27 Mar

I have been a Pilates person for roughly four and a half years now. I’ve been an instructor for about four. I started taking classes my first semester of  college and then decided to train to be an instructor. That December I auditioned (by teaching a class to a panel of people- terrifying) and was hired to start in January. Even though I’m not a student, I’m lucky enough to still teach at the Rec.

I love Pilates. If you’ve never done it, just stop reading here and go take one class so you can at least have a frame of reference. Oh, by the way, the first class is the worst one. It’s a core workout designed by Joseph Pilates, or Joey P. as I like to call him. It’s all about using your body as resistance, incorporating breathe and creating long-lean muscles. This all ads to prevent injury because your back/ankles/knees/etc  and the muscles that surround and support them all are strong and supportive. Holistic, I know.

A few weekends ago a trainer from another gym came and lead workshops for our staff. One of the sessions I attended was about preventing back injury by strengthening the back. Crazy, huh? If your core muscles are strong, there is less chance for injury and pain. She taught us how to ensure our participants are being safe and also working the important muscle groups. It’s weird to me when people around my age (early 20’s) tell me they have a bad back, or bad ankles or whatever. Maybe I’m insensitive, but I think we’re too young for that and our bodies are still incredibly resilient. It would really benefit your bad  whatever to look into physical therapy, a trainer or some program that can teach you how to take care of your body and support your frame.

Pilates as well as my health nut mother have taught me a lot about having a healthy life, not just a healthy diet. I’m all about being sensitive to what my body was really intended for and treating it accordingly. I don’t think humans were really built to do competitive weight lifting or eat an entire pizza as a meal.

I also love love love teaching. It’s fun for me to lay on my mat in front of 6- 30 people and lead a class. We’re jamming to John Mayer and creating rock hard cores at the same time. I’ve met some great friends who were other instructors and I’ve even gotten to know some participants really well. Sometimes I say I’m going to go for a run after work, but then I decide last minute that a nap would be better for my metal health. With teaching, I can’t chicken out because it’s my job to show up and teach. I also make money when I work out.

I would like to mention that Pilates is not Yoga. When ever it comes up that I teach Pilates, someone always says, “Oh that’s like Yoga, right?” Umm, no but I see why you say that. Please try to follow my SAT analogy here, Pilates is to Yoga as my G5 is to my old Buick. Yes, they are both types of cars/exercise that you can participate in a class setting. Yes they both get you where you need to go/both give you a workout. But they do not offer the same driving experience. My Buick was super bumpy thanks to the old struts and we only had the radio. My G5 is oh so smooth and it not only has a cd player, but also satellite radio.

Just remember- yoga is more about poses, stretching and holding. Pilates is more about motion and core strength. Also, in Pilates we breathe out though our mouths to release the carbon dioxide and cool our bodies. In yoga, you breathe out of your nose and keep the warmth inside.

Another common Pilates myth is that it is a womanly exercise. I will be the first to tell you that there are way more women in my classes than men. Men sometimes are turned off because it’s not a sweaty workout that feels like lifting weights or playing basketball. Many men are not aiming for long, lean muscles and Pilates is not a way to bulk up by any means. It is also not a weight loss strategy because it’s not cardio. It will however help you tone up.

There are some regular male attendees in my classes and although they feel totally uncoordinated and out numbered in the beginning, it’s great to see them become comfortable and challenge themselves as they progress.

Just like yoga, we stretch a lot. We’re all about the full body stretch, child’s pose and the pigeon. I know I’m not the best about stretching after I work out, but it’s built into Pilates. So awesome. It also has taught me so many stretches to use after my workouts. I like to run as well, and Pilates offers a great cross trainig outlet with some basic strength training and stretching. Thanks for that Joey P!

If you’re feeling brave, or if you already love Pilates, come to one of my classes! I’m not going to post them here, but text me or email me and I’ll let you know when I teach.

One Response to “#PilatesProblems”


  1. #PilatesProblems « call me shannon | Healthy Mind And Body Yoga - March 27, 2012

    […] Just remember- yoga is more about poses, stretching and holding. … Read the original: #PilatesProblems « call me shannon ← Living Yoga to Calm Your Mind The Art of Yoga Breathing […]

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