My Pilates Journey Week 5 – Retrospection
I’ve reached the mid-point in my internship! I’ve got 5 more weeks left (2 of which are during the summer break, which sadly means no Pilates for me), so I thought I’d use this opportunity to reflect upon my journey so far.
Between my last blog entry and now, I took 2 weeks off my internship to attend my sister’s high school graduation, and to spend a week in Corsica with my family. The temperature there was around 35 degrees during the day, which led to a very lazy holiday – that I could definitely feel after returning. But I’m sure I’ll get back in shape soon enough!
My perception of Pilates has changed a lot throughout my time here. Before trying it out, I thought Pilates was like Yoga - all about balance and flexibility - so I was rather surprised when I left my first Pilates class covered in sweat. I then jumped to the conclusion that Pilates is all about core strength and improving endurance, and tried to do each exercise in a way that tired me out the most: big motions, as fast (or in some cases slow) as possible.
I couldn’t have been more mistaken (my week 2 blog even got taken down because of that assumption!). The motions in Pilates are a lot subtler than I had realised and are hard to sum up in a paragraph. While it does have exercises that increase endurance, it has some that simply target muscles that we don’t use often. Certain exercises are about correcting posture from our bad daily habits, others improve flexibility, and the breathing exercises are even slightly meditative (and increase lung capacity). My conclusion is that Pilates is easy to take up, but hard to master. It is something that can provide a challenge to you, no matter your skill and fitness level.
Earlier, I also had the pleasure to be used as a mannequin by GG, a Legacy Student here at Bälans. She had a private session with Joakim, the owner of this fine establishment, where they went through certain exercises needed for GG’s exam, and what details to watch out for when teaching them to people (for which my lack of experience was actually helpful). Most of these exercises were completely new to me - they were probably from level 2 and level 3 classes - so I’ve done my first Teaser there! And my second, and my third… I tried about 4 different variations of it, each as hard to do as the others.
I really enjoyed that session, because of how challenging all the exercises were, and because of all the personalised guidance I got from a Pilates instructor, and an instructor-to-be. I hope I’ll get to try out a proper 1:1 session during my time here, as it’s a very different experience from the larger classes offered here.