Try not to get discouraged when you feel like you’re not improving on an exercise.

The challenges you’re feeling might stem from your body type. Certain body types may discover that a particular exercise is always going to be a challenge. Modifications might help as you try different ways to progress, but it may never be a piece of cake.

Or, perhaps you are actually getting better. There’s a new thought. Sometimes exercises don’t seem to get easier because you are pulling your belly button to your spine more consistently or you hold your pelvic placement better. Or maybe you’ve started breathing properly. Just like you don’t noticed the nuanced changes in someone you live with, you might not notice the subtle changes your body undergoes in Pilates. That means your are improving and getting better at the exercise, it’s just harder to see.

If you ever feel discouraged focus on the positive. Has a different exercise gotten easier? Are you making progress on the Roll Up or the Teaser? Or maybe you can’t name an exercise you feel you’re superb at yet, but you don’t have the chronic back pain you used to. That’s an improvement right there. You must be doing something right. Maybe at some point during the day you hear a voice telling you to pull your belly button to your spine or insisting your breathe into the sides of your rib cage. In that moment, when you are thinking about your body, you have improved. Pilates gets you thinking about the body in addition to daily workouts. That is one of the goals. So when you start considering your body, you are improving on the exercises without evening knowing it.

Recognize that we all tend to be hard on ourselves, but the truth is we make improvements all the time in all sorts of ways. We just have to open our eyes to the good aspects of ourselves as well as the parts that sometimes frustrate us.