I was introduced to Pilates a few years ago through an infomercial and about the same time fitness magazines were praising Pilates workouts for the long, lean dancer’s bodies so many Hollywood A-list actresses had. Since my first video purchase I have dabbled in Pilates. A workout here, a workout there. While I enjoyed the exercises and the challenge they gave me I never quite got onto a regular schedule with them. I eventually ended up doing a Pilates workout every few months while I spent most of my time doing traditional strength training and cardio. Then last winter I decided to take a session of 6 classes offered after work at the company I work for. And I fell in love.
The fall was hard but the stress of the day job and the desire to get out of dodge at the end of the day was far too overwhelming to continue the classes. But, it turns out that the lure of Pilates was too powerful and the day job stress did ease so I signed up for another session. Then scheduling issues interfered so my second session was it for a few weeks. Last week I went back to a class and tonight I went to another class. A new session is starting and I’m signing up. I enjoy everything about Pilates. I enjoy the exercises during class, I love how I feel after class and I treasure the mindfulness of the after effect of class on me for the rest of the week.
There are dozens of books on Pilates and articles all over the internet about Pilates. And I even suspect there’s a Pilates teacher or two reading this blog. So, while I’m no expert and certified in nothing, I can share my love for this amazing form of exercising and my experience doing the exercises. If you are the least bit interested in trying Pilates I strongly suggest finding a certified teacher and working with her. The difference between the dvds and the live class was amazing but I do know that classes can be costly so if you need to keep an eye on your budget you may consider taking a class on a regular schedule and supplement with dvds.
I think tonight at class I had an “ah-ha” moment. Walking out of our building to our cars, my co-worker and friend Ms. A told me that she could do only a two to three reps of some of the exercises tonight. This was her second class and I think it was a little bit more challenging than last week’s class. I told her that okay, you do what you can and you build from there and listen to what Rose says about the exercise. Are you supposed to feel it in your abs or glutes? Are you supposed to feel your spine elongate or have your lower back melt into your mat or feel each vertebrae sink down or each bone stack up?
Three good reps feeling what Rose tells us what we should be feeling is far more better than banging out 10 reps and feeling nothing.
I’m looking forward to deepening my Pilates practice over the summer with my weekly mat classes and twice monthly reformer classes. (Ugh, my shoulders were just creeping up to my ears. LOL. Fixed it though.)
What workout(s) are you looking forward to this summer? Or, do you play a team sport in the warmer months?