Attending a studio for the first time can be intimidating: “Everyone will be looking at me.” “I don’t know what I am doing!” “I don’t have the latest active wear.” And, “I’m not as in shape as everyone else.”
These are the lines we hear most often. Have you said any these lines? Last week Sara broke down our yoga program in a simple Yoga-101-style post. This week we follow with Pilates 101, a simple guide to help you get started on a method that has truly changed people’s lives, one spine at a time.
In the Pilates method, there are two styles: Mat and Apparatus. Although I love the apparatus (Reformer, Cadillac etc.), Mat has always been my first love…hence the name, Mind the Mat. All of our Pilates programs are mat based. What are the benefits of mat exercises? You can do them anywhere. Your body is not limited by a machine. And, the exercises can me much more challenging over time and hence help develop a more enhanced mind-body connection and improved strength overall.
Where should one start, you ask? Follow this simple guide of MtM’s award-winning Pilates program and you are on your way toward life-changing body-mind evolution!
Pilates Mat I
Are you absolutely terrified to walk into a studio or do anything associated with the word “core?” If yes, start here. This is a great beginner option that introduces the principles of Pilates while strengthening and stretching your entire body, decompressing your spine, and improving posture. You will learn to use your deep abdominal and spinal muscles, as well as how to modify the moves to a level appropriate for you.
Fear Factor: ZERO
Pilates Mat I/II
Do you feel comfortable going to the gym, but still have no idea what Pilates is all about? You will feel comfortable in this class, too. The same description applies here as above, but you’ll find more “seasoned” beginners in this class.
Fear Factor: Still ZERO
If you have taken Pilates or yoga consistently, this class will certainly hone your mat skills. However, a true novice/beginner will be lost in this class and possibly risk injury. I tell people Pilates is like baking a cake (great analogy, I know): you have to combine all of the ingredients in a specific order. In this case, your cake must start with Pilates I.
Fear Factor: ZERO (If you are not new)
Pilates Boot Camp
I’ve been teaching this class here at Mind the Mat for almost 10 years now. It’s a mix of cardio and drill-sergeant-style Pilates moves. And you know I love the glutes, so we perform a ton of bum lifts. Warning! This class fills up and so do the waitlists, so plan accordingly. Read what our members have said:
“Wow! I finally made it into Pilates Boot Camp and while I am not sure I will be able to walk or sit without feeling most if not all of my muscles tomorrow, this class is a must if you want to spice up your work out and shock your body into reaching new heights! Literally – there were a few vertical, tuck, and other jumps!” -Stephanie
“I used to hate Pilates. Big time. Boring, repetitive, ineffective. Major yuck. But two kids, two c-sections, and wine left me with a pooch, so off to Pilates boot camp I went. Go big, right? Take back the abs! (One can dream.) After my first Megan class, I wasn’t sure what hit me. Sweat poured. Muscles flexed in ways that seemed impossible. We danced. And most importantly, we laughed. There’s simply no other class like this, and no one like Megan. I’ve been back—religiously—ever since.” -Carol
“Just when I thought Megan’s class couldn’t get any harder… (But I keep going, because I always leave feeling like I could summit Everest and run a marathon for kicks when I was done.)” -Logan
Fear Factor (More like FUN FACTOR!): 100
This branded method of Pilates incorporates the perfectly heated and humidified room to give your muscles extra elasticity, thus improving overall flexibility. Once you go HAWT, it’s hard to go back to the old method. You’re able to get deeper into the abdominals more quickly and perform the precision of the movements with more ease. The result? That’s just it…RESULTS. You will see and feel hard-core results across the board. No need to add cardio to your routine either. We set the flow of the class to challenge the cardiovascular system just enough to maintain your endurance throughout class. Warning! This class is fun. And you might laugh.
Fun Factor: 100
If you have an injury, you can still exercise depending on the phase of recovery. Our Therapeutic classes are designed to allow you to come back to Pilates while working around or even, in some cases, addressing the injury. We have new series starting on Monday nights (Level I) and Tuesday nights (Level II for more active people).
This article was originally published in Alexandria Stylebook: https://alexandriastylebook.com/whats-right-kind-pilates-for-me/