I’m sure I’m not the only Virgo that has noticed that look. The one people give you when declare your sun sign is Virgo. The “oh, you’re one of those…” expressions. I’ve never cared. I’ve always been out and proud. You can mock my perfectly rolled towels with the stripes all perfectly aligned or the fact that every coat hanger in my wardrobe faces the same direction. I don’t care that you’re living life in disorder (neither do I understand it). When I discovered Pilates it was like I had arrived home. I had discovered an exercise methodology where moving with precision and accuracy are vital to its successful execution, it is little wonder that I became a Pilates Instructor.
As a Pilates instructor I am extremely patient while you develop both your confidence and competence in the studio. I understand, Pilates is difficult. There are many things to think about while you set out on the path of efficient and pain free movement. I will ask you to breathe at a certain time while you consider your alignment, the order you recruit each muscle, the pace of your movement and the intensity at which you work – simultaneously. In life there is is a correct way and an incorrect way to do things. In the Pilates studio the correct way is the Virgo way and I will make sure that is how you are going to do it.
When it comes to Pilates, the directions are given for a reason. When done properly, Pilates is beautiful. It is quality movement that reminds the body that there is a place for everything and everything should be in place. Pilates is balanced by a rich history of order and sequence with the newest research to stay relevant. It IS the Virgo way: smart, focused, grounded and efficient.
The Pilates body (under my supervision) is like a mannerly dinner party at a fine dining restaurant. The food is exquisite, it is arranged on the plate delicately and intentionally. Each muscle behaves like the guests at the table: courteous, witty and charming conversationalists. Everyone responding cleverly, responses float through the air effortlessly with pause for effect. All of the other tables listen in enviously- wishing that their life was just as interesting and that they could engage with their friends in the same gracious way.
The Virgo Pilates instructor strives to ensure you embody this. Movement flows from one exercise to the next. The spine articulates at every level like a rhythmic gymnast’s ribbon. Each joint glides with ease, the breath is continuous without strain. Everything in your body is adhering to my Pilates plan. This is is the path to the sleek body you have been working to achieve. Strength balanced with equal flexibility and control. Your mind now focuses on all of the other elements in your amazing life while your body runs its own show. Grace personified.
The alternative repulses the Virgo Pilates instructor. For god’s sake- slow it down- are you a bull at a gate? Why are you holding your breath? Can you please not arch your spine like that! Pilates is methodical. There is a natural order that needs to be adhered to. You do want to do this correctly don’t you? We need to stop, re-organise and start again. Ugh!
Without the expert guidance and dedication to perfection the Virgo Pilates instructor offers, the body will begin to resemble a motley crew of dinner guests. The table will be rowdy. The food slopped onto the plate, one item on top of the other, sauces intermingling, unbalanced flavors- muck. The guests are not interested in genteel conversation. Oh no! Everyone is stubbornly determined to get their point across no matter how unruly. One person shouts over the top of the other until the only sound emanating from this table is loud indistinguishable noise. It is only a matter of time before someone is sent home in disgrace
Is this what you want? If so, off you go… to the gym with the grunters and groaners moments away from disc herniation and unsightly, hypertrophied muscles. Where is the precision? Where is the order? I spend my days teaching this beautiful exercise methodology, and you expect me to watch you taint it with your shoulders so close to your ears that your neck appears engulfed by your torso? I don’t think so. You are hurting my eyes.
So either charge ahead with your unrefined, mindless movement or come with me towards the light. The choice is clear to me.
Joanne Bezzina has been reorganising and decluttering bodies using Pilates since 2004. When not at the studio, you will find her promenading the streets with her Italian Greyhound in tow or writing her blog www.spiritedpilates.com
Image: Hye Jin Chung