Want to get the most out of your sessions? We polled instructors from around the country for their advice.
by Anne Marie O’Connor
1 Realize that Pilates is for everyone.
“I want my students to know that Pilates is for everyone. It’s for old people, young people, women, men, athletes, nonathletic people, healthy individuals and people recovering from illness or injury. It should always be a part of everyone’s health program, whether (and I would say, ‘especially if’) you do other forms of fitness or are involved in other sports and activities or not. What you learn in Pilates you take into all other parts of your life. So don’t ever stop. Try to practice at least twice per week, but anything is better than nothing. And spread the word so everyone can benefit from the incredible experience of Pilates.”—John Garey, owner of John Garey Fitness & Pilates and a STOTT PILATES® licensed training center in Long Beach, CA, and creator of John Garey TV
2 Our bodies are highly changeable.
“Many clients, especially those who have not previously been active or body-aware, tell me, ‘Oh, my arm doesn’t do that,’ or ‘my back doesn’t bend because…’ I try to explain how changeable our bodies are by encouraging movement (without discomfort or pain). Then next time, we’ll see if there is a little more range there. Then two months later, can we move that arm a little further? A year later, they’ll reminisce, ‘Remember when I couldn’t lift my arm by my ear?’ I think clients are often surprised by how much change they can create in their own bodies.”—Sharon Gallagher-Rivera, owner of Internal Fire Pilates in Mill Valley, CA
3 Age does not equal less strength/flexibility/endurance.
“Fascial and movement patterns are to blame for the aches and pains we blame on age. Bodies are amazing things and capable of almost anything…if we take care of them. It’s never too late to undo the ‘damage’ life has done. You get exactly one body. Your most important job is to take the best possible care of it. Everything comes after that.”—Marcia Polas, owner of polaspilates in New York City