If you follow me on twitter you may have seen that I did my first ever HOT Pilates class this week. Well first ever Pilates class actually.
Before I go into the ins and outs of the class, let me start by telling you a bit about me that is significant to this story – that I am both a chatterbox AND a giggler. Neither of which, I soon discovered are welcome at hot Pilates.
So my friend of 20 years Ali and I turned up eager and ready with our exercise mats and bottled water, not sure what to expect. Another bit of background before I proceed is that Ali and I were regularly in trouble at school for talking and giggling. We just couldn’t help ourselves. And at 31 we still can’t. The first thing that set us off was a man dressed like Sherlock Holmes who was queuing to pay for his yoga class. He made us laugh. Not sure why. The fact that he was wheeling a huge suitcase behind him made us laugh even more. Our laughs were soon met by disapproving looks from the very serious yoga and Pilates types around us who were there to find their inner chakras, NOT to giggle about inane things. They were VERY serious. I whispered to Ali ‘I think we’re gonna have to behave tonight’. ‘I shouldn’t come to places like this with you’ replied Ali.
The next point of reference I need to make involved the queuing up outside the hot studio where everybody was in complete silence. As we moved our way along the queue and into the studio it soon became clear why, when met by the huge ‘SILENCE NO TALKING IN STUDIO’ sign. I honestly can’t think of the last time I panicked so much. ‘I can’t stay silent for a whole hour’ I whispered frantically to Ali – desperate to utter my final words before being committed to a whole 60 minutes of concentration, inner thoughts and exercise.
I’d love to say that my inner thoughts were centred around ‘finding my core’, ‘balancing my flow’ and ‘elongating my body’ – but they weren’t. The one thing that troubled me through the entire class was discovering that I believe my arms are too long. The whole class was done in front of a mirrored wall, so you can check your positions are correct and see exactly what you’re doing. Or in my case allowing me obsess about the length of my arms. As we practised complex Pilates poses, all I could do was frantically look at all the other women in the room to see where their arms came down to on their bodies. Did theirs go as high as mine? Is it just coz mine are skinny?! Arrgghh. So much for inner calm and poise. In the space of 60 minutes I developed a brand new body hang up. Yesterday I even made my mum stand next to me to check how far down her body her arms go.
As well as the arm distraction there were a few giggle outbursts. At the point where the instructor informed us we could either relax in the Downward Dog, the Sleeping Child or the Curled Up Cat (I made that up) Ali and I burst into a series of stifled snorts. Perhaps when we know what those positions are we’ll be able to be Proper Serious Pilates People like the rest of the class.
In the meantime we WILL be going back, because despite our initial shock at the no talking policy, and my discovery that I think my arms are too long – we actually really enjoyed it. And two days on neither of us can walk. So it must be good for us.
Right, I’m off to master the Sleeping Child. Mainly because I’m knackered.