During this time of lockdown, it can be easy to neglect our usual wellbeing routine, because we are stuck inside our homes all day (if we are not essential workers). This major change in routine can have effects on our physical and mental wellbeing. Therefore, it is important to keep on top of maintaining this wellbeing, so that we can come out of lockdown feeling refreshed, rather than drained with a new back-pain!
Pilates is a form of exercise that does both of these things, which can be done at home, in the garden, or in the studio when we come out of lockdown. The nature of the world we live in is extraordinary in the fact that we can still practise Pilates, Yoga, HIIT workouts etc from our own homes without an in-person teacher. Our teacher can be right there with us on screen via the internet! This class was done using Zoom, but there are so many other platforms out there to experience. You can even watch Youtube videos of pre-taught classes; the class we did was screen-recorded and posted to Youtube for anyone to try at home.
Which brings me on to the class itself. It was a bright Wednesday afternoon (I think, every day is the same now, right?), when Niamh and I had our first ever Pilates class. I had done yoga before, but Pilates was something completely new to me; all I knew was that I wanted to try it. Beth (PilatesbyBeth) set us up with the Zoom meeting link one week before the class, so on the day we were all ready to go. Despite never using Zoom myself, this was very simple to join, as most of the work was done by our teacher! She also told us in advance what we needed to wear and what equipment to use, which was very handy. Even if we didn’t have a mat or pillow, a towel would have been perfectly fine for this class.
We started off with an introduction of what the class would entail; the ABCs of Pilates. Beth explained that we would be going through the fundamentals of Pilates; alignment, breathing and centering. It was clear what each section meant, and it was easy to understand. Beth talked us through each exercise, did the first couple with us, and then she stopped to have a look at us doing it by ourselves, to make sure we were getting the technique right. This added a real personal touch to the class, which wouldn’t be available on a pre-recorded video. As there were only 2 of us in the class, this made it easier for Beth to coach us 1:1. A large online class may be more difficult to produce personal feedback.
All in all, it was great to experience the world of online fitness classes and see how easy it is to take part. Joining a class on Zoom, or another streaming service, encourages you to commit to your daily exercise at home with a set time, rather than trying to do it off your own motivation. Booking in an online class will be the best start to get you back on your fitness track!
Beth Allcock is a BCP Matwork Pilates teacher and founder of PilatesbyBeth. She runs group classes, studio sessions and 1:1 and 2:1 tailored classes.