I have often comes across yoga students who at the mention of the word 'pilates' pull a pained face, as if I had said 'piles'. It seems many yogis find Joseph Pilates' exercise system uninspiring and downright boring.
I find it fascinating.
To truly benefit from pilates requires a great deal of concentration as the exercises often aim to make you consciously engage very deep set muscles. This can be a tough and sometimes frustrating learning process (and you will have off days just like with anything else). But the postural awareness that this brings not only makes your yoga practice stronger but it will also allow your body to function better in every day life.
In my opinion, anyone who has time to be bored doing pilates is simply not doing it properly. And if you find yourself thinking about other things in class, then perhaps you haven't found the right teacher to inspire you - yet.
I'd like to introduce you to my inspirational pilates teacher Mel Noble:
Mel teaches mini-group as well as private lessons at Hoxton Square Pilates every Monday. The mini-groups (maximum three people at a time) run from 7-10am and are fantastic value at £23 per hour. The one-2-one sessions start after 10am and cost £55 per hour.
This is not mat-based pilates like you may know it from clubs and leisure centres. Instead, you get to use equipment like The Reformer, The Cadillac, The Ladder Barrel and The Wonder Chair. And they really do work wonders, especially with Mel's knowledgeable and patient guidance.
I see it like this: I spend £40 on a decent 60 minute sports massage that loosens and relaxes me. Here it's almost half price for the same sensation with the added value that (rather than just passively being manipulated) I am learning how to use my body correctly, slowly working away the bad habits and weaknesses that lead to the tension and stiffness in the first place.
To get in touch with Mel, please email her directly at Melanie@pilatespoint.co.uk.
Don't forget that I teach pilates too, but the mat-based variety. Have a look at my time table to see where and when.
Keep checking in for more tips on great pilates classes in London!