PILATES! hmmm…. Thinking about taking a class?
Before you get started – there are a few things you might want to know.
1. Pilates is not a new fad exercise.
Just because YOU recently heard about Pilates within the last few years doesn’t mean it is a new form of exercise. In fact, it’s pretty old – as in almost 100 years. It’s named after a German guy- Joseph Pilates. He called his method of exercise ‘Contrology‘ and later, it became known simply as ‘Pilates’. Joseph started out kind of a sickly kid- asthma, etc. and developed a series of exercises in which he attributes to his healing and longevity. Later, he trained and rehabilitated soldiers, martial artists and boxers. I think, from looking at old films, I might have been a little scared of him. After he met his wife Clara he must have lightened up a little. In the 1990′s, celebrities and movie stars started making the exercise ‘secret’ more well known, and lo and behold, now it’s a household name. The history of Pilates is actually pretty interesting. Plus, I think it’s fun to look at all of the people working out in what looks like Speedos and bathing suits.
2. What’s the rush? Pilates takes time and patience. It’s a process. Would you expect to be good at golf the first time you tried? There are certain terms you will learn like ‘c’ curve and ‘neutral spine’. It’s literally a new language. Suddenly someone is asking you to move in a new way and it’s not so easy. Pilates is a life long exercise. There is no gold medal for finishing first. Advanced Pilates students still do ‘The Hundred’ – they just do it with more elegance and precision.
3. Suck it up and spend the money on a private lesson. It astounds me that people will spend a hundred bucks on a night of drinking and eating but complain about the cost of a personal training session. This is different from going in for ‘just a work out’. You need to find someone who can look at you and tell you what modifications you need to make when exercising. A well-trained Pilates instructor will watch you move and make suggestions based on your body and circumstances. If your goal is to get into group lessons, then tell your trainer that. Be honest and open about what you want out of the session. But also be realistic. If you have injuries and/or other health problems, not even Joseph Pilates himself could make
you ready for group class in one session. I know people think instructors say this to ‘get more money’ but honestly , it’s for your safety. The problem with going to group class before your ready is when someone next to you does something you think ‘I can do that too’ – even though– your instructor has already told you not to do that exercise, and guess what? You get hurt and complain that “Pilates hurt your back/neck/. . .whatever”. This is the main reason Studio Be Fairfax has the requirement of the ‘Intro to Pilates Package’ for all beginners – 5 sessions with a private instructor. Just cut out the lattes for a month and get some private lessons. Your body will thank you.
4. There is no amount of Pilates that can make up for bad eating habits. Pilates helps to reduce weight in sneaky ways. For example, when you start to listen to your body and instruct it to move in certain ways, you generally start getting that voice in your head saying ‘I really don’t need that bowl of Ben and Jerry’s after all’ or ‘let’s put it this way- you know the money you just spent on private lessons? You just wasted it because you downed a big cheeseburger and fries when you could have had some grilled chicken instead.’
And yes, there is the muscle-building factor. Pilates builds muscle, which burns more fat- blah blah, but let me tell you – and I am sorry to bum you out – you need some cardio exercise. Walk, bike, dance, do whatever, but you DO need something to light the fire.
5. Pilates is NOT just doing the exercise. Pilates is the way you move through the exercise. It is the way you move from one exercise to the next. It is the control , the grace, the elegance, the precision of the exercise. Any caveman can perform certain movements. In the words of Joseph Pilates himself ”A few well-designed movements, properly performed in a balanced sequence, are worth hours of doing sloppy calisthenics or forced contortion.” A bicep curl is a bicep curl – but a Pilates bicep curl starts by engaging your core first, creating stability in your Being before anything else moves. That’s Pilates.”
So, newbies, what are your questions about Pilates? Are you nervous? Inspired? Excited? Exercise should be fun- so don’t take yourself too seriously.
Come in and join us at Studio Be Fairfax – we don’t take ourselves to seriously either – but we DO remember to breath!!!!
4211 Fairfax Corner East Ave., Fairfax, VA 22030, suite 215 703-222-0122