The Benefits of Live Online Pilates Classes
As England stares down the barrel of a national lockdown this week, here at Raise Pilates we wanted to share at least some positive news!
Ever since the first lockdown in March 2020, Raise Pilates and many many others Pilates businesses set up to teach classes online via Zoom (and other software!). Not only for group classes, but one to ones and Reformer Pilates, for those with access to these machines! The beauty of Mat Pilates is that as long as you have space for your body to be lying down with your arms out wide (think snow angel!), and a computer with Zoom installed, you are ready to go.
Whilst many Pilates businesses have returned to studios and halls to do classes face to face, we have not yet resumed Pilates inside, although Pilates in the Park has been a success, so the majority of our classes are online. Many of our clients are shielding or just not confident about group exercises inside and with such a huge amount of uncertainty about the situation, you may feel more comfortable practicing Pilates in your own home.
Feedback on our Live Online Pilates has been extremely positive. Yes, it will be amazing to return to the times when we would meet in person with your teacher able to use tactile cues to assist you in your best practice. However, until this is possible, these Live Online Pilates classes are a wonderful option. And many of our students here at Raise Pilates have benefitted hugely from their Live Online Pilates classes.
What are the benefits of Live Online Pilates?
The encouragement and accountability from your fellow students AND your teacher
If you need to show up at 9am for a live class, you will do it! If you are not booked in to a class and plan to do an online class, there is no time limitation so I know that I and many of my clients may skip that hour in favour of another task with the thought of ‘i’ll do it later’ only to find later comes and it’s not done!
Keeping up of social contact
Learnings from the first lockdown saw that many of us felt isolated and lonely. A regular class or two a week gives us a real sense of contact. Week upon week we see the same faces and share stories, japes and laughs during class. It just gives us that connection - albeit through a computer screen but it is a real, valuable, human connection.
Feedback and guidance from an experienced and qualified teacher
When you do a live online class from a teacher you trust, you will be guided safely through exercises. Unlike a recorded class, where the teacher will be running through the class on their mat, demonstrations will happen, but then your teacher will be looking at each student ensuring that the exercise is being done correctly and safely. Not only that, they will be able to offer you suggestions for small changes to help you perform the exercise more effectively. They can also offer modifications if they see you are struggling or to provide more challenge should you need it!
You have the opportunity to ask questions during the class
Whilst students are ‘muted’ in a group class, you always have the option to unmute and ask a question to your teacher. If a movement causes you discomfort, you can flag this, work with the teacher to make suitable adjustments or alternatives. There is always that option to take some time at the end of the class to discuss a particular exercise or a condition or injury you would like some advice on. You are never ‘stuck’ on an exercise which can be an issue in recorded classes - you have interaction should you wish - as much or as little as you require.
Regular Practice becomes easier to schedule - and stick to!
When we practice Pilates in a studio, we need to allow commuting time, as well as getting ourselves out of the house! All you need to do with the Live Online Pilates class is get to your device in time and you are good to go! It makes regularly doing a class so much easier. You can fit it in during a lunch break or have a later start and get it done first thing. The booking system also easily allows you to be booked into a regular class for the length of time it is valid so you don’t even have to think about it week on week.
Your routine will see you experiencing better physical AND mental health
We only need to see the daily news to hear of the multi-faceted benefits there are of exercise to our physical well being. Pilates is no exception and of course, when we are seated at ‘temporary’ desks and chairs, it really is invaluable.
Our mental health has been pushed and pulled in a variety of directions so whether you would label yourself as having experienced a mental illness or not, being part of a community, moving well, taking time for yourself, experiencing improvements in your movement… I could go on, is only going to help your mental well-being.
Many live online pilates teachers offer recordings of the live classes
Whilst a live, interactive class is a very useful method of practice, life is unpredictable! Your device may have an off day, Wifi may be down or you have a meeting you can’t miss. But you don’t have to miss out on your class.
Request the recording of the class and you will be able to do it at a time that suits you better. Or perhaps there was an exercise that you would like to practice? Or a class that you found particularly useful. Get the recording and you can repeat it! What better way to build on your improvements!
Getting you started
Once you are ready to give Live Online Pilates a try, you need to find a class to suit you. The beauty of doing Pilates online is that location need not be a problem! I have been taught by the wonderful Anula Maiberg in my own home, all the way from New York,during April/May, which was fabulous. I’vealso had the pleasure of teaching clients from Denmark, France and Wales as well as throughout England over the last 7 months!
There are some things to look out for though. As when choosing any exercise class, there are some things that I would recommend you check out before you sign up. For more guidance in finding the right Pilates class, you may wish to refer to a previous blog post about finding your perfect Pilates class but in brief:
Check that the teacher is fully trained and insured and a member of a reputable association: APPI, Body Control Pilates, Polestar and Stott are worth considering.
That class numbers are capped - you can’t benefit from the feedback and experience of the teacher if you are just one of twenty boxes on their screen!
That you are asked to complete a health questionnaire - your teacher needs to know about any injuries/conditions you have to look after you properly
That you enjoy the class! If you don’t enjoy it, don’t be put off Pilates. Try a different teacher - it really is about finding one that suits how you learn and the vibe of the class.
All good Pilates teachers will be very open to questions regarding their training and experience.
Ask for a free trial so that you can give a class a try before committing yourself. Here at Raise Pilates, we offer a free trial class OR a free 30 minute one to one class for every new student.
The latter being perfect should you have an injury or condition where it may be important to spend time discussing options for movements and you can discuss the best class for you.
As we progress through our second lockdown, let’s use the time to try something new. Try Pilates!