Pilates and Sport Rehabilitation instructor Aga Waszkielis answers some of the more frequently asked questions:
Should I do Pilates or yoga?
“Do both! There are benefits to both and sometimes it just comes down to personal choice. My motto is to just move. Pilates is all about toning and strengthening. It is an excellent partner to any rehabilitation programme and helps to heal and strengthen your body in a safe, calm environment. I also love yoga and often incorporate some of my favourite moves, where appropriate, into my classes as a great way of stretching out the body.”
How long should I do Pilates for?
“For many people, Pilates becomes a way of life. You can use and adapt the exercises at any point in your life. But normally for most people, it takes about six weeks for the strengthening process to start taking effect. In my antenatal classes, it is usually around the 6-8 week mark when I start to notice the women coming into my class looking stronger, more coordinated, more mobile and positive. It’s wonderful to see and great that I can help them on their Pilates journey.”
What do I wear?
“Anything light and comfortable that you can stretch in and feel relaxed in. Some people prefer to go barefoot; others like to wear Pilates socks. It’s up to you. Although I always recommend bringing a few layers, so that people can pull on a jumper or socks to keep warm for the cool down.“
What equipment do you provide?
“We provide everything – no mats needed. We have resistance bands, Pilates rings, spiky balls and head supports. But of course, if you’d like to bring your own mat that’s cool too.”
Who can do Pilates?
“At Berrylands Pilates everyone is welcome. We help people of all ages and abilities because all the exercises can be tailored to suit individual conditions.”
What happens in a Pilates class?
“There is usually a maximum of 12 people in a class and I like to create a relaxing environment with music so people can switch off from their daily worries and focus on themselves and what their body needs. We have a warm-up, main part and then a relaxing cooldown.”
I have bought a block of 6 classes.
What will happen if I miss a class?
“If you buy a block of 6 sessions, the block has to be used within 6 weeks.”
Can I do Pilates when I’m pregnant?
“Yes. Pilates is an excellent exercise during pregnancy. Come after the first scan and find out how simple exercises can best prepare your body for labour.”
Can I do Pilates in my final trimester?
“It is absolutely possible to do exercise up until your due date – but most importantly you must listen to your body and always speak to your GP or midwife first if you are thinking about starting a new exercise routine. Our antenatal classes are designed to support and strengthen all the inevitable muscular and skeletal changes to your body during pregnancy. We avoid any back exercises to alleviate any pressure on the vena cava, which can restrict blood flow to you and the baby, and you will spend a lot of time on all fours, which gives baby lots of space to move around in.”
When can I start Pilates after my baby is born?
“Always talk to your GP first, but our exercises are gentle enough to start as soon as you feel ready - whether it’s after a natural or caesarean birth. Our exercises focus on resetting the two core muscle groups that were under so much pressure during the pregnancy – your abdominals and pelvic floor. Gently strengthening these muscles will help you prepare for the coming months. And do bring your baby! I want to give mums a chance to exercise as soon as they feel ready to start.”