You Should Really Be Doing Pilates

LYMA's paired up with Nobu Pilates. Their Creative Director has some advice for pilates naysayers.

6 Minute ReadEducation by David Levesley

20.05.22

LYMA is a company obsessed with providing you with technology that works, based on proven science. We’re here to naturally engineer you to make your move and have the advantage over others, and if we’re going to partner up with someone else? It’s because they believe in the same thing. That’s why it’s been such a joy to team up with Nobu Pilates: our absolute favourite place to do pilates in London.

Overseeing Nobu Pilates’ vision is Marsha Lindsay, the Creative Director. She’s spent a decade as a classically trained Pilates instructor, working with luxury brands and high profile clients. Then Nobu Pilates got in touch, “and I haven’t looked back since.”

Lindsay does not suffer fools in the health industry, which is why we’re thrilled she’s been such an advocate for LYMA since starting to take our Supplement. “Sleep has been something I’ve battled with in recent years,” she says, adding that it’s the art of staying asleep that has eluded her for so long. “Since taking LYMA, I’m clocking more hours of consistent sleep, which in turn brings an increase in my mental agility and physical performance.”

Physical performance is, of course, huge for Marsha. After all, how can you guide people through the world of pilates when you’re not feeling your best? But pilates can often be a misunderstood and nebulous type of exercise, which might not feel available to you or like it has relevance being inserted into your current workout regimen. We asked Marsha to guide you through everything you might want to know about a much misunderstood practice.

Pilates: for those who are unfamiliar, what is it?

Pilates is a full body work out that promises to deliver the ultimate blend of strength, stability and flexibility. Every session you will learn how to connect with deeper muscle groups to find balance in the body. It also brings awareness to better posture by taking a 360 view of your body’s alignment.

It is also totally inclusive: whether you are new to fitness, striving towards a strength goal, rehabbing an injury, or wanting to continue working out during pregnancy, there is something to support every need and limitation.

What common issues is Pilates a great solution for?

Alignment

Most have had to adjust to operating from home and increased desk time; physically, it takes a huge toll on correct posture. Introducing/continuing equipment-based Pilates into your weekly routine will bring awareness to your posture and strengthen the muscles to hold your correct frame throughout the day.

Lower back issues

The most common problem for majority of clients as we’re all falling into a more sedentary lifestyle. Pilates can help to stretch lower back and give it support by strengthening the lower abdominals.

Postural

Gravity has a negative and compressing effect on the body day to day. Pilates is the opposite of this and gives the opportunity for the body to lengthen during the work and the time for the spine to decompress. You will walk away feeling lighter, with extra bounce in your step.

Pilates body pic

Why reformer pilates over any other type of Pilates?

I’d like to take that a step further and say ‘why studio pilates?'

The mat and reformer get the most recognition and spotlight as they are the easiest to digest and roll out in a group class setting. However, there are 12 pieces of original equipment invented by Joseph Pilates himself. When he created the work, he envisioned clients exploring the full studio experience to deepen and strengthen their knowledge.

Pilates is incredible for a well-rounded workout. Starting any form of pilates is going to be hugely beneficial to your body; practicing both mat and equipment is important. However, I always encourage my first-time clients to immerse themselves into the reformer and apparatus to begin.

The springs are designed to build strength in the muscles, yet the resistance also provides support. The mat work can be the most challenging repertoire, as you are required to manage your bodyweight against gravity. The quickest way to progress is to use the spring work to understand how to recruit the correct connections, then challenge the body by taking the spring support away and seeing if it can achieve the movement independently.

What are some of the misconceptions people have before they step into a Pilates studio and how do you rectify them?

Pilates is for women

The misconception is that Pilates is often associated with dancers and a workout catered to women. However, Pilates was originally named Contrology, and was actually invented by a man - who designed the method around his love for all forms of movement, such as boxing, gymnastics and influences from yoga, to keep the body moving properly forever.

You need to be flexible

Absolutely not! Pilates is here to assist you in improving your flexibility.

Pilates is like yoga

It has a few similarities but anyone who has trained in pilates knows that they are different. Yoga has more focus on flexibility and breath, whether pilates leans more toward building abdominal strength and improving the balance and posture in the body.

Pilates is easy

Come give it a try, then we’ll have a coffee. You can let me know what you think after!

How can it fit into people’s exercise regimes for strength?

One session will cover a lot of bases around Strength and Flexibility; we get a lot of work done in the time and you can tick a fair few of your weekly movement goals from the list. Therefore, it's actually very time effective to include Pilates in your weekly regime.

Pilates body pic 1

How can it help with people who are cardio fiends?

Try our POWER classes at Nobu Pilates; its based around the reformer jumpboard and is high energy. That should satisfy my cardio craving friends.

What if I already do yoga/another form of recovery? Is it worth adopting Pilates as well?

Definitely! It’s worth consistently checking in that your form is correct and the appropriate muscle groups required to improve performance are firing up as they should be. Pilates will make any sport/movement/activities you do better.

It's also important to recognise that most people do not put enough focus into the regenerating side of physical fitness, and one yoga class per week next to 4-5 HIIT classes just isn’t going to cut it. Balance is key - you have to ask yourself and be honest as to whether you are truly dedicating enough time to regenerating and recalibrating the body.

Why Nobu Pilates over anywhere else?

I’ve put a lot of heart into creating the concept for Nobu Pilates. We have three signature classes – POWER, PRECISION and PURE – which have been exclusively designed for Nobu Pilates so they’re not classes you will typically experience elsewhere. By design, the classes each offer something that caters to individual goals and tastes, with Pilates at the foundation of the workout. Incorporating our Pilates knowledge and balance into your strength routine will take your fitness to the next level. You will achieve sharper mind-body connection, improve the deeper muscle groups, quicker recovery, and most importantly, longevity in correct functional movement.

Through experience, I recognise that Pilates can be a little intimidating for new starters. When creating these three classes, I wanted potential clients to look at our list and find something that they relate to in their current fitness regime and find their ‘in'. For example, a crossfit fan would probably be attracted to the intensity of a POWER class, where a mindful mover would steer towards PURE. Whichever is the chosen path in, the hope is they enjoy and engage with the class, then explore the other concepts next visit; therefore achieving the full Pilates experience.

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