Throughout my first week I observed 12 different clients, either once or multiple times, in private or small class Pilates, Gyrotonics, and Gyrokinesis. Previously, I have taken Pilates classes, but very few and not very recently. And, I had never seen gyrotonics or gyrokinesis. Overall, I noticed the importance of the breath and breathing throughout these exercises. Specifically, when to inhale during the movement and when to exhale during the movement. The breath and breathing is as important as the exercise, or general movement, itself. In all cases, the breath guides the movement.
In addition to my acknowledgement of the breath, I really enjoyed getting to observe a variety of body types and abilities/capabilities perform similar exercises throughout the week. Watching different people do these exercises gave me a broader perspective and fostered my learning. I really enjoyed watching clients experience the benefits of the exercises they were doing as they were doing them. Hearing things like “this feels really good for my low back” and “wow that really needed to be popped” were reassurances that the client was receiving the benefits from their exercises.
I liked that the instructors clarified every movement and provided applicable examples of real life situations in which the exercise would be utilized. In order to show the importance of performing an exercise, they were sometimes relate to daily tasks such as grocery shopping or simply walking on the street. For example, when practicing sit-to-stand with weighted exercise balls in one’s hands, it is very much so transferable to waiting at a bus stop with grocery bags.
Lastly, I found it important that all of the sessions are goal-oriented, aiming to ultimately reach the client’s needs and wellness goals. For instance, if a client is prone to tripping, a goal would be to prevent tripping while walking on a daily basis. During the Pilates session, the instructure will curate exercises to improve the prevention of tripping while walking. Some of those exercises may include toe-tapping, which would work on foot strike and ultimately improve quality of walking.
In the one week I have observed so far, I have gained a lot of knowledge about the human body in general, but also about pilates, gyrotonics, and the benefits that these exercises produce within each individual.