Over the years, Pilates has increased considerably in popularity. It’s been proven to help people of all ages and abilities. On one hand it compliments sports and exercise, especially high impact or resistance disciplines, acting like a buffer. On the other hand, Pilates is becoming recognised for its proven benefits to anyone suffering with illness or neurological conditions. There are actually too many other reasons to list here but one other worth mentioning is how brilliantly it addresses imbalances and misalignment in posture, which may I add pertain to the majority of the world’s population.
GPs and health professionals are thankfully referring more and more patients to prescriptive Pilates because they too are recognising the fact that drugs don’t cure everything. If exercise is the new drug, then Pilates could be the antidote.
It can be a minefield, however, finding a suitable class. Pilates can be taught in several ways and it’s difficult knowing what’s right for you. The teaching method per se and personality are not under scrutiny here. The main thing is that your class is safe and there are some initial checks which you can do to this effect. To help you, I’ve listed 10 simple boxes to tick so that you can at least have confidence in your new found Pilates teacher.
1. First and foremost and if necessary, get clearance from your doctor to confirm it’s safe for you to exercise.
2. When you’ve located a class, if possible, check the instructor’s qualifications and insurance.
3. A class environment may not always be appropriate. Your instructor should offer 1-1 tuition if you have a severe injury, a chronic condition, have severe postural issues or are pregnant, unless of course for the latter, you’re actually in a pregnancy Pilates class.
4. You should have completed a PAR-Q (Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire) before starting your first Pilates class.
5. Instructors should screen their participants before the start of every session.
6. Ideally, class numbers should be no more than 12 to ensure that you receive adequate attention. This is especially important if you are completely new to Pilates.
7. Effective Pilates methods should include a breathing pattern. This focus on the lateral or intercostal breath may seem difficult to grasp at first but persevere as it has many benefits.
8. A good teacher will offer modifications to suit all abilities.
9. If you suffer with an illness or an injury, this automatically makes you more aware of your body so if, during the class, something doesn’t feel right then say so. If you feel any pain, then stop. Your instructor should understand.
10. Finally, your Pilates teacher should be all of the following: professional, approachable, knowledgeable, patient, understanding, compassionate and passionate!
To find out more about the benefits of Pilates, click here https://www.breakthroughfitness.co.uk/pilates/