Last week I was taking a private pilates class. I was complaining about how my ankle has been supinating (rolling outward). It wasn’t painful, but I know it’s not ideal and I wanted to work on it. I was doing basic footwork exercises on the reformer and when I had someone to look at me tell me exactly when my ankle was in the right place I could feel not only the work in my ankle, but I felt a change in my body all the way up to my hip flexors.

It was one of those moments that make me so proud I’m a pilates instructor, and I immediately wanted to make all my clients feel what I had just felt in my body. The footwork, which seems like a really simple exercise was suddenly a huge challenge because of what was going on in my body. All I was doing was lying down and bending and straightening my legs, but suddenly my whole entire body was working to help my ankle stay where it was supposed to it. It was a team effort, and when everything was tracking just right it was hard work.

Our bodies are so used to pulling us off track—our stronger muscles working harder and our weaker ones going along for the ride. It’s what I love about pilates. The exercises work to balance everything and keep the body in sync, but it is sometimes really hard to find that perfect balance and it’s even harder to maintain it.