“In 10 sessions you will feel the difference, in 20 sessions you will see the difference and in 30 sessions you will have a whole new body” – Joseph Pilates
In the BPS studio, we are often asked questions such as “how many times per week should we do Pilates?” and “how long will it take me to feel X Y Z?”. And while there are differences for the individual there are definitely some global ‘stages’ that every Pilates student goes through. SO we thought we would lay these stages out for you below so you can see where you are, where you’ve been and where your heading! While you might not know it at the time, you might just be in the middle of a ‘jump’ about ready to hit the next stage of your Pilates experience!
Week 1 – Sessions 1 – 3. These first 3 sessions, whether they are done in your first week or over your first few weeks are usually characterized by a blissful sense of ignorance. You have made the commitment, you have bought your tights and grippy socks and you’re generally feeling proud of the new positive addition to your lifestyle. Little do you know what awaits you on the road ahead! There is a subtle sense of anticipation as you watch more experienced students performing elegant and downright jaw dropping feats of movement on the equipment and you think to yourself, ‘I can’t wait, that will be me soon – Master of my Body’. Of course, there was the initial confusion when you first walked into the studio and saw the medieval like Pilates equipment, but never fear you feel confident that soon it will all make sense!
Week 2 – Sessions 4 – 6. Now the work begins. Sessions 4 – 6 brings with it a reality check … this shit’s hard! The realisation that you have been completely oblivious to a variety of body parts, ways of breathing and variety of tight designs sinks in, and you feel as though you may be in a little over your head. Unless you were a dancer or a gymnast as a kid, you’re having serious doubts about whether this type of contortionism is for you or even natural? Fear not, this is just a phase and soon enough you will be feeling more in control of your body and damn proud of it!
Week 3 – Session 6 – 10. Dayam – you got this! Suddenly, as if the light bulb switches on you get it. Of course, those are your core muscles, obviously that’s your glute, you knew they were there all along. You feeling less like your instructor is speaking Swahili when they say ‘articulate your spine one vertebrae at a time’ and all of a sudden there is a glimmer of hope … soon you might be the student performing death defying feats upside down on the trapeze table – yes – you even know the names of the pieces of equipment, you’ve got this nailed! Joseph Pilates wasn’t lying when he said ‘in 10 session you will feel the difference’.
Week 4/5/6/7 – Sessions 11 –39. Just when you thought it was all butterflies and rainbows, another ‘leap’ … how does your instructor make it look so damn easy!!! The secret? Practice, practice and practice some more. The secret is there is no secret. Your instructor moves the way they do because they have spent hundreds if not thousands of hours in the studio, practicing, failing, sweating, failing until finally … success! Dolphin – Parakeet – Jack-knife – Shoulder-stand. These exercises, the ones you gawk at in the studio, don’t come easily for good reason, they are damn hard and take persistence and dedication to master!
Week 8 – Sessions 40 and beyond. SO you have made it, you have stuck it out, you’re in the phase of ‘a whole new body’. Let me tell you this phase never ends. There is always more to learn, more finesse to create, more light bulb moments about how your body moves and the intricacies of every joint, muscle and neuron. And that is why we love it. Pilates like nothing else on earth, teaches you to master your body mind and spirit and once you are practising regularly we know you’ll get it and love it just as much as we do!