At the start of each six weeks you’ll be given a lesson plan with approximately 20 exercises. These are to help you remember what you’re learning so that you’ll be able to practice at home.
I know everyone leads busy lives but just 5 minutes a day can make a big difference. Keeping to the same format helps you learn the exercises and improve your movements. Repetition is very important as it:
1. Enables you to un-learn “faulty recruitment patterns” (habitual bad habits);
2. Be able to “feel” the right movements; and
3. Gradually master the technique of each exercise.
At the start of each class I always say “and how are all the bodies today, anything new to report?” I encourage every member to let me know if they’ve got a bad back, neck ache, knee pain or any other physical problem that might effect them in class. That way I can adapt an exercise to suit them, often 3 or 4 people in a class may be doing something different to everyone else.
Listen to your own body, don’t struggle on and think “I mustn’t make a fuss”.
I do not adhere to that dreadful cliché “no pain, no gain”. If you’ve had a hard day, do one repetition and rest one, feeling “tired” is a reason to be gentle with yourself.
Take things calmly and by the end of class you might feel like a different person. Very often clients say “I nearly didn’t come tonight because I felt so exhausted, but I feel so much better now”.
With all my beginners you learn how to relax, breathe laterally, concentrate on good alignment and start finding out how to use the muscles that will give you good core stability.
As you progress I add balance, co-ordination, intensity and stamina work. By the time you’re in Intermediate, weights and small pieces of equipment are added to help develop these areas.
We all progress at different rates, but as a soon as I think you are ready I will move you up to a harder class.
For various reasons sometimes you reach a plateau beyond which you probably won’t progress. You’ve found the level that suits you and that you enjoy. Having a new set of exercises every six weeks brings a freshness to your workouts and helps you not to get bored. If you wish to stay where you are, you can! I’m not a slave driver!
Ultimately Pilates could help you to enjoy your life to the full, be able to participate in any sport of your choice and keep a strong functioning body well into your eighties.
Private Lessons in my Studio
These are either personal training sessions or for couples. These lessons are targeted to your specific needs. People with chronic problems often benefit more from one-to-one tuition. If you feel inhibited in a group situation or your work schedule makes it difficult to stick to the set time table then individual lessons may be right for you.
Serious athletes/dancers find the structure of private lessons helpful as more advanced work can be taught, thereby enhancing their performance.
I use the Reformer and other pieces of Pilates equipment to give more feed back and increase the intensity of their workouts.
I try to make all my lessons safe, effective and enjoyable. I think Pilates is a great form of mind-body exercise, but it may not suit everyone.
The main thing is to enjoy your workouts and commit to taking some form of regular exercise. We only “own” one thing, our bodies. Treat your body well and be gentle with yourself.