If I could give every new client advice on which classes to take, I would suggest Pilates Mat class first. At Lead, Mat class is a commitment. We ask that you come twice a week and do a bit of homework in order for you to be the most successful. But here is the why:
You will increase muscle strength, flexibility and correct your posture- learning to undo those bad habits your body gets into. You learn that the smaller movements which are extremely key are also the hardest movements sometimes! But as I say, you can’t write a sentence without learning the alphabet. Same concept with Pilates- you can’t do the bigger movements without learnings the smaller ones.
Now, as I have said before, I won’t sugar coat anything. I am honest and true. So here is the scoop… Beginner mat class is slow. For the first 6 weeks, it is so slow that you might leave a class thinking: “What is going on?” or have the “deer in headlights” look 🙂 – well let me assure you that that is completely normal. The first 6 weeks, it is me talking for the most part and giving you a TON of information. I can spew so much information that a coccyx curl will seem so challenging when it’s the most basic movement. You should feel overwhelmed a little, you should feel challenged but you should really be feeling the body working from the inside out. That is how Pilates differs from other forms of exercise. Pilates is a system of movement that works from the inside out. You will always “feel” Pilates before you “see” Pilates. Through the series of movements, the body’s systems including the circulatory, digestive, muscular, fascial and nervous systems are slowly moved to a state of balance with each other. You will sleep better, think more clearly, and enjoy the quality of life that we all deserve!
It’s really important to know that Pilates takes patience. Be patient with yourself- things will come. Even when they seem like they aren’t- they will. So if you feel like you can’t activate the pelvic floor, or the transverse abdominals aren’t responding with breathe or your rotation isn’t happening at the thoracic spine- trust us- over time, these things will happen! Jana has always taught me that there are lightbulb moments and that it may not happen right away, it may happen a week or two months from now. But there are always those “A-ha!” moments and that’s the beauty of it- you’re always learning. If it was easy it wouldn’t be Pilates. Pilates should get harder the more you do it. You’ll start to learn how to use the layers that it builds upon and you’ll even break out into a sweat.
Even though Beginner Mat may seem slow and not as evolved- there’s a method to the madness. We need you to learn those fundamentals- breathe, core activation, spinal articulation, scapular stability, pelvic stability, etc… so we can get you ready for the next level: Intermediate Mat!- I always say this is where the fun begins!!! You are ready to take on new exercises for the first 9 weeks, you learn the Full Mat Repertoire and then the last 7 weeks- we introduce props in the exercises to challenge you further! This is your goal to work towards when taking Beginner Mat. Think of it as running- you wouldn’t just run a 10k without the proper training right?
I received a message from a client this session (keep in mind we’re two weeks in!) and she wrote: “I am taking the beginner class at Lead and I’m enjoying it so much! It is WAY harder than I expected, I find I am concentrating so hard on my insides that my outsides have trouble moving! I’m so looking forward to the changes I will see in my ability in the future. I love how long, strong and confident I feel when I’m done a class. I wish it was 4 times a week!!” These are the messages I love to hear. My job becomes so rewarding knowing I can help make a difference in someone’s life!
I encourage everyone to try a session of Beginner Mat. Even if you love our flex classes- it will take your flex classes to whole other level. But keep in mind: Mat Pilates should be about patience, practice and commitment. This will lead you to your success.
Joseph Pilates said: “In ten sessions you’ll feel the difference, in twenty sessions, you’ll see the difference, and in thirty sessions you’ll have a whole new body.”