Updated: Feb 14, 2018
I’m sure everyone who does regular pilates has experienced at least one Eureka! moment. I certainly have. It’s that moment when the trainer says something that suddenly makes sense and causes a dramatic improvement in the way you do an exercise. After the initial glow of pleasure at realising that I’m actually beginning to improve and can do it, my natural second reaction is to question why no-one taught me this useful tip before! After a recent Eureka! moment I checked through my notes written 6 months previously – and there it was, in black and white, in my own handwriting this very same instruction for the very same exercise. I must have heard it - yet I didn’t use it.
Thinking about this now, I have to conclude that when I hear an instruction that my body cannot respond to, I ignore the instruction as if it is a foreign language. Admittedly, some pilates instructions are quite obscure to the beginner – ‘scoop’ ‘wrap’ and even ‘chin to chest’ need further explanation. But in addition I suspect that many pilates concepts only make sense when the body has advanced enough to act on them.
As a trainee, I find this reassuring. I trust that if I keep working at my pilates, one by one these currently obscure concepts will make sense and give me the key to achieving a stronger and more controlled body. But as a trainer – I need to remember that if my client does not respond to my exhortations, it could simply be that they cannot interpret my words and that their bodies are not yet ready to work with the concepts I’m trying to convey. I will continue to take pleasure in my Eureka! moments but with added sympathy for my trainers of the past whose words fell on non-hearing ears.