A few weeks ago, one of our clients Anna, wrote a letter dedicated to new clients starting out there journey with us at Sense of Space. I love so much about this letter and I know it will come as both inspiration and comfort to those starting out, who feel self conscious and don’t yet at ease on their mat in a group class. We’d love to hear your thoughts on starting out too!
This is a letter to beginners in Pilates at Sense of Space.
I started 18 months ago, a 72 year old, healthy and reasonably fit woman.
I found the beginning months very difficult. I was ashamed at how often my body could not do the movements and how inflexible and weak I was.
I want to tell you of my experience since I have changed so much and had such benefits from Pilates, that I don’t want you to withdraw from Pilates because you are discouraged.
Firstly, you will hear the instructors say over and over again to only do what you / your body can do, that this is sufficient. I have taken many months to really believe this. At first I was comparing myself with 30 year old nymphets who had been doing Pilates for umpteen years. Now I am so pleased with the changes in my body that I am uninterested in what anyone else is doing.
Secondly, you will feel great benefits whether you are a stiff and arthritic older man, who will never move like one of my nymphets, or overweight or have some other problem that has seemed immoveable. The improvement in all systems of our bodies through regular exercise is well researched and documented. My experience of Pilates is of a highly intelligent approach to exercise and good general health.
Thirdly, if, like me at the beginning, you would rather be in a coffee shop than anywhere near a place for exercise, even one class a week will be good for you. No exercise at home. No guilt. Like the Sense of Space blurb says you will come to want to do more. I am now going to three classes a week and creeping up on regular exercises every morning.
Fourthly, choose one small thing you see at classes that you would like to get good at. Find out from an instructor what would be good for you to do each day to improve. My choice was to be able to stand with my heels raised and with my toes splayed out supporting me. I practiced in the shower. It gave me an excuse to stay longer under the hot water. Then I started to see that I really could make changes.
Fifthly, arrange a private, one-on-one session with Gemma to get help refining your movements, an assessment of your difficulties, and a home exercise programme if you can come at that. Gemma will record what you are able to do and then can reflect back with you, at a later stage, how you are developing.
I know people who do not attend classes but use, to their great advantage, an occasional or regular one-on-one session. That is a good way to avoid the initial embarrassment of being in class with nymphets.
Anna Ross 1 September 2018