By Sabrina McGrath
This past August I was in Bray, Ireland visiting family, and I wanted to do Pilates while on vacation.
I asked my family for recommendations. They suggested I look at local gyms and recreational centers. Unfortunately, their idea of Pilates ‘equipment’ is what I consider we, in the states, consider props typically used in mat-Thera bands, Power Circle, foam roller and balls.
My quest in locating an authentic Pilates studio continued. In checking the Internet, I found many Pilates studios. But after calling a few I found they were geared more towards rehabilitation and physical therapy. They suggested that I call a studio in Greystones, next town over.
After spending all morning researching and calling around I was able to find what I was looking for! I was excited to experience Pilates in Ireland and was able to schedule two Equipment Classes at Ann Sexton Pilates Studio.
The first class I took was a back care/fundamental reformer class taught by Mathew. I was intimidated to learn that the class had ten clients. Being a Pilates instructor myself I was anxious to see how the class would flow. Mathew taught all the beginner exercises with some intermediate moves but challenged us with different spring weights. He obviously was experienced in teaching large multi-level classes as he kept us all moving and safe. He knew I was an instructor so he challenged me with some more advanced exercises. Because his order and some of the exercises were different, I had to stay focused. This added to the challenge.
The second class I took was mixed equipment Pilates circuit class with Lynn. I had never before experienced a Pilates circuit class. Ten stations were set up with each to work a different part of the body. Examples of the stations include: swan on the barrel, squats at the ballet bar, teaser on the tower, shoulder bridge and long stretch on reformer). We were on each station for a minute then we switched to the next station. After we were done with the ten stations we had a one or two-minute break to have some water while our instructor gave some corrections we needed to make in our execution of certain exercises. We did this three times and ended with ten minutes of stretching. The class was challenging and new and was truly enjoyable. I liked that Lynn incorporated some cardio with classical Pilates exercises. It was amazing how she could go around the room and correct everyone in that minute break. I was drenched in sweat when I was done (always an indicator of a good class)!
I loved my experience at Ann Sexton Pilates in Greystones, Ireland. I learned a lot and got some good ideas for class formats.
Lucky for me I go to Ireland every year so I will be back to learn more!
Stay healthy in your mind, body, and soul,