My Pilates Experience

hi there!! (: 
this post has taken quite some time since my previous introduction on Pilates In the Park a couple of months back, but i didn’t want to rush it because there was so much to experience and i really didn’t want to write this post without going through it thoroughly (: i have so much to tell you about this amazing form of exercise, and there are going to be quite a lot of pictures as well, so stay with me! ^^ 
so, i first picked up Pilates at PowerMoves Pilates in the Park sometime in August this year, and like i mentioned in my previous post (link above), i had misconceptions about how it was pretty similar to yoga in terms of focusing more on relaxation, etc. but i’ve come to find it such a great form of exercise, that is not too strenuous on your joints (unlike high impact exercises like running), yet, it is challenging enough to cause me to break a sweat! i was so surprised to find out how difficult it was during my first session, and that was just a beginner class. i’m proud to say that after three months, i survived through several late-beginner classes, which is the next level after beginners! :) okay let me allow the pictures to do some talking.
^^^ this was in the last late-beginner lesson that i attended :D ^^^
Pilates focuses a lot on strengthening the core, and i am literally amazed at how my core feels tighter and trimmer every time i step out of a class! it is a lot to do with the method of lateral breathing where you focus on expanding the diaphragm sideways (rather than upwards) and continuing to breathe in deeply through your nose, and exhaling through your mouth while holding your abdominals in. simply doing this alone is a mini-exercise in itself. it is not easy at all, and it requires a very conscious effort to continue with this while executing the various movements. 
unlike yoga where poses are held for around 8 counts or so, Pilates is very dynamic and i like how there is never a dull moment! there are hundreds of Pilates exercises that can be done, and two lessons are never the same. different exercises can be executed to tone the same part of the body, and the variation prevents your body from becoming accustomed to a particular movement, which means that you don’t hit a plateau in your regime! being someone who gets bored with too much repetition, i really enjoy pilates because i learn something new in every lesson. and it’s great attending classes by different instructors, because each instructor has a different style of teaching, and a different set of exercises they like to practice. 
^^^ these are just some of the equipment that are used in Pilates! ^^^
there are two main types of classes at PowerMoves – matwork and reformer. matwork involves a lot of core exercises, and can be done with no additional equipment other than a mat. but taking classes at a professional studio like PowerMoves has exposed me to so many different types of tools which can be used to enhance the exercises and create even more variation, which adds a whole lot of fun! 
the Magic Ring is a popular Pilates tool – it is a resistance ring used to simulate breathing movements while doing the various exercises. This brings consciousness to the Pilates method of breathing, which is an important part of strengthening the core. it looks easy to work with, but it really isn’t. and this is probably the beauty of Pilates – how you can look graceful (it’s very much like ballet in some ways!) while getting a really tough workout at the same time. 
Reformer classes involve the use of the Reformer machine, which involves the use of various forms of resistance, creating more strength exercises in your Pilates workout. if i felt the matwork classes were challenging, the Reformer classes really pushed me to my limits! and I RELISHED IT. as i mentioned, i really enjoy how Pilates is such a comprehensive exercise, covering all aspects of a workout from stretching, to cardio, resistance & strength-training. if these poses look easy to you, i can tell you that they weren’t at all! i was literally vibrating the whole time especially with the addition of the resistance bands. staying in these positions were really tough! the good news is that there are different levels of resistance (and the qualified instructors are adept at adjusting the level of exercise for all students, regardless of which level you at at) and for Pilates, the focus is usually on dynamic movements, so you typically wouldn’t be holding such poses for a prolonged period (i was holding the poses for the sake of photos).
Pilates has really become one of my favourite exercises since i picked it up a few months ago. i absolutely love how it is such a well-rounded exercise, while being low-impact (friendly on the joints!) and constantly fun because of the numerous movements. 
Why PowerMoves?
in this post, and my previous one, i guess you would have already understood the benefits of Pilates as an exercise. but i specifically chose PowerMoves, and i would like to share the reason for my choice.
With studios nestled in three beautiful parks in Singapore, PowerMoves Pilates has the picked the best locations for you to pick up this mindful exercise under the instruction of talented teachers. This concept of ‘Pilates in the Park’ is exclusive to PowerMoves in the world! I feel that it’s a brilliant idea to have their studios in the park – surrounded by lush tropical beauty, this is the perfect setting for an exercise like Pilates. each of the three branches has its own character and subtle beauty, and it really depends on your preference of ambience and location! 
at Garden Spa Aramsa, you are transported into a realm of tranquility in this peaceful, quiet neighbourhood park. it’s my personal favourite, even though the studio is smaller, because i love the exclusivity that comes with it. the branch at Dempsey is housed in a lovely colonial-style building in the enclave of Dempsey Hill. For an out-of-Singapore tropical resort experience, this is the place to be. It is one of the largest Pilates studios in Singapore, and coupled with a wide range of equipment (16 Reformers, 8 Towers, 2 Cadillacs, 4 Wunda Chairs and full accessories), it is fully equipped for a comprehensive Pilates experience. the studio at Rochester Park is set amidst a lush rainforest, and private classes are held at this branch for a personalised workout paired with a clinical focus. 
regardless of location, each studio is fully equipped with exceptional facilities, and PowerMoves has won numerous accolades such as Singapore Tatler Best of Singapore award 2012 & 2013, Shape Award for Best Service Standards 2012 and Most Beginner Friendly 2013 among others! you can find out more from their website and facebook page!
feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions about Pilates/PowerMoves studio and i would be glad to answer them (: I will also be posting more on my other workout/healthy eating efforts, so look out for those if you’re interested!!

Garden Spa Aramsa
Bishan Park II
Tel.: +65 6455 2221
Dempsey Six and 7even
6 Dempsey Road 
Tel.: +65 6472 2221 
Rochester Park
(private classes only)

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