Friday, April 2, 2010

Class #62 Pilates 6:30 p.m. (Julia)

There’s a danger, I’ll admit, in doing so many classes over such a compressed time period. Like an 8-day tour of Europe, it would be easy to cross off the highlights (Eiffle tower – yep, Trevi Fountain – you bet) and miss the whole experience as it’s happening.

For instance tonight I am physically worn out and my mind is set on just getting through class and not much else. But something in Julia’s manner pulls me back into the room. I can tell that she’s really thought about what she wants to teach tonight - she’s not just going through the motions so maybe I shouldn’t either. It’s apparent that she loves teaching Pilates and wants to make the most of our hour together.

The weather outside is gorgeous, it’s Maundy Thursday and the Club is atypically empty. There are only four of us in class but that doesn’t faze Julia. In fact, she says how nice it is to have a small class because she can better watch each person’s form. The other three, besides me, are all regulars and she knows them and their practice well. Throughout class she reminds us of subtle points about breathing rhythm, foot alignment, ab contraction and drawing the legs together like magnets (Ron Fletcher style – he’s an iconic teacher of Pilates). At times she demonstrates techniques – at others she walks around the room making corrections and/or complimenting our form. There’s a sweet sincerity about her that’s honest and touching and I’m glad I’m experiencing her in this intimate setting.

The practice itself feels good too. After the ‘hard’ classes of the past few days like CardioSculpt and Power Pump – it’s nice to do a subtle mind/body practice like Pilates. The emphasis in Julia’s class honors quality over quantity so I’m not fatiguing as quickly and I’m able to focus on each exercise with care. There’s also an emphasis on stretching in tonight’s class and that’s just what I need because my poor old muscles are frazzled and aching from all the contractions over the past few days.

Watching Julia move (gracefully) and demonstrate techniques, I’m not surprised to learn that she has an extensive background in dance. She explains how she was immediately captivated by Pilates the first time she tried it because of it’s similarity to dance training. “By focusing on core strength and increased flexibility – Pilates training”, she says, “helps the body maintain its intended alignment, which aids in the prevention of injury. “

Julia Taylor

As a former elementary school teacher, Julia is well equipped to elucidate the subtle points of Pilates in a class setting. Julia has been teaching mat classes at the LRAC for more than six years after getting her certification from Centerworks Pilates. Julia is also certified to teach clients on a one on one basis (i.e. Personal Training) using the specialized equipment found in the Pilates Studio.

Julia practices on the Reformer (in the Pilates Studio)

As I mentioned, there are three others in class tonight, Patty, Lisa and Margaret but only one gets to win the $25 gift certificate and that lucky duck is Patty Crew.

Full disclosure – I do have a list where I scratch through each completed class – it’s a necessary aid to keep me from repeating classes. It’s also gratifying to see the completed class list surpass the remaining schedule. All that said, I’ll definitely remember tonight’s class and I’m glad about that.

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