I Hope You Fail!
I hope you fail. That sounds rather harsh and not like what you'd expect to hear from your supportive Pilates instructor, doesn't it? Shouldn't I want you to succeed? Shouldn't I want you to excel? Yes and yes but I also want you to struggle a bit, too.
What do I mean by that? When things come easily we don't always see the value or understand fully why we are doing what we are doing, do we? Let me explain a bit more. If you came to take a Pilates class and every movement was simple and you nailed it on the first try, what goals would you have? What would you gain or learn? Would you come back? Finding those weaknesses in our body or those movements that we have to practice - that is where the real work is. I do want you to succeed and I will do everything I can to make sure you do, but I also want you to experience some movements that challenge you!
I had a newer student last night. She's taken about 4 or 5 classes so far. She made the comment to me after her last class - I am not feeling the work in my core. She has had a couple children and a couple c-sections. Her core is not as strong as it was pre-babies. We talked about what she was feeling - plenty of work in her arms and legs. What that told me was she was succeeding in working her limbs but we needed to change things up because we were failing to make that connection with the core. These are the kind of challenges I love! The mind-body connection can take time and work to feel and establish. This failure presents an opportunity for us! In class last night, we took a different approach. We focused deeply on the core in every movement and found movements that prohibited her from compensating with her stronger legs and arms. We didn't worry about whether her feet were pointed or flexed or her legs were as straight as they could be ... all of that can come later. Did she find her core? YES! And I bet today she'll still be aware of her core ;-)
I say it often because it's important to remember - Pilates is a practice. If we were perfect, we would not need to keep working at it and challenging ourselves. Because I want you to continue to grow stronger, healthier and more body aware, I hope you are challenged, some movements you fail at your first attempt ... and together we find success for you!