Real rocks

Posted on May 23, 2011

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The last time I paid a visit to Real Pilates, I fell in love. My post Time to get Real said it all. Fast forward a few months and I returned this evening, this time to check out the reformer classes.

Different class, different instructor, same results; I fell in love all over again.

Here’s the low down:

  • Pilates was originally developed as a rehabilitative form of exercise, but gradually evolved into a preventative type of program
  • The reformer is a machine that you practice Pilates on that uses a combination of spring resistance and pulleys
  • Whilst it looks like something out of a Japanese torture chamber, it actually makes the principles of Pilates easier to master
  • The additional resistance or workload you get from the reformer provides similar benefits to your body as say strength training; increased muscle tone, more strength and an increase in metabolism. It also increases flexibility, improves coordination, and helps develop balance
  • When you try it yourself, you instantly see why it has such a cult (and celeb) following … we’ve even learnt recently that Pippa Middleton is a fan and wouldn’t we all love to sport a peach like she does!
  • It has been proven to greatly enhance your mental state also; reduce your stress and you become happier
  • As for Pilates for runners; it’s no secret that it’s great for those who run as it corrects imbalances in the body and improves flexibility and strength in ‘the powerhouse’ i.e. the abs, low back, pelvic floor, hip flexors and glutes

Discover Real

The classes I took were Real Discovery followed by the actual Reformer class. All newbie’s take the Real Discovery class which aims to give you a preview of what to expect, introduce you to the workings of the machines and learn how to adjust the resistance according to your individual levels. Normally one to shun ‘introductory’ classes, this one is a must and it was actually really good fun …. seven reformers along with seven ladies learning to reform inevitably created lots of giggles.

As always, Real Pilates seems to strike the balance between being a haven of tranquility, an escape from our fast paced lives right in the heart of Jumeirah yet at the same time, be buzzing with ladies, drawn by the promise of tauter abs, excited by the prospect of buns of steel.

The team there are lovely; you can tell that they love their jobs … and it turns out I picked just the right classes to try as they were taken by a fabulous instructor called Michelle who is not only a Pilates Instructor, but a Pilates Instructor Trainer and she’s here temporarily to teach a STOTT Pilates course. I liked her instantly and would defy anyone who doesn’t take to her warm nature and expert instruction.

Finally, when I was doing some reading about Pilates post my class, I found a great article that stated that the goal of Pilates is:

‘to attempt to create a fusion of mind and body, so that without even engaging the mind, the body will move with economy, grace, and balance.’

It then went on to list its six key principles:

▪ Breath

▪ Centering

▪ Concentration

▪ Control

▪ Flow

▪ Precision

And when you think about it, these could easily refer to plenty of areas in our lives (not least a drive down SZR!) so really, by making Pilates a part of our routine, by visiting Real Pilates more often than not, we’re just practicing and perfecting the art of living.

Real rocks.

100%.

Thank you Reza for making it what it is.

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