Friday, February 26, 2010

A new definition of Pilates

Pilates = torture

Trust me.

For the third week in a row, our pilates 'teacher' (I personally prefer to apply the word 'tormenter' to her) inflicted 90 minutes of exquisite pain upon us.

How can lying down on your stomach (with your belly button hauled as far back towards your spine as your can get it and your pelvic floor pulled upwards until it seems to be touching your diaphragm - this is known in pilates circles as 'zip and hollow'...I'm sure there's a good reason...but I haven't heard our Tormenter using the word 'reißverschluss') anyway, how can lying on your stomach shrugging, be exercise? And how come my inner thighs hurt?

I'm not joking, one of the exercises today was lying face down with our faces half smothered in a special pilates asphixiater (pillow) which meant all the Tormenter's words were very muffled, and we were shrugging, rolling our shoulders up and back down...and I know that I was doing it right because she came and corrected me! After that we swam, on the floor, front crawl. I never knew I was so good at crawl! I usually sink after a metre or so but today I was going strong, powering my way along...

This lying down, shrugging malarkey came after exercises on the wobbly pancake, sorry 'pilates wobble cushion'. Not that dissimiliar to the swiss ball in its ability to make my life hell but at least I was a lot closer to the ground this week should it decide to upend me onto the floor.
We started off sitting on the wobbly plate from hell 'stabilising' ourselves (!) and then we had to lie back, still with our bottoms on the cushion, fine, so far so....wobbly. Then we were lifting legs up to our stomach (not at the same time thank goodness) then the arms had to move at the same time (those arms that had been spread as wide as possible, fingernails gripping the wooden floor in a vain attempt to keep from wobbling over, yeah, I know I was in a horizontal position on the floor but trust me, it is still possible to fall off) but then came the pièce de resistance, both legs in the air, 90 degree angle, bent at the knee, and rotate one out to the side, while keeping the pelvis flat and motionless. Motionless? On a wobbly disc? Is that even possible?
She who must be obeyed came over and told me that I needed to keep my pelvis still, I told her it was not possible and she replied that that was the whole 'art' of the exercise!
Art my arse!

I wonder what new form of torture she's thinking up for next week...

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