I can’t remember the exact reason I wanted to explore Pilates 5 years ago, but I hit the jackpot on my first try with a studio. Instant love! To be fair, I don’t have any other studio to compare to because I have been going to the same studio since I started. I have heard that YMCAs have pilates available and that it isn’t the same. I can imagine. In the past I was a member of the Y and associate going there with a sweaty gym experience and that is really not appealing to me.
The studio I go to is amazing. When you walk in, you are instantly welcomed with refreshing scents! They use oil diffusers that are not over burdening. (I am really sensitive to smell). They dim the lights, play appropriate music (which varies depending on where you are in your work out) and the décor is awesome, very Buddha chic. LOL I just made that up. I don’t know Buddha just kind of makes you think of being present and centered. They also have personal fans and keep the environment comfortable. The instructors are very well educated. They work with a small class of 10 max to ensure that you move the correct way preventing injury. This is so important! How many times have you experienced working out and hurting something? I’m not talking about soreness because you haven’t exercised in a while. I mean working repetitively in the wrong position causing injury and pain. For some that have pre-existing injuries, the instructor will modify the exercise specifically for that person. All classes are reserved in advance so you are guaranteed your spot.
You will never be bored with Pilates. Especially at a studio like the one I go to. Let’s see if I can name the different activities they have there. The reformer, the chair, the tower, floor work, big ball, smaller ball, medicine ball, dowel, bosu, short box/long box, TRX, magic ring, bands, weights, circuit, jump board, body blade and endless options of positions on the equipment or floor. Working on your flexibility and all muscle groups helps your posture and I believe protects your muscles that you may over use. I definitely feel great and really look forward to class. It has made a difference on my muscle tone giving me a leaner appearance. I’m much more aware of my movement now even outside of class. With the encouragement to focus on the movement, you achieve more out of the exercise because you actually work harder. They describe with words in great detail what you are to be feeling or how to be positioned. And breath is a really important part of the movement as well. This is another opportunity to tune out the stressful part of your day and really be present for class so that you can get the most out of it.
Pilates is good for strength training for your body, it feels good, gives you a sense of connection with your muscles in your body, it gives you the opportunity to tone and look leaner and there is always variation to look forward to.