Monday, June 15, 2009

48 ~ Pilates

reformers 1 Click photos to enlarge

I've been doing machine Pilates in a twice-weekly class now for over a year. Pilates is a physical fitness system developed by Joseph Pilates in Germany in the early part of the 20th century. It's a pleasant way to exercise and I feel that I'm using muscles that otherwise might have lain dormant ...well not exactly dormant ....but perhaps better to say....not used in that way very often! We use reformers, which is a euphemistic word for a rather comfortable lie-down-on moving bed type of apparatus which has springs and pulleys which can be attached to hands and feet with adjustable force, by which we should come out 'reformed'.
reformer 2
wall pullsAlthough they may appear to be instruments of medieval torture....(they really do look a bit frightening)... once one has learned how to lie down on them and push feet against the bar, or suspend hands or feet in the air in slings, one finds them to be a cleverly designed apparatus enabling one to work specific sets of muscles while resting body weight on the bed.

low reformers

remedios pulleysI honestly cannot say that I have been transformed into a lean and athletic body shape yet. As a matter of fact I'm still rather roundy in many parts, and probably will remain so forever but I do feel that I'm getting a good maintenance routine that has served to move just about every body part, keeping the joints supple and 'oiled up' so they don't get stiff and creaky!

chair Chair exerciser

classmate 1 Maria and Remedios help a classmate

classmate lies downIt helps immensely to have a well trained monitor and I'm lucky to have one in Maria, who keeps a practiced eye open for any signs of pain or fatigue in her charges. And I swear she has eyes in the back of her head, enabling her to spot the slightest difficulty in someone on the other side of the room.

remedios 1 Remedios demonstrates a pull

remedios 2Remedios is another expert trainer who joins in to monitor our class when we have more than a handful of students. (Is that the right word.....are we students?....Perhaps better to say we're class members.)

I was surprised to see that our Pilates machines are made in Canada, and after looking it up I find Stott Pilates is Canadian based, so I'm keeping in touch with my home country in a certain way!

gata Our club mascot 'Gata' is resting after a hard workout!


Lorna said...

You are so smart to do that. I wish I could, but I have a hump in my spine which makes it painful to lie on my back.

I did try to take a yoga class, and I bought a pilates matt for it (thicker than yoga matts) but it was so painful I had to quit the class.

My best to you in what is probably the best thing you are doing for your health.


Canarybird said...

Lorna I'm sorry to hear that you had to quit. We've had some class members who have needed cushions and sponge back supports because of similar problems. One woman who can't lie on her back has all her exercises shifted to the exercise chair or in semi-sitting positions.

aivo said...


i'm estonian man living in puerto de la cruz.. this is my third year in spain.

nice pics and story about pilates thing. where is this place located?

kind regards,


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