Pilates - How Do I Get Started?

27 Dec

Why should I do Pilates?
The benefits of Pilates are nearly endless and it is open to all ages & demographics! 

Take a look at just a handful of the proven effects of Pilates;

•    Decreased Back Pain

•    Improved Posture 

•    Reduced Stress / Anxiety

•    Improved Stamina & Endurance 

•    Post-natal Recovery 

•    Increased Flexibility 

•    Improved Pelvic Stability 

•    Mitigates Fibromyalgia & Arthritis 

Check out the research if you want to check our Facts!

Pilates & Yoga: They’re the same right? 
OK, Pilates and Yoga can both take place on a Mat, they generally focus on Lengthening & Breathing, and you’re usually bare foot - but that’s about it. 

Yoga tends to draw on Flexibility and Strength from the Feet upwards (Roots to the Sky), bringing together Body, Mind & Spirit. 

Pilates has an altogether more anatomical and physical function focus. Exercises focus on originating from the Core (Centre) of the body, unifying the breath and movement to maximise length, strength and functional outcome. 

As Pilates is predominantly instructional and functional it appeals to those who struggle with Spirituality and Meditation, finding instead that the total focus on form, movement and function, allows them to create a sense of shutting off the outside world for an hour.

How do I start Pilates? 
Pilates can be done One-One or Small Groups, a Class Setting or at Home. You can use props or well-equipped studios will have apparatus you can use for Private or Semi Private Sessions. There really is an option or all Lifestyles, Schedules and Budgets.

Which is the best for me?

Private or Semi Private Sessions
Perfect if you’re stepping into Pilates for the first time or progress deeper into your Pilates Practice! 

Normally taught using the Mat & Apparatus; such as the Reformer, Tower, Wunda Chair & Spine Corrector. An opportunity to learn about any imbalances in your body, modifications you may need or to address any Injuries & Conditions that you may have before your attend your first class. 

One to Ones are the best way to ensure your body is getting exactly what it needs to progress deeper into the Pilates method at a pace that suits you! 

You’ll pay more, but you will get One-One time with a highly educated and qualified instructor. 

Teaching on apparatus requires Comprehensive Training & Knowledge – You’re not paying for an hour, you’re paying for years of Study, Experience & Knowledge.

Group Mat Classes.
Affordable, Effective and Usually easier to access! 

The Mat repertoire consists of 34 Mat exercises created by Joseph Pilates and well documented in his book ‘Return to Life’. Mat Classes are usually leveled from Beginner to Advanced however Mixed Ability Classes are not unusual. Mat Classes usually feel more familiar as they will be more like other classes you may have attended such as Yoga or Stretch. An optimal number of participants for a Mat Class is between 8-12 to ensure a safe, effective and efficient experience. Higher numbers can result in a challenging class for an inexperienced or under-educated instructor, if you have a pre-existing condition or an injury look for a class with limited or smaller numbers.

Self Practice
Convenient – Your Time, Your Pace & Your Space! 

We all know how crazy life can get – right? 

So squeezing in 30 minutes before the school run or a quick session after dinner once the kiddos are down for bed; could be the best way to get your daily Pilates practice. 

Self-Practice is the time for you to figure out that ‘lateral breath’ or repeat that one exercise you weren’t totally sure of and then repeat and repeat some more; giving you the time and freedom you might not have in your Group Class.

Of course Self-Practice Is not a replacement for attending sessions with a Qualified professional, but a fantastic way to develop your body awareness and understanding.

TIP: Try to practice in front of a mirror so you can check your alignment

Ensuring you continue your New found enjoyment for Pilates
It’s hard to juggle time, money and lifestyle - We all get that!

1.    Attend 2-3 Mat or Group Reformer classes a week, and seek out studios that offer Multi-Buy Passes or Bulk Bookings for a discount. 

2.    If your budget allows; maintain one 1:1 a month in order to stay on top of any changes, imbalances, and new injuries or to work on any progressions in your practice. 

3.    Self-Practice; allow for 1-2 sessions a week at a time the best suits your routine and lifestyle and commit to this same Day/Time each week. Use the time efficiently and work out when you feel most motivated and energetic.

Most Importantly 

Pilates Teachers are like a Barber, you will need to find one that you can communicate effectively with and ‘gets you’, equally you’ll need to enjoy their teaching style – Don’t be afraid to ‘shop around’.

If you’re lucky enough to find that person at your first session then stick with them, that connection will serve you and your practice. But if you leave feeling tense, frustrated or unfulfilled it’s probably best to keeping searching for ‘the one’. 

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