I Tried Pilates for 6 Weeks and Here’s What Happened

I dare to guess I’m not the only one when I say that I had a lot of prejudices when it comes to pilates. My only knowledge of pilates had come from Hollywood movies and social media, which had made me question its validity as a legitimate form of exercise. Paradoxically, however, I was also worried -- what if I sucked at it? I had decided to give pilates a go as so many people had recommended it for those with back problems and for people who needed to strengthen their core muscles, so signed up for a course for beginners. After the first class, I felt relieved. After the last class, I was hooked.


During the first class we started off by learning how to breathe properly. Breathing has always been my weak point while working out at the gym, as I tend to hold my breath while doing an exercise. It might not sound like it, but breathing in and out at the right time during an exercise can actually be really hard and demands a lot of attention. The difference between the right kind of breathing and, well, not breathing at all is huge. It really makes you pay attention to where you’re supposed to feel the exercise and what muscles you’re supposed to use.


As the classes progressed, we learned how to activate and hold our core muscles tight while doing an exercise. Not only does activating your core protect your back during exercises, it also helps you too keep your balance. A lot of pilates is just learning how to improve your balance and body control — I learned to think of it more as body care instead of working out. Sure, you can get sore muscles after a pilates class, but most importantly your body just feels more open and flexible.


One of my favorite things about pilates turned out to be the slow pace. You take your own time during each exercise, and if the exercise is really intense, you get to stretch your back and take a few deep breaths before moving on to the next. This is how your able to really pay attention to what you’re doing and properly target the exercise. Also, you are able to make your muscles work really hard without feeling out of breath.


After the course ended I already felt more in control of my own body, even though I had been going to the classes only once a week, plus practicing the exercises on my own at the gym. Pilates seems to be the perfect addition to an already active life, but also a smooth way for beginners to start exercising. It lets you calm down for an hour or so and just listen to your own body while making it stronger. If you're thinking about starting pilates, or even trying it out just once, do it! Learning the basics is really important, as pilates is mostly based on strict technique, so attending a beginners' class is highly recommended.