit

And then the 'realm of possibilities' around me started to shrink.

It started with not feeling well and some symptoms of cold, flue, covid???
Then came a text from the HSE that I'm a close contact to someone that tested positive with directions of what I need to avoid and what I need to do.

As what is possible started to shrink the fear started to grow and the dismantling of the vision begun:

  • Sparkle? - not even close...
  • A little bit brighter? It's so minuscule, I cannot see it at all.
  • Don't be afraid? How can I not be...
    it's all around me as far as my mind's eye can see from my loved ones, to myself, to my studio and the people that come through its doors, to my business and livelihood....

A part of me started to resent the "Don't be afraid" but being who I am (whatever that means) I stayed with that all encompassing fear - because that is what I do. I don't run away.

I don't run away from pain, I don't run away from hard/difficult things, I don't run away from fear - I don't run away trying to escape how I feel because I know I cannot run away from myself without sacrificing myself - and for that to happen I need a really really REALLY good reason...

The logic part of not running away can be explained:
running away aimlessly won't get me anywhere.

The more mental-emotional side of not running away is a bit more difficult to convey and has more to do with an internal deep feeling that has no words or too many words jumbled together to create that 'thing'.
Not even going to try and go into it now.Another dismantlement process starts when you

do not run away.It begins with a two-fold process:
WHAT/WHY is it I'm afraid of & WHERE
do I want to get to 
[not necessarily in that order
or any linear order at all] The third element is
HOW to get to where you want to be.

and STRATEGY is something I delve into very often.
I'm not a stranger to it both personally (in my life) and in my work (with other humans) AND ... it is NEVER-ENDING.

A process has its own twists, turns, shifts, ups and downs and it is also not entirely up to us. We do not live in a vacuum and things happen in this world (and our lives) that are beyond our control - inevitably pivots will happen.

Sometimes we get stuck within the process.

  • Some get stuck in the WHAT / WHY and keep going down the rabbit hole of over thinking, over analyzing without ever looking beyond the here & now.
  • Some get stuck in the WHERE I WANT TO BE creating a vision in the head, dreaming about what could be without ever taking any action.
  • Some get held hostage by the HOW - what should I do to get out of where I am and how am I going to get from A to Z.

A lot of the times we ignore or by-pass the WHAT/WHY and the VISION and jump into the HOW hostage situation.

  • "How do I _______?"
  • "What should I do?"
  • "What should I stop doing?"

We think knowing exactly HOW will give us the best reward.

BUT, when you think about it, although for sure taking action is important and a plan keeps us on track, there is NO WAY ANYONE CAN POSSIBLY KNOW all the HOW.
And the more we try to get all the HOWS worked out (before or even while taking action) the more we keep holding on to tension & fear, we're creating confusion, stress AND a lot more work for ourselves.

I see it in the studio a lot.
It might be because Pilates is considered and marketed as the answer to many HOWS.

  • Have a bad back? Do Pilates.
  • Want to strengthen your core? Do Pilates.
  • Improve your posture? Do Pilates.
  • Increase flexibility? Do Pilates.
  • etc. etc. etc.

BUT the truth is that the practice of Pilates is most successful, most beneficial and gives us the best rewards when we understand that Pilates is not the HOW part of the process but PILATES IS THE PROCESS.

It moves us and creates an intricate dance between the WHAT, WHY, WHERE, HOW and as we keep moving between the elements, in and out, around and through in an elaborate complex way, we don't get stuck. We create the winding road of our life.

As for me, I’m feeling well now and my PCR test is negative.

I'm still moving between fear, vision and how to.
I'm still afraid to disappoint, worried I'll be judged, fearing for the future and how I can/will cope. I'm still working on seeing possibilities, creating a vision of what I want and what I need. I'm still figuring out how to get from A to B.

It is not unlike doing The Snake on the Reformer:

And like the Snake I know I've done it before and I will do again.


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Joseph H. Pilates

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