Last 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
All images from the Sweaty Betty Facebook page.