May 15, 2012

Do it :: Pilates

As most of you know my job is teaching Pilates. I teach private clients, group classes and this year have also started doing teacher training. Even though most of they day my mind is either in Pilates mode or mom mode I don't really ever talk about it much on the blog but I thought that maybe I should change that. I get lots of questions about Pilates so I thought I would answer some of the common ones.

{Joseph Pilates working on the Trapeze Table}

What is Pilates?
The long and short of it is that it is a form of exercise developed by a man named Joseph Pilates. He was a genius and pretty hardcore. He developed series of exercises on lots of different equipment and had several apprentices throughout his life. These apprentices are now called the Pilates Elders and it's through these Elders that most current Pilates teachers have done their apprenticeships, learning in their style. All teachers have a lineage which is distinct because of when and how Joe worked with the Elders.  Pretty cool if you ask me. 

How is Pilates different that Yoga?
Well now this is a tricky one...all you yoga lovers please don't throw tomatoes my way at my answer. Both are mind body exercise but they are quite different. In my opinion I think that Pilates is different because we're not focusing on an intention, we are focusing on the work. Many of the exercises have several parts or components that make it possible to focus inward while completing the work in the most efficient, precise way. Focusing on the work leaves your mind clear because if the exercises are done correctly you've left your cares at the door, no meditation needed. If you're like me and yoga makes you want to run away then try Pilates you might like it. 

The machines look intimidating, I'm scared.
Nothing to be scared of because the machines are ahhh-some. Mr. Genius Joe Pilates developed those machines for those that couldn't do the Mat exercises, so they can sort of help you along. They can also make it a little more challenging but not to worry they're lots of fun. Every time I work with a new to Pilates client I always make sure they get on a machine because I know they're dying to try. The teachers are there to help you, make modifications as necessary and teach you the ins and outs of the equipment. We want you to leave feeling better than when you came in.

I'll be honest these are tiny, snippets of an answer but hopefully should give you a little insight into the mystique of Pilates. Really it's not all that mysterious, great workouts that leave you feeling energized as opposed to exhausted. Shoot me some questions if you have them via email and when I get enough I'll answer them here on the blog. 


mamacita said...

I have a question, and I swear it's not meant as snarky as it sounds: how do people afford $40/ session to learn/ practice Pilates? I would love to do it, but there is no way I could pay that much, especially since it takes many sessions to develop any competence at all. It's not that teachers don't deserve it--I just really don't understand how normal people afford it?

Sarah's Fab Day said...

My dear Mamacita, I totally get it and I do get that question too. There is really no short answer so here's what I got. Most reputable studios have many different types of sessions as well as teachers. There are private lessons, semi-private and group classes. The group classes are usually the most affordable and a spot can be secured after 3-5 private lessons. The lessons are just so the client can get comfortable with the exercises and equipment and can move along with the existing students in a group. The level of experience of the teacher can also affect the cost per session. Some studios have apprentices or teacher trainees in their studios who can teach a private lesson at a reduced cost.

Now I just want to talk for a minute about most of the clients that I work with. I'm from the Eve Gentry lineage which is "every body, every day", meaning that depending on how the client is feeling on a particular day will direct the class that I will teach them. I look at their body every time we work together and what we do will depend on what I see. It's not just people that want to look hot that come to Pilates, many or most of my private clients have issues that need the type of workouts that Pilates provides. They come because in order for them to lead a normal life they have to develop the strength and stability needed for day to day living.

There's something for everyone, truly. Some people love to go out to dinner, some are clothes horses, some spend thousands on hobbies like road biking. But then there are those like me, a Pilates junkies. :) It's all a matter of what's a priority to them.