When I tell people I teach Pilates most people know what I'm talking about but will frequently ask questions like, "So tell me, what's the difference between Pilates and yoga?"(A blog post for another day). But when I tell people I teach Pilates on the Reformer 8 out of 10 have no idea what I am talking about. If you don't know what to expect from a Reformer session, then why would a session even appeal to you? I hope this post can shed some light on what you can expect from a db Pilates Reformer session.
If you're trying the Reformer for the first time I will introduce you to the actual machine and how it works, then basic movement sequences will be introduced, many of which will remind you of mat Pilates. I like to tell people to think of the Reformer as their dance partner for the next hour. It is their job to find engagement and fluidity with their new dance parter. The Reformer will demand your attention, so give it, your body and the session the attention it deserves.
I find that the pace and variety of movements will differ greatly from client to client depending on alignment, ability and what the client is looking for in their workout, for example, you may be looking for a sweat or maybe simple rebalancing exercises to reconnect and realign. Having said that, I cannot safely provide a sweaty accelerated-paced class when alignment and form just isn't there. Some people are very out-of-touch with their movement patterns and how they hold their body in space, so with these clients we must move slower, with more emphasis on coaching good alignment and basic Pilates principles.
Although most people find the Reformer work itself challenging but doable, the hardest part of the session for most is paying attention to really how you are moving, not just the movement itself. You see, there is nothing sloppy, mindless or unimportant in Pilates. Every movement is coached to be done with precision and intention, which frankly isn't easy. But connecting to ourselves and others in meaningful ways I believe is one thing we are missing in our modern lifestyle. Connecting with your body and it's abilities can truly help you find freedom of movement and a greater sense of well-being.
You can expect to walk away from your session feeling invigorated and lengthened. You may even catch yourself slumping over your phone and computer over the next few days and have the desire and know-how to sit yourself up straight. As one client said, "Your head will be held higher and you will move with a bit more grace than you did before".
Have you had a good or bad experience on a Pilates Reformer? I would love to hear about it. But seriously. What's not to love?
Also, check out this article: 16 health benefits of Pilates: https://www.jenreviews.com/pilates/
I love movement and habits that promote health and lifetime wellness. I also like stretchy pants, being outside and good-for-you food! Follow me on Instagram @DawnBrownCoaching for more frequent updates.