Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross,
To see a fine lady upon a white horse;
Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,
And she shall have music wherever she goes!
I imagine this lady on a horse sitting all proper and perfect…she must also do Pilates!
What if you went to a Pilates class and your instructor didn’t bat an eye or utter a word when your ribs popped off the carriage and your shoulders were up by your ears? Pilates is meant to correct our habits that pull our body out of alignment. If it didn’t, we wouldn’t go. Pilates offers us something that we can’t get anywhere else. Specificity and deep muscle engagement.
When you begin taking Pilates, you are, most likely, given some individual instruction. Partly it is so that you are familiar with the equipment, but more importantly, it is so that you have the correct form, movement quality and muscle engagement. Pilates instructors will cue, adjust, describe, and take the time to really explain the movement.
I can understand the feeling of impatience and wanting to get on with the session, but without corrections you could get away with disengaged muscles the whole class, AND with improper form you could be training faulty movement patterns that may injure you in the long run.
For these reasons and many others, a teacher’s corrections are simply an indication that they have your best interest at heart. Corrections are about you becoming the best you can be, not about being nit-picky.
Why are the corrections to your form so important?
- Corrections could mean the difference between engaged muscles and disengaged muscles. While I’m teaching a class, I will say, “You should be feeling this in your hamstrings,” or “thighs” or “abs” and there is someone in the class who will say, “I’m not feeling it there.” Sometimes that just means the tension isn’t correct for that client, but USUALLY it is because there needs to be an adjustment to their form. In the beginning, it takes a lot of thinking and a lot of cueing to get those muscles to engage.
- Corrections protect you from injury and train your body to protect itself. You are training your body how to work in the healthiest, most supportive alignment possible. By increasing strength in vulnerable areas, you’re protecting yourself against injuries that may result from unusual demands on your body. The stronger your body and the better your alignment the lower your risk of injury.
- Corrections train the brain-body connection and improve body awareness. Our culture and our activities often separate the brain from the body, under-emphasizing the importance of engaging both simultaneously. Pilates re-engages that brain-body connection. Think of corrections you may receive as exercise in and of itself. You’re exercising your brain and your body awareness to understand and implement them in a split second.
At BlisPilates there are instructors who truly care and are going to be your biggest supporters when things get tough. They will always challenge you to be better; to be a fine lady with great balance and form, and you will have music wherever you go.