Even though I tried all sorts of training, Pilates was not one of those that caught my interest. Until I met Ana Dumitrescu, who in one hour demolished all my preconceived ideas about this type of movement.
Ana is a ballerina, but she also graduated a Fitness-Aerobic and Pilates course, held by Balanced Body, the most important Pilates school in America. As I’ve always wanted to learn from the best, I made an appointment for a Pilates session at Movement Studio.
At the beginning of the training, she asked me if I have any back problems and explained to me that she is creating the sessions according to the health problems, abilities and goals of each client.
As I am accustomed to the dynamic cardio exercises that I have identified myself with, it seemed to me that there is a whole story behind the Pilates exercise techniques – from the position of your body, your hands, the way you need to breathe, how you need to contract your muscles and concentrate on each movement.
There must be a permanent connection between body and mind, to achieve maximum results. I worked all the muscles under Anna’s careful supervision, which always said to me: “Do not forget to inhale and then lightly exhale!”, because breathing is the defining element in this body modeling process. We combined the mat exercises with those on the Reformer, a specific Pilates device and it worked both the lower and the upper body.
Control is the most important part of this type of training, also named “the art of contrology”. I have always thought that Pilates is not very demanding, but I confess that during the training, the mix of concentration on each movement and breathing has exhausted me. At the end of the day though, you feel a revival of the whole body, and over time, an increase in flexibility and muscle tone, as well as a much better concentration power.
What persuaded me to believe in this mind-body relationship, specific in Pilates, was the moment when I totally disconnected from my daily routine and realized that I could not think of what I was going to do after the class or about the movie I have watched last night, because Ana immediately was warning me: “You do not coordinate anymore! Focus on the movement!”.
Ana recommends Pilates classes for anyone who wants to strengthen and tone their body without gaining excess muscle, this workout developing long, lean muscles.
SOURCE: The ONE / August 2013