I’ve been practicing Pilates for a little over 3 years. When I started, I took a combination of privates and small group classes, but since I retired, I take mostly private sessions – and a few semi-privates. When Carey encouraged me to come to a Pilates class offered by a visiting instructor, I was terrified. My comfort zone is now in private sessions with a teacher I know very well!
You have to understand, for the last 15 years of my work life (before retirement) I traveled between 20-30 weeks per year. I watched a lot of reality tv in hotel rooms. I have anxiety when I think of personal trainers and fitness instructors from watching the Biggest Loser on TV. I’m pretty sure I’d have a heart attack, or a total body collapse if I was in a gym with a trainer yelling at me to run on the treadmill! So in my head, I pick the safest route, and generally that does not include taking a fitness class with a new instructor. I did join a gym locally 4 years ago. I went for maybe 2-3 months to a couple of classes a week – but the classes involved lifting weights without much personal attention (or detailed instruction) – so I was terrified that I would hurt myself and I quit going.
The class I was invited to was called Restorative Pilates. Ok — that’s a pretty non threatening title, so I’m not sure why it frightened me. I had no idea what to expect. I knew I had met the instructor before, and I was pretty sure that he was not the yelling and screaming type!
On that Saturday morning, I decided to put on my Pilates pants and go to class. The first thing I noticed was that I wasn’t the only one that was nervous. There were other students in the class going up to Carey and asking her to tell the visiting instructor that they had this or that going on – so they would be modifying some exercises. Another student was really nervous that she wouldn’t be able to do some of the exercises. Uh Oh. It was time to start class.
What was class like? It was terrific. The guest instructor (Len) started teaching. We started with the most basic of Pilates fundamentals – breathing. Len’s cueing was amazing and after practicing breathing for a few minutes – we started at our toes – and flexed and stretched most every muscle in our bodies. When he asked us to do hundreds – he gave so many modifications that everyone could feel good about doing their best hundreds – and after class, I felt great! I went, I completed the class, the world did not blow up and I felt really good about class! Here’s a tiny sample!
The moral of the story? Don’t be afraid of taking a class from a different instructor! I learned things from that class that I use every day to make my body feel better! Len’s ability to paint a picture that compared Pilates movements to everyday tasks gave me new ways to visualize the exercises that I was doing and I had a great time! Of course, I took some pictures and a few videos so I would have them for this blog, and it seemed like after the class — everyone was feeling the same way!