The Power of Pre-Pilates

Ever had a mentor unknowingly change your life? Six months into her husband Jon's rehabilitation from a severe brain injury, Laura Browning Grant recognizes how much Lolita San Miguel's teachings have guided Jon's progress.

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It’s hard to believe that it’s coming up on six months since Jon’s accident. It still feels like yesterday, since I haven’t stopped since March 17. I’ve been by Jon’s side every day. I do take breaks for self-care, but I always make sure to be there in the evening to tuck him into bed and give him a goodnight kiss—my favorite part of the day. It’s crazy to me how life can change in the blink of an eye. I have always been a homebody. My Pilates studio is even in my basement. Now I’m living out of state and haven’t slept in my own bed since the beginning of April. But I truly believe God prepared me for this chapter in my life. I find myself constantly using the knowledge, both physical and mental, that I have gained studying and teaching the Pilates method. To be honest, right before the accident my body was physically stronger than ever. God was preparing me for this journey.

One individual that I admire and feel has impacted my life is Lolita San Miguel. Lolita will never understand how she has influenced me on so many different levels. As a student of Lolita, I not only deepened my understanding of the method, but was also challenged as a teacher and individual. I recently spoke to Lolita and realized my next blog needed to be about the impact her teaching has had on my ability to help my husband.

Lolita introduced me to a system she calls Pre-Pilates. The focus of Pre-Pilates is to use exercises with clients that help them learn the key principles of the Pilates method. Joseph Pilates was known for creating exercises to meet the needs of the client. His primary purpose was to teach each client to appropriately feel the method in their own body with the goal being the ability to perform his movements. As we all know, we must learn to stand before we can walk.

At this point in Jon’s recovery, Pre-Pilates is challenging for my husband. He’s still 100 percent dependent. With an injury like Jon’s, even the activities of daily life have to be relearned. So I am using Pre-Pilates exercises to help him regain his strength.

Over time I’ve seen increased strength in Jon, and I believe these exercises have made a difference. It’s exciting to see his pelvic lifts get higher and his flexibility increase. I will continue to help him achieve strength and mobility using the Pre-Pilates exercises I learned from Lolita. I am forever grateful for her mentorship.

At this point, the main focus is to help Jon become mobile enough to perform activities of daily living. Joseph Pilates created his method to help people live with more zest and suppleness. I hope to use his teachings to help Jon achieve this goal.

Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness. Our interpretation of physical fitness is the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind fully capable of naturally, easily, and satisfactorily performing our many and varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure.” —Joseph Pilates


Laura Browning Grant is the owner of Laurabpilates, LLC, in Raleigh, NC. She is recognized as a Lolita San Miguel Disciple Educator and PMA®-CPT. She received her degree in sports management from North Carolina State University, and has shared her passion for the Pilates method for more 15 years, teaching clients and instructors through workshops, continuing-education classes and teacher-training courses.

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