In his book Pilates’ Return to Life Through Contrology, Joseph Pilates explains his intentions behind his exercises and what he believes constitutes a healthy lifestyle. In one sections he specifically discusses exercises like the Full Roll Up, Teaser, and Rolling-Like-A-Ball. He refers the them as the “rolling” and “unrolling” exercises. He mentions that anytime we move from a seated to a lying position we should move ourselves using rolling movements, lifting of lowering one vertebra at a time.

Oh, and, of course, in the process of moving we should inhale and exhale to the full capacity of our lungs–not an easy task. But it should make you feel good that Joseph Pilates knew his exercises were no cake-walk. He wrote, “This admittedly requires persistence and earnest effort but it is worth it!”

And don’t all things that are worth it take some persistence and effort? The effects–an aligned spine, a strong yet flexible core, a full range of motion in the body, and the ability to fuel your body with oxygen–are all important tools Pilates requires us to stop and think about. It’s their importance that makes them worth a little extra effort.

So on days when you feel like Pilates (or any exercise for that matter) seems like a near impossible task, just remember even the creator of Pilates knew he had created a challenge. You’re not alone in thinking that getting the exercise right can be a difficult task.