So, you have decided to have a go at Pilates? What to expect?
First of all, do some research into the teacher’s qualifications and how many years of teaching experience they have had. How long has the studio you plan to go to exist? Do the teachers teach in the studio permanently or change quite often? We ask this so you can rest assured that the teacher is passionate about what they do and more importantly that the teacher knows, after time, how your body moves and knows your strengths and weaknesses.
It is important to listen to your body when and before you start Pilates. If you have any previous body conditions that need medical attention, please consult your physician to get the green light to do Pilates. Understand that Pilates teachers are not doctors and cannot diagnose a client. We can only teach movements that will make your body more balanced and help you move with precision to avoid further injuries to your body.
Our teachers will modify exercises for your own benefit but as common sense would have it you must listen to your body, when you feel pain, stop moving. Do not force yourself to do movements when it feels uncomfortable. It is better to make small progress within safety limits than to push yourself until your muscles are fatigued as this can strain your muscles and you are prone to injure yourself. Pilates is a mind and body workout that needs concentration. Good breathing techniques are beneficial to make your movements light and precise. Pilates movements should be done slowly and effortlessly. Keep practicing, be patient and aim for perfection.
We also recommend that when you do have a body condition or a previous injury, book some private sessions so the teacher can give you special exercises suitable for your body strength. This will give you a better awareness of your weaknesses and can help you work toward strengthening those weak parts.
When you are a beginner, the teacher will talk you through any misalignments you may have and guide you to an ideal and perfect posture through body analysis.
The teacher will then guide you through fundamental exercises to warm up your body before using the equipment.
In a traditional Pilates studio you usually see:
- Spine Corrector
- Small Barrel
- Ladder Barrel
- Wunda Chair
Unlike other fitness programs, Pilates focuses on the precise body mechanics and correct techniques to move with ‘even’ breathing as well as repetitive movement (which is no more than 10 repetitions per exercise and often only between 3 to 6 reps). In the beginning, you do not sweat (if sweating is your goal), but it works your body just as effectively if what you want to achieve are a balanced body and a healthy mind.
Soon you will feel the results, you will walk straighter and feel lighter, you will sleep better, your aches and pains will decrease and you will focus better. Your body will be more flexible and not as stiff and you will feel the strength from inside out. In time, you can do what initially felt hard with ease and effortlessness. This will give you more body awareness and confidence. The benefits are endless and no doubt it is good for our body.
To quote Joseph Pilates: In 10 sessions you feel the difference, in 20 sessions people will see the difference and in 30 sessions you will have a whole new body.
Pilates changes your body and changes your life.