Ahhh Pilates, how do I love thee, let me count the ways. It had been far too long since I had given myself the treat of Pilates. But low and behold tonight at our workout we had a guest appearance by Miss Mara and the short but wonderful pleasure of experiencing Pilates. For some it was the first time and for others it was the reunion with that old friend we had forgotten about. Flash back to 2002 when I was newly married, childless and living in Victoria. A co-worker had become a Stott certified Pilates teacher and we were her guinea pigs. Twice a week we would climb the four flights of stairs up to the studio in Oak Bay and wait to see what new movement we would learn. Every class we would proceed to gain strength and insight into how to move and strengthen our bodies. The first time we did “the hundreds” we were sure that we would collapse. In our defense the instructor was terrible at counting and we soon learned that actually we should have called them the “hundred and twenties”. Just when we felt we could do the movement with some ease the next level was presented and we would gasp, bug-eyed at what we were expected to do. So let me get this straight, neutral spine, tea-cup, shoulders down, and breathe all while doing something that I am sure would fast track me to the contortion section of Cirque du Soleil. Of course we would do it and at the end feel like we had perhaps conquered Everest, ok well maybe not Everest but at least Mount Finlayson.
So it has been 4 1/2 years since my first pregnancy made it impossible to pull my belly button in off the floor and I sadly said goodbye to my Pilates teacher and class with the intention of starting again as soon as the baby was oh, 6 weeks old. Alas we left Victoria when Aylan was 6 weeks old and really six weeks, who was I kidding. I can pile on the excuses but here we are almost 4 years later and it has shown it’s wonderful and strong head again. So enough with the long winded intro, here is the “short” definition of Pilates for those who don’t know.
“Pilates is an exercise method, designed to elongate, strengthen and restore the body to balance. Based upon an anatomical understanding of the body’s muscular and skeletal systems, the Pilates teacher creates a comprehensive exercise programme for the client. Classes will focus on specific areas individually whilst using exercises that integrate the whole body to re-educate and restore it to optimum muscular and skeletal function.”
Now to the good part, there is more than one teacher here on Gabriola but the one I am most interested in is instructed by a fantastic woman by the name of Mara, Miss Mara to be exact. Check out her website here for more information, do yourself an immense favor and try Pilates out for the first time or do like I am and find that old friend again, it could be one of the best things you could do.