When Michelle asked if I wanted to come along and try out what The Pilates Pod had to offer – by taking part in a 1:1 and a group session – I was more than up for it. Having returpined to work in September, fitness and rebuilding my body after two babies in under two years is high on my agenda at the moment.
I thought I’d done Pilates before. I mean, I’ve been to the odd Pilates class at a local gym, done “Pilates-based exercises” at the end of an aerobics class and even taken a few pregnancy Pilates classes. I thought I knew what to expect. I did not.
When I arrived for my 1:1 class with Clair I was met with something that resembled a medieval torture device. Apparently this was the Universal Reformer. The name didn’t take away from my initial impressions! It looked super advanced (did she know I was a beginner?!) but as Clair explained, by offering the body support it’s actually a great way to get into Pilates.
The reformer was invented by Joseph Pilates himself to reform people’s muscle imbalances and give them support, resistance and feedback to their body in order to be able to perform matwork better with just your own body weight and issues. Using apparatus such as reformer, as well as a whole host of other pieces that Mr Pilates created, is actually what Pilates is all about and definitely where complete beginners should be starting their journey.
Clair moved expertly through the the system of exercises in the Pilates method. Joe Pilates created the system and the orders and The Pilates Pod are one of the only dedicated Pilates studios in the area and to offer this Classical approach which honours the legacy and way that was devised by Joe Pilates in the early 1900’s.
Matwork was given to clients by Joe Pilates so they could practice at home between studio sessions. Whilst there are matwork sessions at The Pilates Pod, it is only one side of what they offer.
As someone who is a total Pilates novice I really enjoyed the opportunity to focus on my specific areas of weakness. For example, I mentioned I sometimes experience knee pain when doing squats – Clair demonstrated that by drawing in my core when exercising my knees were under far less pressure. Plus I definitely connected to long forgotten about muscles…
1:1 sessions are fantastic if you want that individual attention – if you are suffering from pain or injury or returning to Pilates after a time away to refresh your memory. The Pilates Pod also run 5 week group beginner courses.
Pilates with Props
The next morning it was time for “Pilates with Props”. The only Pilates prop I’d used before was a mat so I really didn’t have a clue what this involved.
The exercises were now familiar to my session the previous day but now in addition to two Reformers we had magic circles, a foot corrector, stability balls and even a toe corrector… We moved through the Pilates exercises rotating around the equipment – I even enjoyed being back on the Reformer.
Michelle, who is returning from maternity leave, led this fun yet challenging class.
Pre and Postnatal exercise
I really enjoyed Pregnancy Pilates at The Pilates Pod when I went a few years ago – time out to focus on me in (what I thought at the time) busy week. I didn’t realise The Pilates Pod also offer Postnatal Pilates too. I really suffered with back pain after my first baby – I suspect working to improve my core stability through 1:1 sessions and Postnatal Pilates would have helped me no end.
Better still, whilst their Postnatal Pilates class is for mummy to get back into shape, they recognise that new mums often struggle with childcare so you are more than welcome to bring yours along and feed whenever you like!
As well as being qualified in pre and postnatal Pilates, The Pilates Pod teachers are also specialists from The Centre in Women’s Health & Exercise. This means they are trained to help those with issues such as pelvic floor dysfunction, Caesarean section and abdominal separation.
Find out more about The Pilates Pod
You can visit The Pilates Pod at Suite 4, 107 Bancroft, Hitchin SG5 1NB