For years before I was an instructor, I took Pilates classes. I was an eager mover, always wondering why we were doing certain exercises and always trying to learn how to perfect them. Left to my own devices, I came up with some clever strategies, but I also developed some bad habits. Of course, I wouldn’t realize those bad habits until years later.
Now, I have been teaching Pilates for over 5 years, and would consider myself an advanced mover. I still take a Pilates solo (or “private”) session every week with my beautiful and talented instructor Andrea Palen. The difference is astounding. Alone, it took me years to discover my own movement issues — they’re always easier to identify in someone else than in your own. With Andrea, issues that plagued me for years resolved themselves in a matter of months.
The reason? One-on-one attention. In a class, it’s hard to offer proper correction to every student as we move through the exercises. If I did, we’d be hanging out in plank for half an hour. That one-on-one attention means I can cater exercises to my solo students, tailoring a Pilates solo that is truly well-suited to that individual’s body.
Another helpful factor in solo sessions is the conversation that they allow. I can talk to my student about how they feel while going through a movement, and offer insight about why they find certain exercises more challenging than others. I can also bring awareness to minute movements and the differences they may feel from one side of the body to the next.
If you haven’t invested in a solo Pilates session, considering gifting yourself in 2015. They allow for deeper mind-body connection during practice and aid in the body’s journey to truly fluid movement.