In last weeks newsletter I invited readers to join our ongoing conversation, What Drives You Crazy at the Pilates Studio?. There are many great posts and I hope you will read them, but a particular new one caught my attention. OnTheReformer writes:
Taking the Exercise Out of Pilates! Some instructors treat Pilates like movement education rather than exercise. I like that Pilates incorporates both, but I'm there to exercise! If I don't sweat, it's not a good class.
I think this reader brought up an important point. Alignment and our Pilates principles such as precision, control, and breathing fully are essential to Pilates practice. And many of us are intrigued by the inner body/mind exploration that Pilates makes available. But at what point do they become a distraction from actually getting the fitness part to happen?
One of my teachers is Rachel Segel of The Pilates Center of Boulder. I always remember something she said in my interview with her, The Art of Teaching Pilates. I it relates well to this issue:
Don't think so much. Trust. Move at the tempo the exercise are supposed to be at and don't stop between them. Keep moving and your body intelligence will take over. If it's a little sloppy, OK. As long as it's safe, that's the bottom line. If you're a little sloppy that's better than not doing it. We often say in our teaching, "Pilates is about heat. It's not intelligence only."
I can tell you there is plenty full-on exercise in Rachel's class, but also a lot of technique communicated. It takes a good amount of skill on a teachers part to balance the technique and the energy of a class. I wonder what your experience is. Are your classes getting hung up movement education? If you don't sweat is it still a good class?
Please comment below.