Practice, Patience, & Persistence

Joseph Pilates believed that “Practice and persistence are vital qualities in the ultimate successful accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavor.” Often referred to as the 3 P’s of Pilates; Practice, Patience and Persistence are thought to be the three essential elements for creating change.

Following what is traditionally a time when individuals set New Year’s resolutions or intentions for themselves, it is estimated that 80% of them fail by February. So, lets challenge ourselves this month to focus on one Pilates goal and allow it to teach us how to create change in other aspects of our life.

“Practice your exercises diligently with the fixed and unalterable determination that you will permit nothing else to sway you from keeping faith with yourself.”  Joseph Pilates


  • Practice is the intentional effort of doing something to learn something new, get better at, or change.
  • Patience is the active acceptance of the process required to attain your goals and dreams.
  • Persistence is the capacity of energetic resolve—the determination to hold steady to your intentions.


It’s all connected! Joe considered mental discipline to be the prime essence of the Pilates system. Your brain is the ultimate “Powerhouse” and it too must be trained. This training requires Practice, where the very act of practicing actually rewires your brain and creates change. The interesting aspect of practicing is that it encompasses all 3 P’s.

To remain Patient while endeavoring to accomplish a goal requires Practice. While the continuous effort of practicing the goal itself is your Persistence to achieve the goal.

Persistence brings into play the essential energy for directing your attention to what needs to be done right now.  “Energy flows where attention goes.” In other words, what you focus on, you give power to. You therefore must have a clear goal that has purpose and meaning behind to keep you focused.


For this month, pick one aspect of your Pilates practice that you would like to improve or accomplish, and focus on just that one thing. Clearly define “what” your goal is, and then understand “whyit’s important to you. Understanding your “why” is what will help you stay focused on your goal.  

Examples could include (the list is endless!):

  • Connecting to your seat
  • Getting out of your neck and shoulders
  • Not hyperextending your elbows
  • Not locking out your knees
  • Lengthening your hamstrings
  • Doing a rollover or a rollup
  • Coming up in a teaser on the Reformer

Share your Pilates goal in class and a SFP teacher may gear class toward your goal! 

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