How to make the most of your Pilates session

September 26, 2010 at 4:46 pm Leave a comment

First of all make sure your teacher knows

If you have an injury or a physical condition that might affect your ability to exercise (e.g. slipped disc, pregnancy, shoulder/knee problem, feeling physically tired on that specific day etc) please let your Pilates teacher know. You may feel that those issues are private and/or not worth mentioning but your teacher needs to know in order to guide you through a Pilates session safely. Your instructor can provide modifications of the exercises to avoid putting stress on the affected area.

Also, tell your teacher if there’s something you never quite understand (e.g. the breathing technique, core stability or neutral position of the spine) or if there’s a certain exercise you struggle with. Your teacher will then be able to give you more specific instructions or will even make some time before or after class to explain your issues on a one-to-one basis.

Second – don’t compare yourself to the person next to you

In a Pilates group session have you ever found yourself thinking ‘she’s so much slimmer than me’ or ‘I’d wish I’d be as flexible as her’ or ‘if I only could execute the movement as beautiful as her’? It can happen very easily and we all have been there I’m sure. But, don’t let your mind go there! As soon as you lose the focus on your own body you lose your centre and you stop paying attention on how your body feels, on your form, on your breathing and most of all on your concentration. You need the coordination of all these elements in order to perform your Pilates technique with energy and to make progress. Your body still gives you the most subtle and most important kind of feedback that can help improve your exercise technique.

I don’t mean that you can never look over at your friends and smile and enjoy the moment, but there’s a difference between having fun in class and self-sabotaging your efforts by telling yourself that you’ll never be as good in Pilates as the person next to you.

Next time you gaze over your shoulder to see how much better your class mate is stop your thoughts right there! Remember, you do Pilates just for yourself!

Third – apply Pilates into your everyday activities

After taking up Pilates you will soon start to be more aware about how you’re standing, sitting and moving. You will start thinking about the position of your pelvis while walking and you might feel different muscle groups working harder while others can relax a bit more.

You will become aware of spinal rotation while reaching one arm behind you to put your coat on. Or reaching one arm forward and twisting your spine while reaching into the kitchen cupboard.

You will notice how you place your feet onto the ground to get up from a sitting position. How to connect your core muscles while bending down to pick something up from the floor. You will learn how to use your abdominals in order to prevent lower back pain while lifting and carrying your child.

You will try to avoid a slouching posture in front of your computer and instead feel the length of your spine and the openness of your chest.

In short, you will improve your overall posture.

Pilates might even help you to progress in other sports techniques as you learn to use your muscles more efficiently.


Entry filed under: Classes, Exercise, Pilates, posture. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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SantisPilates is based in northwest London.

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If you are looking for Pilates Matwork classes or private one-to-one sessions in Hampstead/London NW3 please contact me via email or call 07976 183 158.

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Dear Sabine,

I benefit so much from your classes. Your instruction is always knowlegable and helpful. Even in a class setting you are able to give indiviual attention to everyone.
Having moved from London, I can see physically how much I benefited from your classes. I am hoping that I will be able to find a pilates insturctor as wonderful as I had with you.
Thanks again,

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