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My Pilates Journey Day 11 – Exercising Mentally

10th January 2018

My Pilates Journey Day 11 – Exercising Mentally

10th January 2018 – Day 4

Today, I joined a group apparatus class with Lolita’s Legacy Pilates teacher training course students. They’re halfway through an intensive week-long course, taught by Laura, a Lolita’s Legacy instructor from Florida. St Andrews being such an international university, having an American voice in the studio feels strangely reassuring, familiar to me.

The women in the class are all experienced with Pilates, having been advanced students for years before embarking on the teacher training course, and I learned just how much more experience they had over me during the class, in a way I totally did not expect.

We were on the reformers, with our feet against the shoulder rests and our hands on the bars, moving into a plank position. I feel my heart starting to pound just a little faster than I expected it to. I’m facing down into the springs, and my brain starts thinking about how scary they look, how much it’ll hurt if I fall, how much more likely that I’m going to fall now that I’m not focusing on the exercise, and so the panic breeded more panic until, about 15 seconds into the exercise, I stand up and shake my head apologetically at Laura. I can’t do it.

The exercise was hard, no denying it, and my arms were feeling the brunt of it, but realistically, I could have continued physically, my arms weren’t at breaking point yet. It was my brain that stopped me, not my body.

After the class, I spoke to Laura. She’s been doing Pilates since she was 11, and so is well accustomed to the apparatus, as well as to clients’ worries and fears regarding them. She told me about how getting mentally is half the work, and once I’m more accustomed to the reformer, I’ll find the exercises much easier. She gave me some homework to think on, and then I let the class get on for the rest of the day, while I returned to my desk.

Asides from the slight mental block, I really enjoyed the class. It was my first session with other people, and having other students learning at the same time as me was a real boost to help me push myself and match them, especially since they were more experienced. Out of the 2 hour session, there was only one other exercise that I couldn’t complete, and that time, it was because my body gave out! I’ve given myself too many small injuries and torn muscle tendons from pushing myself when I shouldn’t have, that I now am much more careful about stopping!

Laura is also a fantastic teacher. Her instructions were clear, understandable, and well-balanced between Pilates terms and everyday imagery that I could relate my body to. She kept the mood light and the conversation fun, making us all feel at ease. I found myself working extra hard on my posture to please her – though that might actually have been because Joakim was walking around with a camera, and I wanted to look good!

I will be interviewing Laura later on in the week, so look out for this!


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