Often when I meet people for the first time I am asked what I do for a living and the conversation goes a little something like this:
“I’m a Pilates instructor” I tell them.
“Oh, that’s great. I do Pilates!” they say.
My reply: “Where do you do Pilates?”
“At (insert gym name here),” they answer proudly.
And here’s my chance to share what I know.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Pilates classes at the gym. But after teaching and attending gym-based classes, I feel there is so much more to be gained from regular sessions at a dedicated Pilates studio. Just a side note, I’m not just saying that because I have one.
As a professional dancer and mover, Pilates is integral to my conditioning as I’m getting older and becoming more prone to injury. Pilates gained momentum in the early 1900s in the ballet studios of New York but since then it has evolved from being purely conditioning and rehabilitation for dancers and athletes to a form of exercise that is available to everyone, with a focus on the torso: the abdominal muscles, the spine and associated muscles, the diaphragm and pelvic floor muscles.
“Pilates bodies are strong, toned, look and feel taller, and are full of confidence.”
Pilates empowers us with the support and strength that is needed to do the things we love. It’s not only a series of exercises but a connection through breath and awareness to perform precise movements with focus and good alignment.
A session at a Pilates studio is much like a personal training session with various machines and apparatus to provide a holistic workout, while being functional and low impact. The attention from the instructor in the studio as opposed to the gym allows tailoring and personalisation so your workout reaches new levels. Pilates will push your boundaries physically and mentally.
Studio Pilates is for anyone who wants to get a deeper understanding of how their body works through consistency, dedication and hard work. It’s a fundamental way to learn technique and correct alignment and transferring that power and knowledge into whatever makes us sweat. And let’s face it, who wouldn’t kill for those amazing long, lean muscles and toned abs.
Dorothea Csutkai is the director of Central Pilates Studio and a member of the Australian Pilates Method Association.