Pilates involves so much more than turning up and going through the motions. In a true Pilates class you learn as much about mind and body as exercise.
Here are 5 ways to know if you are really doing Pilates.
1. Can you feel your core working? Centering is one of the main principles of Pilates, where all movement is initiated from a stable, centered space. It takes awareness, concentration and control to move this way. If your workout seems erratic and lacks the core connection, you are not doing Pilates.
2. Is there a focus on breathing? In Pilates it is essential to focus on the breath along with the exercise. Pilates movements help to improve breathing, and Pilates breathing can make the moves easier or more challenging. If the breath is not part of the exercises you are doing, it's not really Pilates.
3. Is it continually challenging? Doing Pilates well takes work. Mental and physical effort are required to keep all of your body parts working efficiently to create specific movements. If you are not being fed details to continually improve your practice, you are not doing Pilates.
4. Why isn't my instructor doing the class too? Pilates teachers don't work out with you so they can watch you, and correct your movements. These corrections and modifications can bring great benefits to your body. If you are not your instructors focal point, nope, not Pilates.
5. Is it supposed to hurt this much? No! Pilates is not meant to over fatigue muscles, and quality is more important than quantity. After a Pilates workout you should feel energised, and function well for the rest of the day. If you find yourself exhausted or in pain after a workout, you're not really doing Pilates.
Thanks to Brielle Brown, The Pilates Project Blog, for the inspiration.