09 Jul 4 Reasons Why You Should Intensify Your Pilates Practice
This is one practice you can and should push to the limit
Maybe you’ve been doing Pilates for weeks, or years now. But it’s been a once or twice a week kind of thing. You haven’t really given yourself a proper chance to master it.
This month, Brazilian-born Gilson Melo – second generation Classical Pilates guru – makes the argument for why “regular-ish” practitioners should seriously consider taking their practice to the next level.
“Intensity is key,” Gilson says, explaining his rationale for leading a two-week intensive Summer Staycation challenge. “It’s about keeping your momentum, giving yourself no space between the classes.” It may sound a bit overwhelming to those who have been ingrained to set aside days for “rest and recovery.” However, the beauty of Pilates is that you don’t need to recover if you do it properly.
“You’ll move your body every single day for 10 days,” he says of his upcoming programme. “I love pushing my clients more every single session, stronger than the last. That’s when you start seeing true change.”
He qualifies: “I make sure my clients know their bodies, that they don’t hurt themselves. It’s about working the right way, challenging the body without injury. It’s the safest exercise out there.”
Here are four reasons why you should intensify your Pilates practice:
It can level you up from beginner to intermediate in 2 weeks…
“There is a way a beginner can learn from the ground up – and do it quickly,” says Heather Shalabi, co-founder of Flex Studio. She says that consciously and consistently working on your Pilates practice creates a flow, which then leads to cardio benefits.
“By pushing yourself to learn the sequence of movements and committing it to memory, you’re able to turn the practice into a moving meditation in which you can lose yourself in the body without thinking of choreography,” says Heather. “This allows you to go deeper into your practice and learn more about ‘moving well’ rather than simply ‘doing exercise.’”
“Intensives are the best way for beginners to really understand why they are doing something,” she adds,” and how it benefits their day-to-day lives.”
The same applies to learning a language or sport – the best approach is a total, everyday immersion. There’s a reason why, say, surf camps and ski weeks exist. Why should it be any different for Pilates?
It will ease your desk aches and pains faster or put them off longer.
Many an office-based Pilates disciple swears by the posture, fitness and body awareness it brings to their desk-oriented work. Sitting all day exacerbates those good old spine degeneration and scoliosis issues, which are certainly not helped if your core and back muscles don’t support your bones.
If you’re not currently experiencing these symptoms, don’t wait for a doctor to diagnose you! The cliche applies: preventive medicine is the best kind there is.
It will improve your performance in any other sport your practice
Skiing, swimming, tennis… the list goes on. It doesn’t matter which sport you love, intensifying your Pilates practice will ultimately benefit it. This is especially helpful for those who cannot access their sport of choice on a daily basis, such as skiing or windsurfing.
The world over, athletes are realizing the benefits of Pilates – and often yoga combined – when it comes to preparing them for the strenuous activity. From NFL teams to London Irish Rugby, sports professionals are turning to Pilates to improve flexibility, balance and strength as well as help with recovery and injury rehab.
It will get you physical results, faster
There’s no shame in wanting to look good and feeling confident about your body. That’s why we get bombarded with questions about how to get summer-ready, every single year!
The icing on top of the Pilates elevation cake is the physical change that happens to the body – cosmetically, and it terms of strength and flexibility. Abs will go into shape, bums will lift and arms and back will see more muscle definition – quickly – by doing an intensive. Just add oil, literally and figuratively!
Gilson Melo and Heather Shalabi are leading an Intermediate Reformer & Mat Pilates Intensive from July 22-August 2, 2019. The two week intensive summer staycation challenge promises all the amazing physical benefits of a Flex retreat without having to leave Hong Kong. Click here for Gilson’s at Central, and here for Heather’s at One Island South.