Surprise ! It’s a post about Pilates.
Actually, the real reason I went was cos’ it was an SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) class, and as you can see from the beach (Seacliff) we frequent it’s SUP heaven. Any excuse to get on a board. Crystal clear, abundant sea life and sand that goes on for miles…..
I was curious about the class cos’ I’ve never done Pilates before, and have never had a conversation with anyone I know about it ~ but it seems necessary for The 52 Yoga Project to include Pilates as we’re all part of the one family. Pilates though (to me) seems like the black sheep, the cousin no-one mentions. It’s quite possible yoga is like that in the Pilates world.
Rather than debate differences in a competitive frame, I’d like to highlight the similarities. It’s not Pilates vs. Yoga. I’m looking for Union, not separation.
Liz, the instructor was vibrant. Healthy, funny and always looking to make the experience better, lots of guidance, very thorough explanation, diligence. Loved her straight away. She is obviously someone who has found her life’s work.
The class was energetic and the requirement to concentrate on the actions, the boards, the waves, the instructor and so on, meant that there was little room to wander mentally, for any mind chatter. So, it was like a meditation…..no different really in final effect than an active vinyasa class or Kundalini workout.
We laughed, looked after one another and drifted from the shore to the murky depths and back again several times. That connection with each other as a group and reacting to the external wind and waves around us really encouraged a strong sense of community.
In the modern fitness world there seems to be a misunderstanding about what each other does. Essentially, the principles are the same.
What do Yoga and Pilates both offer?
* centreing (that is – going inward and finding calm) both in the mind and the body – in the core (with Pilates) and the heart centre (for Yoga)
* enhanced breathing practice and oxygenation
* control of muscles and limbs, spinal strength
* precise anatomical movements to strengthen small muscles
* enhancing your capacity for concentration
* relaxation for both body and mind
I guess the idea I want to promote is that whatever unites both systems will help them both improve and be more widely embraced by all people. The assumption is that yoga is more gentle and pilates is more rigorous. However, knowing what I know about yoga, it is impossible to categorize yoga as such. I imagine in Pilates it is the same – there is a wide variety of classes that require both gentle and hard working participants.
If you want to know more about Pilates and yoga fusion, read here.
Essentially Liz gave us dynamic balancing poses, using the paddle board paddle in forward bends, doing similar movements to yoga like side plank and twists. I learnt some great core strengthening tips and a reaffirmation of the importance and beauty of combining the breath with the movements in a fluid fashion. The class was well-paced. I felt strong.
What was also brilliant was learning a few new SUP tips, like how to paddle in strong wind on your knees or seated with a Hiawatha-like paddling position.
Let me just say that the sivasana with lapping waves was exceptional and all of it was a great yogic experience. How could the beach be anything else?
You can reach Liz at;
Stomping Grounds Studio
9 Stepney St, Stepney SA 5069
0422 621 941
Tuesdays 10:30am-12:30pm & 3-5pm
Thursdays 1pm, 2pm, 4pm & 5pm
Fridays 8am, 12pm & 1pm
She is available for Private Lessons
Please call Liz on 0409 775 158 to make a booking.