“What’s this? What’s going on? Why are you so wonky?” Wonky. I have heard my body described in many ways, but this was my first time hearing the word “wonky”. One of my instructors was working with me and noticed my foot was all over in space doing some exercises. The biggest problem? It felt totally like a normal motion to me. Something that I wouldn’t have noticed practicing on my own. Wonky, I found out, is not a great term!
The same thing happens to me when I take a barre class. My hips feel completely normal. Completely square. The next thing I know an instructor is coming over telling me how high my left hip is to my right. Instructors commonly use the phrase “that’s interesting” (never wonky) or they’ll try to adjust me, and my body just springs right into the position it was in, refusing to hold the correct position. It’s not uncommon for instructors to actually have to hold my body in the correct position while I try to move. Not exactly the physical contact that I crave!
But I need the adult supervision my instructors offer. My body, like many others, does get wonky at times. Especially if I’ve been laying down for long periods of time, like I did while I was sick, have been using my computer or phone a lot, or I have been flying. Like most people, my body has begun to think these bad body positions are natural. So then, when I exercise, I actually do more harm than good. Which is exactly what I don’t want!
My point? I think many clients think that because we are instructors, we can just do these exercises in our sleep. We can’t. At least not correctly. Can I instruct them in my sleep? Most likely. Can I see clients cheating and torture them by making them pull their abs one inch deeper? Absolutely! But for me to get the actual benefits of Pilates, I have to have a professional watching me.
I know many of our clients actually have equipment in their homes. My favorite question to ask them though is, how much do you actually use it and…do you know if you’re doing these exercises right? This is not just with Pilates. This is with many exercises out there. Which is why I pride myself on having smaller class sizes. We can catch errors that prevent injuries now and in the future. Not all damage can be felt right away. And most of the time, bodies just need a little tweak or nudge to get the maximum effect from the exercise. When you’re in the correct position, you’re also going to see results a lot faster.
A great example? Sideline work. Did your thass (where the thigh meets the ass) just tighten up a little hearing that? Good! Then we are doing our job. When I am practicing sideline work my top hip loves to drop back. Which right away makes the exercise easier and also takes me into my lower back. Ouchy! And I always feel like my body is perfectly in line. It’s not! So, I’m incredibly grateful that I have someone watching me. And I very rarely practice on my own for this very reason.
I know everyone’s thoughts…Well this costs money. Yes, it does. But it will cost more money down the line throwing something completely out of alignment. Nobody wants that!
Our teachers have trained for 500 hundred hours at the least. We adhere to strict disciplines created by Joseph Pilates himself.
have all carefully studied the bodies alignment and we can very quickly catch clients trying to “cheat”. We see things many would not see, practicing on their own. Our jobs are to give you a great Pilates workout, to help you have a pretty good time while doing it, and keep you safe. We don’t like injuries. We also have smaller class sizes to keep a better eye on you. Even if you mostly practice at home, I highly suggest coming in at least once a week for a checkup. Then take what you’ve learned home with you! And if you ever have any questions, you can always feel free to ask one of us. We are always here to ask and love to help others!