No, not talking about the furry felines.
Talking about the Convention against Torture.
That would be the United Nations Convention against Torture.
You see I have a theory. I think that my pilates teacher used to be a professional torturer until that kind of trade got banned by the UN way back in 1985.
Today's class looked easy. There were no scary swiss balls, foam rollers or pilates cushions lying around waiting to ambush us. Just the normal blue mats and hand weights.
Piece of cake I thought to myself, we had a choice of 1 or 1/2 kilo weights (truly cake, as in my step class I'm the only one who uses the 1.5k weights - my arms might look like sticks but appearances can be very deceptive!)
It started nicely enough, as alway with the 'mobilisation' exercises (bending and swivelling - but no moving the hips now, that is VERBOTEN) and then lying down lifting the weights over our heads and stuff, as I thought, cake! I was even remembering to breathe in and out at the right points and keep everything zipped (that should be) & hollowed (that should be).
Then we put the weights aside (I should have gotten suspicious then) and lying on our backs were rotating our legs out to the side, everything bent at a 90 degree angle, do-able.
Then legs straight up and into a V and in and out and in and out - fine, but then we had to add the arms, stretching them straight up towards the ceiling and stretching 1st the left further and then the right, ok (couldn't zip 'n hollow as well as doing the breathing, the legs and the arms but hey 3 out of 4 can't be bad) but no. Frau Qual* came over to me and started to pull on my hands to make my arms go even further...(so if none of the sleeves of my clothes fit me now it's all her fault)
Another impossible ask today was an excerise I can do in an aerobics class, where the one hand is used as leverage but in pilates that's not on, we were lying on our sides, propped up on the one arm, resting on the elbow and the other arm (the one I would dearly love to use as a lever) lay flat down to the hip, and then we had to heave (or in my case try to heave) our arses skyward...so not happening. I did manage it a couple of times (but couldn't breathe at the same time let alone zip 'n hollow).
You'd think having seen us failing at this task (from the giggling going on around the room I wasn't the only one with a heavy butt) Frau Qual would have moved onto something easier...no. She's German, she had a plan and she was not going to deviate from it.
We started out in the 'child's pose', this is wonderfully relaxing and she lulled me into a false sense of security with it. From this comforting position she demanded we 'slide' our noses along the mat until we were flat on the floor, ok-ish, but then you have to go back into the child's pose by hauling your 'po-po' (as she termed it - arse, in other words) up and back...not a hope! I don't know what muscles you need for that manoeuvre, but I don't have them, and nor does Rebecca, she tried to blame the mat for being sticky or too slippy (it was one or the other, I forget which, but it was a feeble excuse).
It was possibly the most fun we've had in our pilates class so far, despite Frau Qual's liking to inflict pain! I'm looking forward to seeing the results in my streamlined body as I bake myself next to the pool in the Spanish sun in July...no pain no gain right?
* die Qual - the torture