Mat Pilates sessions and the use of props
Recently I've been asked, by a lady I teach, whether I use props in my Mat Pilates sessions. The answer I gave was probably not what she wanted to hear... but I had my reasons and I thought I'd post about them here.
I tend to not use a huge amount of props through my sessions - but I will use aids (and occasionally the odd prop or two if the moment presents itself).
I explained that the reason I like to keep it 'pure' is because getting the Pilates bodyweight exercises correct is difficult enough alone, and no matter how great people feel they are at a certain move, there are always others (and even those ones) that still need to be honed to ensure correct positioning, posture and alignment (alongside breathing and core engagement) is held throughout.
Props can make you lazy and reliant on those items to get you through a move and disguise any issues that may otherwise be picked up and corrected.
Aids on the other hand (blocks and wedges especially and also bands to a degree) can help us get in to the correct position and stay there with support, allowing our bodies to get used to the alignment we are asking of it.
Having said all this, I completely get that if we've been doing Pilates a while we want to mix it up with a bit of variety, which is why I never say I will never use additional items. But the majority of my sessions are built around your body, your positioning, your breathing patterns. This allows you to get the best end result, and also allow you to replicate moves in your own home too, when you're comfortable with them, without the constant supervision of me (or anyone else) or the need for expensive gadgets.
(Disclaimer: I do have a delivery of magic circles coming my way which I'm quite looking forward to playing with myself, and will be using these with some of my more advanced private Pilates students. When I have them, I'll probably write a post about how amazing they are!)
For more information or to get in touch to book a session with me, in or around the St Neots area, just give me a shout!
UPDATE: 18th September 2018
I’ve been using my magic circles in some of my private sessions… I do love them. But then, I don’t think I’m using them as props as such - but more as the aids that I mention above. If a client has a specific need/ weak area they can be used to help focus and engage on that area.
I also think there is a place for them when it comes to adding more challenging elements to someone who’s already well-versed in the basics. BUT there is still a lot of Pilates positions that can be worked on without the use of props and aids - so we can still work through those to really challenge ourselves.