There was absolutely nothing that could have prepared me for the act of giving birth to my daughter. Regardless of the time spent constantly reading information about pregnancy, continuing my exercise through dancing, attending baby showers, and surrounding myself with the love of my dear friends, I still found myself in a completely unknown and vulnerable situation. Any story I had heard, especially of the glowing mother archetype who has an almost painless delivery, was unimaginable. After 13 hours of labor I was so exhausted I had to ask the nurse to take my daughter out of my limp useless arms for fear dropping her. I knew that I was on a new plane of existence–one which I could not control. Being a dancer I was spoiled, able to command my body to do whatever I wanted to do, either immediately or after continual practice. After I had my child, this was not the case.
Things that had been so easy were suddenly difficult and came with extreme back pain. There were the obvious physical changes, too: weight fluctuations, stretch marks, breast milk flowing when it wanted to and not when I wanted it to–always new reminders that I was not in control. I was constantly comparing myself to my pre-pregnancy body, trying to “get back” to where I was before giving birth. This manner of thinking, the place of intention that I was coming from, was harmful and self-defeating. As dance and movement theorist Sondra Horton Fraleigh says, “My body is made other to me when I take account of its appearance to others. Thus I may become other to myself; my body may become set over against me or seem other to me.” I was at war with myself, my mind against my body.
At my first postpartum checkup, I complained of extreme lower back pain and was told something to the effect of, “You had a natural and long delivery … of course your back hurts.” I knew something was wrong but I disregarded it based on what I was being told at the time. For the next couple of years pain became normal. My lower back hurt when I sat, when I danced, or if I simply stood longer than 30 minutes. I was an MFA student in dance and choreography, teaching three course loads at the University of Iowa, so I had to be active about my healing or I would have to reconsider my graduation plan.
The pain finally became so severe I went to see a chiropractor. During the first session he touched the tip of my tailbone and when he did, electric shocks of fire began charging through my veins. He believed that my tailbone had been broken during the delivery but ordered an X-ray so we could know for sure. We discovered that not only did I break my tailbone, but prior to the fracture, it had been pointing in the wrong direction. My tailbone was in my child’s way during her exit and it broke into three pieces to allow her to pass. The root of my pain was those three broken pieces fusing back together incorrectly. If I was to ever dance, or even sit, again without pain, I would have to find a restorative therapy or practice.
This is how my journey with Pilates began. Initially, I was intently focused on adjusting the alignment of my tailbone, but very rarely in my study was this focus brought up by my teacher. Pilates is not a target-area based exercise. As Joseph Pilates, the creator of the work, would say, “Every piece is for the whole body.” Any piece that I was working on was in fact working on the alignment of my tailbone. This whole-body approach that Pilates takes was a tremendous help to me physically. It completely took away my lower back pain and it also helped to liberate me from the self-defeating thoughts I was having about my body after the delivery of my daughter. So moved and impressed with the gifts that Pilates gave me, I decided to intensify my study. I’m now in my tenth year of teaching it.
It is a choice to identify yourself by what you can do rather than by what you cannot do. I can choose to be what Fraleigh calls a “lived body.” As she so perfectly writes in what has become an eternal proverb for me: “Still, my body is not determined by my limitations. Rather, I create my body through my choices and my actions, in this I also create myself. My entire lived experience determines my body; my choice to be athletic or sedentary, my habits of walking, talking, eating, and even dreaming, result in what I may call at any moment–for that time–my body. My body is mutable, changeable, living substance. It is continuous with my mind, which is no less subject to temporal change, mutability, growth and decay, and no less a product of my exercise of choice and free will.”
By: Britt Lorraine
Pilates movement and dance teacher Britt Lorraine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
San Antonio, let’s make this the year of movement! As the phrase says, “A new year, a new you.” Let us help you make this phrase become a reality. Many times we say that at the beginning of the year we are going to start eating healthier and become more active, but then we forget about it. Well this year, DON’T! Let this year be the year you don’t forget, let this year be the year you move. Move yourself to a better, healthier life.
We can help you move into the New Year and the years to come! Let us shape your Mind, Body and Soul (MBS).
Come relax your mind at our spa with a massage or a facial. Massages and facials relieve stress and cause you whole body to gently flow into relaxation.
Shape your body by trying out a fitness class such as Combat Kung Fu, Acroyoga, pilates or come tryout CrossFit at Mind Body Soul CrossFit. Trust us, after a few classes, you won’t want to look back. Exercising produces endorphins, causing your mind, body and soul to be happy! Also, start eating new and real foods, which you can get at our Uncommon Fare store.
Relax your soul with some heated vinyasa or moon salutation. Allow yourself to escape your thoughts for a while and surrender to the beauty and relaxation of yoga. Your soul will thank you, as well as your body and mind!
All of these classes and other aspects of MBS will be offered at the beginning of January and we even offer lunch yoga! Come on San Antonio, let's stop making excuses and let’s move!
Special thanks to all our sponsors, supporters, contributors, and volunteers for making this event possible.
Solo Reformer Instruction
60 Minutes $80
45 Minutes $60
30 Minutes $40
Group Training Sessions
60 Minutes $50
45 Minutes $40
30 Minutes $30
*Group Classes are available solely at the MBS Fitness King William Location
5025 Broadway (second floor)
San Antonio, TX 78209
In the heart of Alamo Heights, just north of Central Market and next door to Cappy’s Restaurant, our original location is a full-service fitness center featuring Pilates equipment, a cardio room, and a licensed massage therapist. Amenities include shower rooms, towel service, free wi-fi, and sports drinks.
1115 S. Alamo (in the St. Benedict’s Lofts)
San Antonio, TX 78210
Located three blocks north of the Blue Star development, our flagship location in Southtown provides two spaces available for classes or personal workouts. The lower level gym features a wide spectrum of cardio machines, free weights, weight machines, yoga mats, medicine balls and more. The solar and lunar studios upstairs offer power yoga, restorative yoga, hot yoga, Acroyoga, Vinyasa flow, yoga for lunch, BYOB karma yoga, Pilates and Combat Kung Fu. Amenities include access to the St. Benedict’s pool (no guests and BYO towel), shower rooms, and towel service, plus nearby access to the popular San Antonio River trails, ideal for outdoor running and walking.
MBS trainers and instructors are available for private consultations and sessions at your home in the greater San Antonio area. Contact us for more details.