Zen & M’s: Pilates
This past week was bittersweet for me. My parents got Carrie Underwood tickets for my sister’s birthday and I got to go, too! Obviously, I was super excited to see Carrie because there’s no one who can key a car while singing quite like her, but going to her concert meant that I couldn’t go to yoga this week.
So, I decided to seize this sad happenstance as an opportunity to try something new! Taking a look at the Longfellow schedule, Pilates looked like an interesting class that coincided with my free time.
It was weird walking into my beloved hot house yoga studio for the class because the overhead fluorescent lights had been turned on and the fans were blowing. Quite the contrast to the dim, warm lighting and ninety degree heat of my yoga class.
Right away, the instructor launched into a core “warm-up.” Look, I work out A LOT, and even I was skeptical about her label – it didn’t take long to feel the burn.
Don’t let the word “burn” send you running in fear, though! The warm-up was a burn, but this workout is definitely accessible to everybody. The class was constant movement, but there wasn’t much cardio or endurance required, minimizing the challenge a little. But, it is a great choice for toning. My muscles definitely felt it and were worked hard in different ways than usual.
The best part about pilates, though, is the toys. Each participant grabs a bar, a pilates ring and weights at the beginning of class. I’m no stranger to weights, or the ring for that matter, but I’ve never used a bar before. And, we used all of the equipment in creative ways I had never thought of.
The ring we used many times to get more of a stretch. A few times, we hooked it around our foot and pulled down towards our head or the wall. Also, to work our booties, we stacked our two weights (three pounds each) behind one of our knees while in tabletop and lifted that leg for a few reps, before repeating on the other side.
I really like the idea of the bar, but I’m not quite used to it yet – I was the epitome of the awkward new kid. You know that kid who’s always dropping her pencil and watching it roll away from her during class? Oh, right, you already know me. Well, just replace the pencil with a three foot bar.
Before, I had always been under the impression that pilates was high impact, but I didn’t find that with this class. Perhaps I have to try a few more with different instructors and see if different styles and techniques change my overall impression. It was a fun change of pace, but I can’t wait to get back to yoga next week.