“Using the Machines” is the third post in a series called “My Pilates Journey” where Mary writes about her experience as she begins Pilates sessions with Chris Blagdon at the Edinburgh Pilates Centre. Click here to read about the first class.
One of the best things about how Chris runs the Edinburgh Pilates Centre is the specificity of each session. As you walk in Chris will ask you how you have been that week and if you had been aware of any changes or niggles in your body that week. This allows for him to tailor that day’s session not only to your own requirements but also how you are feeling at that time. This is one of the aspects that makes me prefer the studio to Pilates mat classes where everyone is doing the same thing. It is also a much more relaxing environment to be able to work on your own body rather than to try and keep up with everyone else.
Going into the session, I could feel that my back, in particular, was unsure of which way to hold itself. It was going to the way that I had always done before with my back arching forward and an actual straight back. To say this felt odd is an understatement, but it was interesting to see how quickly my body was adapting to the movements that I had been practicing in the studio under Chris’ guidance.
After the third session, what struck me is how different I felt from when I walked in. I was feeling stressed and I could tell that I was holding this in my body. By focusing on my breath and doing the various exercises my body felt loose and relaxed. The addition of using the machines in the session helped the feeling that we had targeted the exact areas that I wanted to get to but didn’t know how to stretch. The perfect way to get rid of the Monday blues!
Exercise of the week
An area that Chris pinpointed that I needed to build strength was my hamstrings. To do this, we used a plié machine. This machine looks like it could be potentially scary before you go on it, however, when you are on it is a lot easier to use than machines at the gym. To see an explanation of the movements, you can watch this video here of Chris’ explaining it:
After I got off the machine, my hamstrings were shaking a little even though there had only been ten repetitions. This is what I have enjoyed so far from the Pilates sessions with Chris – he chooses exercises for you that work the areas needed for the maximum result in a short space of time.
Please get in touch if you have any questions about Pilates or are interested in beginning your own Pilates journey.