For those who missed it, we accepted a 10 Week Pilates Challenge from Reform last week and are back today to report on how things are going in the studio. I am well into week 2 and am very pleasantly surprised to already find myself improving on several of the exercises we began in week one. But first, the thing I am really floored over is the amount of knowledge and training each instructor has and how that has translated during my sessions. This applies in particular to anyone who has struggled with an injury, sports or non-sports related, that might affect the kind of workouts you are doing. I have a bad back, specifically a herniated disc in my lower back that has required surgery twice and has made me quite cautious about trying a new kind of workout, for fear it could exacerbate my disc issue. This has kept me out of countless classes because as anyone with back problems can attest to, it doesn't take much to tweak an old injury and be back at square one.
At Reform, this is clearly something the studio takes quite seriously and at the beginning of each session, the first thing my instructors have asked me is how my body is feeling that day. What we do over the next hour is dictated by my response and there is a constant dialogue making sure nothing is causing any pain, which has been hugely reassuring. And the second you begin a session with one of these ladies, you sense the incredible amount of knowledge they have. There is the ridiculous amount of training that goes into being certified to teach Pilates- owner Meghan Del Prete has over 10,000 hours of teaching experience alone. Amongst other things, this experience gives the instructors at Reform what I have now dubbed 'crazy x-ray vision' (very technical term). Because while I am doing each movement, I am being reminded which muscles I should be engaging & even when it is the slightest of changes or I feel like I am firing up some totally obscure tiny muscle, they can see it and I get an immediate 'YES!!'. It is so crazy to me that they are able to observe how and what muscles I am using to this extreme that it borderline makes me look in the mirror to make sure I am indeed still wearing my boxy workout shirt and am not suddenly just working out in a sports bra.
And it goes on like this throughout my whole session, there is truly not a minute where they aren't laser focused on each movement I am making. In terms of how my back is responding, it has never felt better. I am actually so incredibly regretful I didn't know about Pilates when I first began having problems with my disc as I feel fairly confident it might have spared me from surgery. The core strength I am developing and the emphasis on stretching and lengthening the body is exactly what my body seems to have craved after years of distance running and admittedly terrible posture (I blame the computer). Anyhow, two weeks in and I am clearly a convert-next week I will be back with more details on the fun stuff (re: do my clothes fit better??)-