If you have never been to a Pilates class before, it can be quite intimidating. You don’t know what you’re in for. Who will be there? What the instructor will ask you to do? Will it be too hard?

I remember my first Pilates class well. I booked in for the beginner class, and arrived 10 minutes early as requested to fill in information forms.  – It all sounded quite serious! I answered questions about my general health and past injuries.

I was instructed to take off my shoes, but I could wear socks and to come in and take a mat. Well, I immediately did a quick scan of the room to figure out which way was front, and went for a mat at the back. ( This strategy backfired when the teacher stood at the other end of the room and I was front and centre!)

We laid on the mat on our backs and the instructor talked for a while about the alignment of our bodies. I expected to get right into the moving, and feel the burn of my core, but this approach allowed me the time to get in tune with my body and take notice of areas that were tight. It also drew my attention to my breath and being mindful of breathing.

I learnt about neutral spine, which is the natural curve of the spine and began some gentle movements while being aware of the neutral spine. I found the class achievable, and didn’t feel as though I’d had an intense workout. It felt quite relaxing, like a good stretch class – but, I did feel my muscles the next day!

I remember the instructor saying that Pilates can get hard, but doesn’t hurt.

This appealed to me, as did the intelligent thought and anatomical knowledge that went into the movements and exercises.

Here is an example of some basic movements that you will experience in your first class in Queenstown.