I started attending private sessions at Breathe Pilates about 4 months prior to having my right shoulder totally replaced. I wasn’t sure this would work for me because I was so terribly tight and stiff, I ached in my joints all the time and I had plantar fasciitis in both my feet. I have asthma and in previous exercise experienced I could keep up, especially when it came time to do exercises in a prone position because of the shallowness of my breathing. I moaned and groaned and gave my first instructor, Kelly, a hard time with each new exercise but I did them and was just starting to feel a little bit of confidence when I was diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis. With only a few months of Pilates behind me I was thrilled to be able to use my core muscles to get up from the hospital bed without any assistance immediately after my surgery. I resumed my Pilates after my doctor released me from rehab and have made great progress in mobility, strength and flexibility of all of my joints. I don’t give my current instructor Laura as hard a time as I did in the beginning because with each new exercise she teaches me I know I am improving – it’s a challenge but it is so rewarding to accomplish the task. Just knowing I can do the various exercises helps me feel so much better about myself – I feel graceful. I am learning to focus on certain muscle groups and I can actually tell when I am doing an exercise correctly because I can really feel the muscles involved. This has been a really wonderful experience for me – one that I intend to continue!