My Pilates Internship Journal – Week 2: Hello, Pilates
21 January 2019
I am developing the depth perception of Pilates – perceiving it in three dimensions and I found it is intriguing and really knowledge-based which is perfect for me, a college student.
In my first Pilates class, I could feel that breath is an essential element in Pilates as it is in other fitness systems, like Yoga and T'ai Chi. So I focused on my breathing and supposed that the instructor should tell me how to inhale and exhale for each exercise. However, throughout these days, I found it is not a fact, or just a part of the facts. Teachers instruct us the way to breathe at the beginning and only for some movements. Then they stop mentioning it.
I found my answer from Joakim, as it always is – there is no “one” way of breathing in and out for each movement, but a proper way of listening to your body. “Breathing is a tool, not a rule” is what he learned from Lolita San Miguel, his instructor and also a first generation Pilates teacher, trained by Joseph Pilates himself. When performing the exercises, we use breathing to control our movement and improve strength.
Generally, inhaling through the nose makes the ribs expand laterally, keeping the tightness of the muscles while exhaling through the mouse closes the ribs, increasing and assisting the muscle activity. In the normal case, we breathe in to extend the spine and prepare the exercise and breathe out to perform the exercise and maximize the exertion.
As every body is different and we have all have individual goals in Pilates, there is not a fixed way of how breathing should be. Personally, I don’t want to be too flexible and seek stronger muscle control. I should therefore exhale when preparing for the exercise to control my muscle not to expand too far on exertion. In Pilates, we have no fixed way but a tailored way of breathing and it’s personal.
Approaching to the end of my internship, I figured out that Pilates is more than just exercise, but a lifestyle. First, it can be part of your life no matter who you are. I was surprised to find that one instructor at Bälans has another job and is just teaching Pilates as an interest. Then I found this is very common in here – most instructors have their first career elsewhere. I like it and I can be free to like it – I wouldn’t have to give up anything to change myself into becoming a Pilates teacher. Of course, I’d need time for training, but I would love that because I am into it. Second, the Pilates method promotes in life (as does the Studio name Bälans). Contrology is no longer abstract, Muscle control, to me it is now concentration and dedication in life. I might seem to be good at Pilates because of my flexibility and endurance, but I need to focus on each detailing part of me to improve.
Two weeks is short but what I learned in two weeks is much more than I expected. It has been my pleasure to know everyone here and I really enjoyed everything. Thank you all for trusting me and welcoming me even though you might not even know me. Hopefully, I’ll see you soon!