Sunday, January 17, 2016

What should I expect from a Pilates class?

By Kay Finn

Joseph Pilates is often quoted as saying, "In 10 sessions you'll feel the difference, in 20 sessions you'll see the difference, and in 30 sessions you'll have a new body."

At the end of Pilates class, some of my students have said:

"I feel so stretched out now!"
"My abs really felt that!"
"That class was fun!"
"The time just flew by!"
"I feel taller!"

Pilates is a great complement to other forms of exercise. Whether you are an avid runner, swimmer or a seasoned yogi, practicing Pilates will help you focus on your core muscles which will influence efficiency in all other movements: your serve in tennis, your stride in soccer, your ability to attack moguls, your chaturanga.

Pilates' major principles are:

* Breath
* Concentration
* Centering
* Stability, among others.

Regulating the breath will help to properly oxygenate your muscles while helping to inform your movement. It will help you coordinate what your mind tells your body to do. Learning to stabilize your pelvis and shoulder girdle will enable you to move the rest of your body more easily.

Pilates makes you feel strong. 100, Rollup and Teaser are all signature Pilates exercises which help you focus on your core. As you continue to practice, you will get stronger and will feel a sense of accomplishment as these exercises become more fluid.

As you become more familiar with the exercises, you will learn to experience them in different ways, using props or changing the levels of intensity. Most classes follow a pattern of exercises even though not every class will have all of the same exercises. There is enough repetition, however, to allow you to develop proficiency.

Ultimately, with regular Pilates exercise, you will notice improvement in your posture, energy, flexibility and core strength.

Have you tried Pilates yet? Are you nervous about being able to participate in a class? Don't be. There is a class for you. Teachers are trained to modify all exercises to accommodate all students in multi-level classes. What are you waiting for?

Kay Finn is Director of the Stott Pilates Studio at Lumina Mind Body Studios in Wayland, MA. Kay is a longtime fitness enthusiast who began her Pilates experience in 2004 by taking a Pilates mat class. After several years of taking mat and equipment classes, Kay began her formal training at Northeast Pilates in 2006 and completed her training for certification with Stott Pilates in 2008. She is fully certified on the Mat, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair and Barrels through Stott Pilates. 

Kay has been teaching Pilates at Longfellow since 2007. She teaches group exercise classes, small group classes on the mixed equipment and private sessions with individuals on the equipment in the Pilates Studio. 
In addition to teaching and spending time with her extended family, Kay enjoys biking, swimming, walking her dog and Yoga. 

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