Many studios have a lot of mirrors…mine does not and here’s why…your pilates class or experience will be very different if you’re looking at yourself in the mirror versus coming inside and listening to the cues your instructor is providing either to re-align you or to just move you!
If there is a mirror in a studio – in a pilates, yoga or spin class….I will admit aside from seeing my posture/alignment …I will be looking at my roots! I DO understand why instructors of large groups really do love the mirrors as you can have clients quickly assess where they are in space; this is called Proprioception!
However, there are those instructors who have mirrors available to them that choose not to use them…an example…some of my yoga class instructors choose to turn us all away from the mirrors and not use them…..instead verbally cueing alignment.
I personally find as they do, not using or relying on mirrors offers a deeper class experience and is more valuable to clients to learn to ‘feel’ where they are in space. I feel this way as you do not have mirrors around you in every day life when you are trying to attain and maintain good posture when you are either off the mat and or machines!
Our goal as instructors is to help build client proprioception, so one gets to know where they personally sit in space, alignment-wise and or if they are executing an exercise in flexion, extension or rotation. For example, I hyper-extend in my knees….so whenever I am in a line-up I often to a body-scan and adjust my posture…softening my knee joints which re-aligns my pelvis to neutral. I don’t need a mirror to do this..and I often practise good posture throughout the day!
During a specific exercise as shown above…water-skiier on caddi ..it wasn’t until I mimicked visually and cued my clients to “lift their hearts forward” into extension that I saw the back extension that is how one executes this particular exercise. Visual cuing and demo’s are key sometimes!
Proprioception is developed in classes like pilates and yoga as you’re constantly asked to adjust your body to either find flexion, extension, and or a neutral spine.
As you know pilates is very alignment based and our hope with the classes and privates we run is to help clients also take good form and alignment from their mats and machines out into their everyday lives to support themselves in the most supportive position for daily activities.
So when in class close your eyes and visualize your body in space and we will help you make necessary adjustments so that you can be in the best alignment your body allows at that time.