Mari Winsor also effectively used “hands-on” pilates instruction while spotting me in a private pilates session on Saturday, May 5, 2012, while I was performing Climb-A-Tree on the reformer. (I’ll have to admit, having tighter hamstrings than I would like, this exercise has always been a struggle for me). However, I got “further up the tree” than I ever have gotten before in my life with Mari’s expert hands. She effectively stabilized my pelvis so that I could fully extend my torso into the well of the reformer (thus, aiding better spinal extension) and supported my head a bit to aid my connection to my core as I (seemingly effortlessly) climbed up my own leg. (After completing the exercise, Mari gave me a look, as if to say, “so what’s the big deal?”)
After feeling the exercise differently with Mari’s help, I now have a completely transformed muscle memory of the exercise. Now, when I do Climb-A-Tree by myself, (not usually having the luxury of a master instructor at my side), I imagine Mari’s hands, keeping me steady and lifting me up all at the same time. I will never do this exercise the same way again. (A HUGE breakthrough!)
Getting this type of powerful instruction is just not possible in a group class setting. And, though I am a firm believer in keeping pilates affordable to small groups, one should not underestimate the power of private instruction! Even if you are a client who benefits greatly from regular group classes, treat yourself to a private session—every once in a while—so you and your instructor can fully focus on some of your specific needs. Without a doubt, this occasional “indulgence” will greatly pay-off in every future group class to come.