I teach a weekly class that I call Return to Life on the Mat. In this class we practice the entire advanced Pilates Mat sequence that Joseph Pilates created in a very flowing tempo. Most of the classes on our group class schedule are considered all levels, but Return to Life is not and because of that I require that students be approved by a teacher to take the class. This is because we do exercises that are often not taught in an all levels class and the pace is pretty quick so there is not a lot of time as a teacher for me to stop and “teach” an exercise to an individual body who has not done it before. As a teacher it’s always first on my list to keep all students safe in their body. Truly this class flows enough that at the end of class your heart rate is often raised and you are dripping with sweat as if you just went for a brisk walk or run! If the challenge of being able to safely practice the advanced mat sequence is something you would love to do, definitely talk to me or your teacher about how we can help you get there!
Now that I’ve told you all about the advanced Pilates Mat class, I have something VERY important to tell you:
There is absolutely no need to be able to do advanced Pilates Mat exercises to get the amazing benefits of a Pilates practice in your life!!
If you practice Pilates on a regular basis I probably don’t need to tell you this. You’ve probably had some “aha” moments in your practice when you say to yourself:
“The more I learn about how to move my body correctly, the harder the exercises are!”
“I think that going slow and at a “beginners” pace today was harder than when we have more flow?!”
You can practice Pilates for your entire lifetime without doing the “advanced exercises” and you will still feel amazing in your body and you will still be progressing!
The reason so many of our classes are “all levels” is that you don’t need to do a more advanced exercise to improve your Pilates practice. When you practice Pilates exercises on a regular basis, when you learn to focus and concentrate more on each movement and be more precise, you are advancing in your Pilates practice! And I’m guessing you’ve probably noticed that and said to yourself, “Why is this Pilates thing feeling more challenging the more I do it?!”. It’s because you are progressing, improving and becoming a better, more efficient mover who is stronger and more balanced in their body.
The goal of your Pilates practice is not (or should not!) be to “get to a certain level” or to be able to do a particular exercise. The goal is to move your body in a way that brings balance and uniform development to your body, which in turn allows your body to function at its best. I believe the best way to achieve that goal is to find movement classes that you enjoy coming to and create an at home practice that supports your goal to create optimum health in your body. Probably the most challenging part about a Pilates practice that I see in clients is consistency. The method itself is amazing, and if you practice on a regular basis you will feel results and reap daily benefits from it. But let’s face it…life gets crazy and movement and exercise time is often one of the things that easily gets thrown aside. If you want to make a commitment to advancing your Pilates practice simply make a commitment to keep practicing!!