Something new? Yes please!
Hands up those who have not tried something new for ages? Most of us right?
Sometimes however, events conspire to make us branch out and reach for new goals and experiences. At times you have to take a leap of faith and do it because you can.
I have always been a bit hit and miss about exercise. I liked watching workouts on DVD’s and reality shows, but rarely did I join in. Starting a new form of exercise can be terrifying.
What do I wear? Will I be able to keep up? What if I fall over? How much time will it take and can I afford it? All good questions, although the answers can hold us back for no reason other than the fear of the unknown.
Could Pilates really be the answer?
Fining myself standing outside a small shop front in my local town peering through the windows, was the first step to me trying something new, even if I didn’t know it at the time.
Studio Zest looked inviting and quirky. Wellness Centre, Yoga, Pilates, Facials and physiotherapy were all promised, but could they deliver? With trepidation I stepped inside and looked around.
Three weird looking tables with ropes, pulleys and trapeze bars were tucked behind some old-fashioned gym bars acting as a cool room divider. The atmosphere was calm with a good energy filling the air. I had been prepared to take a look and walk away. Yer in that moment I wanted to stay.
I booked one class with a very kind woman who told me not to worry about what to wear but to arrive in something loose and yoga like. My first class was a one-on-one. Your first few classes are individual while the instructor – Kate Bender (owner and founder), works out your level of fitness and where you have problems to work on. My upper back is apparently nothing to write home about…
Realising I should have taken the plunge before
I did not rush out and buy dozens of leggings and top ensembles; I got just one set and made myself stick to that for the first five months. We all have drawers of clothes and equipment from failed hobbies.
Yes, the first five months!
I did break down and buy the toe socks and the gloves that give better grip on the bars as they are a safety measure. Now I go twice a week, three if I can manage it. Most importantly, I am now the proud, much fitter, much more toned person who has been going for nine months.
Safety is priority
All alterations of the equipment during the class is done by the instructor.
You can buy these pilates tables to have at home but I would not recommend it. You could get into serious trouble with the springs. The tiny adjustments the instructor gives your body as the class progresses, makes sure you are in the right position to get the best out of each exercise cycle.
The whole concept of Reformer Table Pilates is exercise against resistance without relying on gravity. If people laugh and say you do half of it lying down like taking a nap, then they have never done it.
The table splits into two sections so you can do static work with the trapezes. Then with one section taken away, you move the table up and down by kneeling, lying, standing or sitting to make it glide up and down in the frame as you pull on straps or push against the foot bar. Your own body weight is added to the resistance of weighted springs.
Your core is the core of the discipline
I can now identify my core whereas before I was doubtful that I had one. I only wish that I had taken before and after of my upper arms and shoulders, to compare my transformation into having the arms of a much younger person.
Occasionally there are three people in the class at different levels of ability, nevertheless the instructors make sure that each person is working to their maximum level for fantastic results. Whatever you are doing, there is always laughing and no-one is embarrassed if they take a while to get the moves being shown.
Since doing this form of exercise, I have improved skin and muscle tone. I stand taller and sit better. I have massive amounts of energy and I want to take this opportunity to thank Kate and Tor who have changed my life. Try something different again? You bet I will!
Visit studiozest.co.uk online to see the equipment and if you are lucky enough to live in Wiltshire or Dorset, pop in and book a class or find a studio near you.