In 10 sessions you'll feel the difference, in 20 sessions you'll see a difference, and in 30 sessions you'll have a whole new body" Joseph Pilates
Starting Pilates for the first time can be both an exciting and sometimes slightly daunting time, so today I'm going to share some pointers with you from both my own and some of my client's early experiences. Like many people before me, I was slightly underwhelmed during my first 10 sessions of Pilates. I had a few favorite exercises but many seemed very basic to me. Being an experienced dance teacher at the time, I felt I was capable of more complex movements. How wrong I was! It's essential to begin with the basics - correct Pilates breathing techniques and learning how to connect your abdominal muscles and how to stabilise your abdominals as you add a simple movement. There are no shortcuts. It takes time to establish these connections both mentally and physically and the first 10 sessions are a steep learning curve as there is so much new information to absorb. Somewhere between the 6th and 8th session, everything came together for me and I couldn't wait to sign up for my next 10 sessions! I've seen many of my clients go through similar experiences, sometimes earlier, sometimes later. The 10 session mark really is an important milestone and once you pass that point you are well on your way.
Patience is a Virtue at Pilates
Our modern world is fast paced and we are constantly being propelled towards everything instant, including results. Young children (and the not so young!) become distraught if they lose their internet connection while browsing their electronic devices. Patience is rapidly becoming a quality from a bygone era.
Contrary to everything we are conditioned to expect in the modern world, developing your Pilates practice and beginning to see results in your body and mind takes time which is where patience comes in. It'a little like learning to speak a foreign language or play a musical instrument - we must put in the time and effort to acquire the technique and skill but the results are our reward and it's important to enjoy the journey along the way. Any worthwhile skill, like Pilates, also provides an opportunity for new discovery and challenges which keeps the practice interesting and allows for progression.
Be Kind to Yourself at Pilates
Try not to pressure yourself into achieving results too soon or compete with other people. Joseph Pilates designed his method to be non-competitive so don't fall into the trap of measuring your own experiences and progress with those of others. Over the years I've had several new clients in my studio who have remarked to me privately that they have felt intimidated by others in the studio who appear more experienced at Pilates than themselves. I have to explain to them some of the people they are comparing themselves too have been doing Pilates for10 years. They then understand how foolish this is to make comparisons. One of the advantages of learning Pilates privately or online at home means you can't make comparisons with others and sometimes this is a definite advantage.
Persevere at Pilates
The most important thing is to never give up and persevere with your Pilates training. There will be ups and downs but once you acquire these valuable skills it will become a way of life. You can then look back on your early days of Pilates and see how far you've come in your Pilates journey, so stay with it!
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