As a Pilates instructor in NYC for fifteen years, I’ve heard every excuse. Let’s get real. I’ve given them too. "I don’t have time. It’s too expensive. The instructor is uptight. The classes don’t fit my schedule. It’s raining out. I’m not flexible. The exercises are too complicated. I’m not coordinated. Pilates is too serious."
Even when you know all the exercises, it’s hard to motivate. And, if you’re new to Joseph Pilates "Method of Contrology" (the original name- weird it didn’t catch on, right?), it can feel overwhelming.
Pilates has a reputation for being intimidating and expensive, only for the most flexible, coordinated, and loaded. Classes, if you can even get to them, can be confusing and even boring with lots of talking and not enough moving. Once you’ve carved out the time and shelled out the cash for a mat class or trainer, the last thing you want to deal with is an instructor who uses only long Latin anatomical names for easy body parts, who leaves you on your back lecturing on about breathing for twenty minutes, and refers to “Joe” like he’s in the room with you.
So- you give up. "Forget Pilates, I don’t have the patience, time, or money. I’ll just do something else. Or, nothing at all." This is not the answer. Don’t give up. As frustrating as Pilates can be, the bottom line is, it works. And, we all want the six-pack, toned, long and lean Pilates body, right?
Let me help you get it.
Let’s fit Pilates into your life rather your life into Pilates. How does working on your six-pack in bed sound? Stretching your legs in the shower? Tightening your butt on the commute? Opening your hips at work? Toning your arms on the toilet? You can be doing Pilates all day long without going to a class, watching a DVD, or spending extra money. You don’t need a mirror and you might even have fun!
One of Joseph Pilates’ most famous quotes is, “In 10 sessions you’ll feel a difference. In 20 sessions you’ll see the difference. And in 30 sessions you will have a whole new body.” Pilates practioners promise you will see results if you can commit to a mat or reformer (Pilates machine) workout three times a week. As a certified Pilates instructor since 2001, I totally agree. Problem is, how to fit all those sessions into an already overbooked schedule.
I haven’t had a single private Pilates client who’s been able to make the full 2-3 class commitment. Instead, I’ve had to design exercises they can do in their home or office to accommodate their lives. That meant designing exercises and routines around their apartments using what they had- a bed, shower, walls. Nothing too complicated. Nothing taking a lot of time. As a professional choreographer, this offered a fun challenge and allowed creativity beyond just spitting out the same exercises. From the busiest lawyer to the lady who lunches- each of my clients had their own series of rituals to repeat every day.
What we found out was by maximizing the time you already have, the benefits of Pilates came without the hassle. The exercises became habit forming and the repetition got results. Working out became less random and reliant on others.
If the gym rats want to call you "Lazy Girls", let them. Lazy Girls have more time for extra projects, drinks after work, family, and friends. Joe Pilates himself would agree. “Did you ever hear of an animal gymnasium conducted by animals for animals, for the purpose of gratifying their desire or need for artificial exercising?” he once said. Let’s spend more time at home and leave the rats at the zoo.
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