Firstly, I will ask you to complete an enrolment form to ensure you only perform exercises that you can do safely. If you have been referred to Pilates by a specialist practitioner, e.g. your doctor, a Physiotherapist, Osteopath or Chiropractor, I will ask for your permission to liaise with them to ensure you get the best possible care.
Next, we will focus on body awareness. Most people have a very poor sensory awareness of their posture. Pilates teaches you how to focus and concentrate while moving, how to release unwanted tension from your body and how to relax.
Lateral thoracic breathing into the lower lungs is taught as well as how to find your best possible posture alignment, which will improve over time as Pilates corrects your posture. You will learn how to engage the deep stabilising muscles of the lumbar spine (transversus abdominis, pelvic floor and multifidus), how to keep the pelvis stable and the importance of doing so and good scapulo-humeral rhythm will be taught for better shoulder mobility.
As you progress, more movement skills and strengthening techniques are introduced. People will progress at different rates, even in a class environment, but you will only ever be asked to perform to the level of exercise you can safely achieve. You will be gently encouraged to step out of your comfort zone so that you do not become static in your development.
It cannot be emphasised enough, that safety is always paramount. Consequently no more than 12 clients are permitted in any one class!
You should find pilates to be more dynamic than yoga and less high impact than jogging, aerobics or gym work – all of which can place tremendous strain on the joints. Pilates has rightly become a popular form of regular exercise, but it should be noted that a large proportion of clients come to pilates for medical reasons, and have been advised to take it up as a positive way to help bad backs, necks, shoulders, joints and other similar physical problems.