30 Sessions to a New Body?

There is a well known and loved quote from Joseph Pilates himself that in 30 sessions you will have a new body. I sometimes think that this quote gets taken out of context and leads to people expecting a beach bikini ready body from 30 pilates sessions. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but doing Pilates once a week for 7 months is not going to do that.

So was Mr Pilates wrong? No, I don’t think so, but I think he had a different emphasis on this. I think he was meaning 1-2-1 sessions rather than group classes, he used a lot of equipment including the reformer and cadillac. I think he would have been expecting homework to be done between sessions and I think his style of teaching would have demanded you continually work on your posture and core daily.  Let’s face it, 7 months working in this way and you should be seeing great results.

This is not to say doing a weekly Pilates class isn’t beneficial. More of the point to highlight is that a weekly class is only 1% of your week and what you do the remaining 99% is key. So making Pilates a regular part of your day is the key. This doesn’t have to be a full hours workout, but more taking 10 minutes to focus on a few target exercises and keeping your posture high up the list of priorities in your day.

If you can manage a regular 1-2-1 session then this will also step things up a gear for you. I always notice that I work harder and see greater benefits for my own Pilates practise and body when I have regular 1-2-1’s. These don’t have to be weekly, I have clients who book in monthly for a reformer session to get that extra input and encouragement. Taking your Pilates from the mat to the equipment can show you where you need to focus your efforts. I’ve recently found that although I can do a roll up on the mat with ease, when I do it on the box on top of the reformer I struggle to get segmental work through one part of my spine. Cue a lightbulb moment and lots of focused stretching, segmental moves and practise.

So this post is all about encouraging you to take your Pilates out of the studio. Find some moves that you know you need to work on. The moves that you struggle with or the ones that you know help your body. Get your focus onto your posture and your everyday movements. Then you will really start to see the changes.

My Pilates admission… springs, furry handles, straps and beds.

Here comes a bit of an admission…. until recently I had never been on any type of Pilates equipment. Those scary looking frames, beds and chairs with straps, furry handles and springs looked rather intimidating to me… but also intriguing and I had been dying to give them a go. I completed my level 3 training when heavily pregnant and since then have been in a cycle of being pregnant, breastfeeding, pregnant again and breastfeeding again. So it has taken me some time to feel strong enough and ready enough to attempt a new challenge.

I am currently having some one to one sessions on the Pilates equipment with Marie-Claire Prettyman, who took me through my training and has taught me regularly since. Having someone who knows my body and capabilities well is helpful and reassuring.

Pilates with Priya: Teaser on the Cadillac

So after my first session – I was already in love. Working on the equipment adds another dimension to Pilates. The added resistance makes you think harder and work harder. For me it has been good to have an extra challenge, a fresh approach and another pair of eyes correcting my technique. With a slightly wonky body from carrying and chasing small children we’ve been focusing on my shoulders and upper back. The most frequently uttered words being “right shoulder down”. I always leave feeling alot better than when I started.

I will be completing my reformer training in April, so if you fancy giving it a go let me know!