I am a Pilates convert

I have recently discovered that I love Pilates. I had been looking for a way to get back into exercising. I used to love Bikram Yoga, but the process of going, doing a 90 minute class, showering, and coming home meant I needed a two-and-a-half hour block of time to do it. My evenings and weekends are too fleeting to commit to that on a regular basis. I had briefly started going to a gym, but it closed. Plus, I didn’t really like going to the gym. There is is a Pilates studio in my neighborhood that I had walked by hundreds of times, so I finally decided to give it a try. Now, I’m hooked.

I had done a little Pilates in the past. Mat Pilates only. It started when one of my dance classes was canceled at the last minute because the instructor was ill. I had the option to come back for a make up at some other time or to take the mat Pilates class that was about to start across the hall. Since I was already at the studio I figured I may as well try the Pilates.

My first impression of mat Pilates was “Is this all?” We did many of the same exercises that my other class did as dance warm ups, but in Pilates we would do eight reps of something that I was used to doing 50 of. At some point we rolled back and forth in a ball. We did some weird breathing while pumping our arms. It all seemed rather silly, until I woke up the next morning and was sore in places I barely knew were places. At that point, I figured there must be something to this stuff.

My recent discovery is Pilates apparatus training. My first impression of Pilates apparatus work was very different from that first impression of mat Pilates. Pilates apparatus workouts (at least for me) are very clearly hard. My first time on the reformer I thought I might puke (but I did not puke). As a non-athlete I’ve never felt that intensely during a workout unless I actually had the flu.

By Stott Pilates  [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Reformer Workout By Stott Pilates [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
I will admit that Pilates apparatus is a little strange. The apparatus has weird names like reformer and wunda chair, and much of it looks like it would fit in as much in a sex dungeon as in an exercise studio. But I forgive that because when I leave my training sessions I always feel taller and stronger than when I went in.

Besides, if I stick with it maybe I can start doing some crazy Cirque du Soleil type shit on the Cadillac, like the squirrel. I mean, watch this woman. This is crazy.

I’m not ready for that yet, but I’m going stronger and more flexible every week. And I always wanted to join the circus.

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