I have a burning sensation in my bum, is that normal?
I sometimes think that people are dazzled so much by the world of pilates (and rightly so…there are a few of us that are quite questionable in appearance.)
I’m a firm believer in the rule: “the more you know the richer your practice becomes.” So yes Susan, that burning sensation in your arse is normal. People will attend my class and then say that they have heard things or tried repertoire they have never done before, even after attending for 3+ years!
So what makes a good pilates class?
Here I discuss the group pilates situation because if you’re doing privates and you’re not progressing, you need to address that problem with your instructor or kick them to the curb and get yourself a new one.
A well rounded and challenging group pilates program should have equal parts of strength, stretch and body awareness. Now, these elements come in different forms. For example, just because you aren’t sitting in a stretch doesn’t mean that those muscles aren’t being lengthened. We, your clever pilates instructors, use our programming skills to kill two birds with one stone, and we do this on multiple occasions. Did I mentioned we were clever? We can use one exercise to strengthen a particular muscle group while using the next exercise to lengthen the focus muscle group from the previous (oooo clever…again). The class should also educate you about how the muscles work and what the muscle groups are responsible for. Abdominals for core strength and lumbar support, rotator cuff for strong shoulders and injury prevention etc etc. Now in the program obviously, you should work your abdominals but alongside that you should feel all of your postural muscles work, have a hip and knee stability series, scapula and shoulder set and it doesn’t hurt to get strong arms and legs in that mix too. At the end of the class you should feel an obvious muscular fatigue, maybe sweaty, taller and your perfect ideal alignment should feel easier to achieve.
On the flip side of all that, don’t think your instructor is failing because you didn’t look like a kale-fuelled Bondi beach super model after 3 months (that ain’t normal!) But if you are feeling lost, ask for guidance and your teacher should be more than happy to assist.
This pilates word vomit by the clever (any opportunity to remind you!): Isaac Campbell.