This week we celebrated National Coffee Day and since Pilates has always sounded to me like a fancy drink you would order at Starbucks, and since I am always curious about the complicated drink order of the person in front of me in the coffee line, I know many people are curious about Pilates. It sounds fancy, but what is it exactly?
In the fitness world, Pilates is still high end, but no longer is it only for people that have so much money that they don't care how much a cup of coffee costs and so much time on their hands that they don't care how long it takes to make. Pilates would be the fitness equivalent of a Grande Soy Chai Latte -- a Chai Pilate! As opposed to Bootcamp class, which of course, would be a tall coffee of the day with room for milk.
I took a Pilates Mat Certification recently and my whole idea of what is possible in my workout expanded.
Being in this classroom surrounded by such obvious dancers aggravated the dance lesson regret section of my brain and I wanted to go back in the way-back machine and take the dance lessons that I never took as a child.
In this Pilates workshop,I wanted to own leg warmers and footless black tights and tie my waist length ballerina hair back in an elegant, wispy twist at the base of my long neck. Give me a man-bun even. Forget that I'd spent my entire fitness career concentrating on making my feet heavy. Now, I wanted to rewire my fitness brain to elongate, lengthen and extend.
If you are anything like me, Pilates might seem to be an ethereal fitness concept that is either too subtle, while simultaneously, too complicated to attempt.
So here's the bottom line: Pilates is about your strengthening your core.
Core is the new black. No fitness has been more overused than core.. Your core refers to everything from your nipples to your knees. But in Pilates, it has a more sophisticated name. It is called your powerhouse.
In the pilates mat class I took last week, I could barely keep up with the beginner series- there are eighteen specific exercises that you complete in a brisk, specific order.There are a few movements that incorporate leg circles or arm strength but these are done with the goal of working from your powerhouse.
After you work through the beginner series and feel competent, you progress to more difficult movements that build on the beginner series. You can also add props, like Rings, that are about 12 inches in diameter, that also target your abs. or you can use stretchy bands-same goal.
Then you are ready to tackle the equipment room. The Tower, the Cadillac or the Reformer, just a few apparatus's that Mr Pilates devised to strengthen your center.
Pilates really is an ingenious, methodical program that can rebalance the body and give lift and length to your muscles.
Does anybody have some leg warmers I could borrow? And maybe I will grow my hair long enough for a man bun.
But for now, I really could use a trip to the coffee shop for a Grande Skim Pilate.