Someone I know recently compared being a Pilates teacher to being an undertaker…..whaaat??? Where am I going with this??? Read on. They said that with the ageing population and rise in stagnant, desk based careers, I would never be short of clients, in the same way that an undertakers will never go out of business…..! It’s a morbid but unfortunately accurate analogy. The injuries do keep on coming and there is certainly no shortage of people independently looking for classes but also being referred by the medical profession.
However, I KNOW there are many of you who would love to try Pilates, who really need to try Pilates but for a number of reasons are still trying to pluck up the courage. Read on and I hope some of your main concerns will be addressed below, setting you up to try your first class…
I’m too old / unfit / fat / uncoordinated etc etc
The list goes on and it’s very unlikely that any of these things will make any difference when in class, but I do understand they can affect your confidence…. So to combat this, you have options – you can try a 121 class, a duet with a friend, a small reformer group, a beginner specific group or a gentle mat class. You need to do your research, find a teacher you like the sound of and get in touch. If you’re really nervous a 121 with the teacher before joining a group would be a good idea to get an idea of the basics and to get to know the teacher and share your fears! Bear in mind and take comfort from the fact that your fears may feel big to you but to us teachers, well, there isn’t much we haven’t seen and overcome!
I went to my gym class but didn’t “get it”.
Pilates is best done initially in small, level-specific groups where the teacher can keep an eye on you. Gyms tend to be large groups with a complete mixed bag of ages, abilities, injuries and ailments. It’s hardly surprising a beginner or someone with a specific requirement may feel a bit lost or out of their depth. Pilates is all about the detail, the minutiae of movement and the switch from dominant habitual movements to creating new patterns and encouraging different muscles to fire. Large, mixed groups are not conducive to this. Find yourself a small, tailored class initially and rejoin the gym when you’re more confident in the Pilates repertoire.
I don’t have a core.
I hear this one time and again, mostly it must be said, from the ladies!! Trust me, it’s there! There are a number of reasons why you may not be recruiting your “core muscles” and a good teacher should be able to help you find them. It takes time and a multitude of different exercises and movements to re-recruit this group of muscles but it’s possible in EVERY person with commitment, patience and persistence.
I don’t want to look stupid.
The beauty of Pilates is that it takes concentration – take heart from the fact that no one will be looking at you because they will be too busy focusing on their own stuff. I can do a class and not even notice who is next to me – you can be antisocial and selfish and comfortable that everyone else will be the same!
So there we have it, the most common fears that I have come across. If you have any worries that I haven’t noted here, please feel free to contact me and I will do my best to reassure you. Now please go and find yourself a great teacher in a class where you feel comfortable and create yourself a new, improved, pain-free body!