Exercise isn’t easy.  I am capable of doing advanced Pilates exercises (some, anyway, there are still some I haven’t conquered).  Yet when I go to a beginner Pilates class, I find the exercises challenging.  That speaks to how difficult Pilates can be.  I often hear from clients that I make an exercise look easy.  Trust me when I tell you it’s not easy.  Here’s how I can pull off making something look easy:

  • You were never trained to see how I’m screwing up. That means I can make all sorts of errors and you’ll never know. Because trust me, when I take a class, I still need the reminder to engage my abs or legs. I need correction as much as you.
  • If I’m going to demonstrate something in front of the class, I know which side I’m stronger on to give you the best view. I’m not trying to hoodwink you, but it’s my job to try and show you proper form, so I try to give the best form I’ve got.
  • If I stay down on the mat for a few reps, I’m not giving it all I’ve got the way you are. When I’m teaching it’s not my workout. I’m busy teaching, talking, watching the class and doing other things. When I attend a class for myself all my focus is on my form and the exercises. Then it’s friggin hard for me too. Just listen. I moan, groan and laugh my way through my classes. It takes effort for me to reign in being noisy.
  • It’s never my first rodeo. I never come to a class or a private and teach you to do an exercise I’ve never tried. I’ve always tried the exercises, usually multiple times before I ask anyone else to try them.

The take home message?  Try not to feel frustrated that it feels hard when you see it appearing to be easy.  Think of any dance or Cirque Du Soleil show you’ve seen.  They make movements that are really hard look effortless, but the work isn’t easy for them.  Easier with practice, sure, but very challenging.  And, I would argue that while some movements get easier with practice, some get harder as you keep working to improve your form.  Keep trying and before you know it, you’ll make it LOOK easy too.