Image by Tiger Mask via Flickr
I personally love reading people's thoughts and impressions of Pilates training, and I actively look for articles about a reporter's first-hand experiences with Pilates as they tend to be a bit truer than a studio's press release.
Recently I found an article that started out, "Staff writer Amneris Solano has given yoga a try and heard about the mind-body melding experience that is Pilates. She wanted to give it a test run. Here's how it went." Entitled "Pilates: Building strength, balance", this was right up my alley!
The reporter in question tried both mat classes (also using small Pilates props such as bands, balls, rings) and the Pilates equipment work. Her take:
I had the privilege of doing both the mat exercises and the machine. The mat exercises are tough! From an outsider's perspective, it might appear as if you're doing just a little bit of work, but you'll feel the exercises deep within your muscles. I rediscovered muscles in my body that I hadn't used in years.
The machines are also tough, but they feel great because they stretch you out as you work. As we mentioned before, Pilates is all about balance, and the machines provide that balance in a way you'll notice immediately.
After the Pilates class, I felt refreshed and was more aware of my posture and had the desire to stand and sit up straight. I was sore the next day but relaxed and ready for more.
Stretch and strength, balance, rediscovery of new muscles, better posture, sore but relaxed - does any of this sound bad? Like something you wouldn't want out of an exercise program? Try Pilates and see for yourself!