My Pilates Journey - Week 4: Springs and Things
This week, in amongst helping with the marketing at Bälans and being used as a body for the Lolita’s Legacy Pilates Teacher Training Course, I’ve also been getting to grips with apparatus classes. To anyone who doesn’t know what apparatus looks like (hi Mum!) I’m on one of the pieces of kit – the reformer – in the pictures. Other than that apparatus is pretty hard to explain, which is all the more reason that you should come and experience it!
So far, I’m very early in my Pilates journey, and so I’ve mostly been attending our level one classes. My nerves attending my first apparatus class were quickly shown to be unnecessary. Before going in I was quite alarmed by all of the springs and things: it all seemed very technical and like you needed to be some kind of a Pilates wunderkind to understand. However, this was totally the opposite of my experience in my first and subsequent apparatus classes. All of the instructors were so helpful, as always, and the small class sizes really helped to get the most out of the time.
One of my initial take-aways from doing my first class on the reformer was just how interesting the apparatus is. In my later classes this observation has been confirmed over and over again. There are just so many different ways you can use it! This variation is something I’ve found time and again doing all kinds of Pilates at Bälans, there really is never a dull class.
Another layer of interest for the apparatus is how adaptable they are to your specific needs. I can totally see how useful this could be if you’re suffering from an injury. For me this adaptability is great as I build up strength, particularly in my core. I felt quite called out for my lack of core engagement by the reformer, when doing a roll over in one of my classes this week. It made me realise how much I was just using momentum to swing my legs over my head rather than lifting from my core. Later on in the week I was able to involve my core much more – as in the picture!
Similarly, I’ve particularly enjoyed the apparatus for how it changes exercises that I’ve mostly experienced on the mat so far. There’s something about the reformer in particular that helps you to understand the movement, perhaps because of the movement of the carriage. It often also often feels more supported than doing matwork, because of the extra points of contact. And on top of all this the windows in the apparatus studio have some of my favourite views in the building!
I’m looking forward to seeing what other experiences I can have on the apparatus in the coming weeks and until next week, see you in class! – Alusha