My Pilates Journey Day 10 Feel the Burn
My Pilates Journey Day 10. Feeling the Burn
16 June 2017 – Day 10
It is exciting to think that in a matter of weeks, I will be on my way to being more flexible with a strong core, toned muscles, and flatted stomach.
That is not to say that this is the only reason that I’m enjoying this opportunity, but it certainly is a good one! Although I won’t have been doing specific cheerleading movements or lifting people, the subtle toning that Pilates provides will maintain the progress I’ve been able to make in the last year. Being able to focus on strengthening my own body for the sake of myself and not just because I need to be strong enough to push another adult to an extended position and hold them there has changed the way I think about exercise. Instead of putting the team’s goals first, I’ve been given the mindset of putting my own goals first. It is kind of an exciting change of perspective towards my fitness.
Whereas in week one, I was already beginning to feel sore, last week I could feel good. Unlike yoga where you often hold your position for a number of breaths, Pilates is fluid and active. While proper breathing is still necessary, you learn to engage muscles that you did not think would affect your core or back (I’m talking about you, pelvic floor) and you learn to understand the basics of movement.
I took part in three classes last week, two mixed level Matwork classes and a level one Apparatus class. The Matwork classes were fun and challenging as we used the Swiss Balls to enhance some of the traditional Pilates movements. The weight of the ball changed each movement just enough that what had been easy the previous week was more difficult this week. The different kit each week is meant to provide a bit of a challenge, but maintain progress in your Pilates journey.
The Matwork classes last week really targeted my abdominals and muscles in my torso, but the Apparatus class on Friday morning worked my upper body and my legs. If you have not had a chance to do an Apparatus class, I highly recommend trying it out. If not in an hour-long class, then as part of a 1:1 session with one of the Instructors. I’ve used a reformer before in my days of physical therapy in the USA, but the way that you use a reformer when you are recovering from ankle surgery and a knee injury are much different than when you are using one during a Pilates class. Although today was my first Apparatus class and many of the movements were new to me, Petra was so patient in explaining and sometimes re-explaining what it was she wanted me to do.
After using the Reformer and the Pilates Chair, my shoulders, arms, and legs felt the burn this weekend. Last week showed me that progress is essential, but figuring out what your fitness goals are is even more important. As I said in my Day 1 Post, Pilates is all about what you push yourself to do. I was reminded of this at the end of the Tuesday’s Matwork Class as Alison prepared us for the last set of the actions. Balancing on the Swiss Ball! She told us that to be successful at balancing on the swiss ball, that as long as we followed her instructions and had confidence, we would be able to do it.
She was right. Approaching the ball slowly and with confidence, I was able to balance on the ball by myself! You’ll be rather amazed what you can do with the right support, right mindset, and well-set goals.