Introduction to Pilates with #ElleFit and Sweaty Betty

1782054_10152992708023537_3372877335963493462_nLast week I went to my first ever Pilates class. Elle and Sweaty Betty had joined forces to run a Pilates class in every single one of their stores on the same day at the same time. I bought a ticket for their Selfrides boutique, location was later changed to their Kings Road store, and counted down the days. I had never done Pilates before.

As a side note, for those of you who haven’t walked down Kings Road before, it’s full of shops with very persuasive sales people. I was lured into a skin care shop and told that while my skin is amazing (for someone my age – the sales man didn’t say this but his amazement when I told him my age was extraordinary) this miracle cream – for over a hundred pounds – will solve all my problems. Then he gestured to the whole of my face. The whole of my face.

But I digress.

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Sweaty Betty’s Kings Road store is beautiful. And while I was more than happy to browse and shop for the rest of the evening, I had a 60 minute Pilates class to attend first. The class was run by Chrissy Sundt who was possibly the nicest instructor in the world – and also the funniest. She was so knowledgeable about Pilates and made the introductory class really enjoyable and very challenging.

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My body isn’t used to such slow and controlled movements where everything is so precise and accurate. I am used to using the obvious muscle groups as I pound the pavement. Stretching out my hips? I don’t think I have consciously done that ever in my life. And throughout the whole class (well throughout any Pilates session) the core has to be engaged and breathing has to be correct. I got the hang of the breathing pretty quickly mainly because Chrissy kept a running commentary of when we should be inhaling and when we should be exhaling. Hilariously, she also had to remind me to breathe since at two points in the class I just stopped altogether. Who knows why?

I loved the class. I loved working on muscle groups I usually ignore and feeling the burn (that burn) in my abdominal muscles, my bum, my thighs. Chrissy was a very hands-on of instructor, constantly showing adjusting our poses, and making sure we had the correct posture. As I also said, she was very funny. I don’t know why but I expected the class to be serious but it wasn’t. And as Chrissy said, laughing using your abdominal muscles, so it’s a win-win situation.

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Once the class was over we all chatted for a but before heading our separate ways. It never occurred to me that I should be doing Pilates but after one class the benefits are obvious and I will be incorporating it into my weekly workout. Plus, Sweaty Betty stores have classes for free so there is no excuse to not go.

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We were also given our goody bags as we left and it has to be one of the best goody bags I have ever been given. Along with loads of brilliant goodies, we got the latest issue of Elle and some delicious Vita Coco!

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All images from the Sweaty Betty Facebook page.

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