Friday, 17 August 2012

Pilates with precision

For some people, it's not exercise unless they're panting, dropping in sweat and aching all the next day. As far as I'm concerned, that all has it's place, but sometimes it's the minuscule things that make all the difference.

Housed in a little brick mews just off the Munster Road, The Pilates Room is a compact but really well equipped studio that offers both group and private pilates sessions 7 days a week. Group sessions are in really small class sizes, the maximum I ever had was of 4 people, and you'll use a range of specialist equipment - the chair, cadillac, and reformer bed - as well as the floor, pilates rings, bars and ropes to stretch whilst reducing the impact on your joints.

To a casual observer, pilates can seem like a pretty lazy excuse for "exercise". Apart from the scary torture-rack style beds you practice on, the movements are gentle, slow and controlled. But as I learnt through my several sessions at the studio, that's exactly why it's so tough. With pilates, it's all about the precision. When the moves are done properly, you're moving with control and balancing just so, you REALLY feel it in the muscles. Although sessions at felt too 'easy' to have an impact at first, the instructors have got an eagle eye for the slightest clues in your posture that you're not doing the moves exactly right, and the smallest adjustments make all the difference. After 5 or 6 sessions my stomach and thighs really did feel 'sculpted', and I could really feel the difference as I learnt the minutiae of the postures. Pilates is definitely not as easy as it looks!

Although pilates will never be the only form of exercise I do (I like a good sweat occasionally!) it was amazing to notice my body stretching further, and just the smallest of stomach muscles emerging, as I continued to attend classes. The sessions at The Pilates Room offer loads of personal attention, essential for beginners, as you do need be very precise with your practice to reap the benefits, and I hadn't been able to practice on the chair or cadillac at other studios I had visited, so that was great to do. Sessions are quite expensive, but what pilates studio isn't. This gets a thumb up from me.

The Pilates Room
9 Filmer Mews
75 Filmer Road
London SW6 7JF

The Pilates Room also has a Putney studio located at 22 Upper Richmond Road, London SW15 6TG

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