Pilates Mat – An Expectations Post

Empowerment Center

Pilates Mat – An Expectations Post

So what can you expect at Hip Circle Studio classes?  I’m going to do my best to give you a peek into the different classes we offer through a series of “Expectations” posts.  Of course, seeing is believing, so I hope this is just enough information to help you give a class a try.  Nothing is a replacement for the live experience.

I found Pilates, in a way that stuck, about 2 years ago.  I had attempted a class SEVERAL years ago that was not a good fit – it moved very fast, wasn’t taught with modification options, and left me feeling inadequate and sore.  I am ever so grateful to Fayth for offering a deal for her studio, Sixpax, for showing me what Pilates could be!  I was hooked after just a few sessions with her, was seeing results in my core strength and appearance, and didn’t hurt (beyond I-just-worked-out-muscle-soreness)!  I also noticed an unexpected change in my bellydance technique – the focus on core strengthening was one thing, but the extra awareness this brought  made me a better, stronger dancer.  I studied with Fayth and now am thrilled to have Pilates Mat as a class at the studio.

What Happens in a Pilates Mat class?

We are focused on your core muscles in this class, and get them stronger by doing exercises in a variety of positions – on your back, on your side, on all fours, on your stomach, standing – you name it, it might happen in a class.  The movements are slow and controlled, tied to your breath, so you have plenty of time to figure out how to make your body make them happen.  One of the nice things about our Pilates classes is that I’m either showing the move or watching you do the move – we’re not moving together.  This means you get a good view of what your goal is in whichever posture before attempting the move, and feedback from me while you’re doing the move.  It’s almost like you and your 7 class-mates (I limit the number of students to 8 to be sure I’m able to give each of you ample attention) are each in a private session, getting tips and pointers specific to you and your body.

You work on a mat and don’t wear shoes.  Socks are great for some of the poses but unless you wear a pair with grippy bottoms you’ll take them off for others.  We have mats available for you to borrow or you’re welcome to bring your own.  Squishy is better for Pilates, so if you have a super-thin yoga mat you might want one of ours underneath for cushioning.

There is background music playing, the lights are dimmed, and the mood is focused but light.  Each student moves at their own pace and level, working so that their body of today is challenged in a non-competitive environment.  Sometimes it’s just you and your mat, but we do use props (foam rollers, bosu balls, resistance bands, Pilates rings) from time to time to get at the muscles in a different way or to support a modification that’s needed.  Each class is a little different, changing based on who is in attendance and on my focus for the month.  

Prenatal mamas are welcome throughout their pregnancy – do let me know as soon as you arrive (or better yet, when you sign up) so I can offer modifications throughout the class.  Postpartum mamas are also welcome once cleared for exercise by your doc/midwife, and babies (pre-crawling) are welcome in our Friday morning class.  If you have an injury or area of concern it is important to let me know before we begin so I can help you make safe choices and modifications throughout the class.

What you WON’T find in our Pilates Mat classes:

  • Beginner shaming
  • Competition
  • Pushing you to do a pose/exercise your body isn’t ready for
  • Unsafe poses/exercises

Pilates can be for everyone.  I hope you give it a try! What questions can I answer for you about our Pilates Mat classes?