What is my job as a Pilates Instructor? It is to SAFELY guide the client(s) through exercises that are beneficial to their needs. It is not to make you work so hard that you can't tell if you are sweating, crying, peeing your pants or all three.
A prime example of being safe, both helmet and goggles are worn.
Most people don't think of common exercise routines, such as Pilates, as being dangerous. Climbing Mt. Everest = dangerous, using the stair climber at the gym = not so much. Now, I'm not saying go find a chaperone to spot you as you pick up the 5lb free weights;it's not necessarily what you do, it is how you do it.
the tricky thing about Pilates is it can appear to be easy and effortless when in reality it is very specific and technical. This is where the "danger" lies... Here are some tips/guidelines to keep yourself safe:
-Be forthcoming and honest with your instructor! We can't help you reach your potential without knowing what we are working with.
-DO NOT WORK THROUGH PAIN. Your body is smarter than you, pain is your body telling you something is wrong.
-Focus on your workout, not the loud old man on the other side of the room. If you must look, pause what you are doing. Whether on the apparatus or mat, you can easily hurt yourself by craning your head around to see what Patty Prissy-Pants is doing.
-Do not BAIL OUT on an exercise. If you can't do something or have reached your limit, just say so and let your instructor safely guide your transition out of it. This goes hand in hand with not working through pain.
-Don't follow what the person next to you is doing in a group class. They might be doing a modification that would not be suited to you. or, on the flip-side, they could be doing it completely wrong. When in doubt, sit it out.
-DO ask questions. I personally love it when someone asks me a question about Pilates. I'm a geek and I'm perfectly ok with it.
The true spirit of Pilates is about how deeply you can work to safely execute the exercises within the capability of your own body. "Take care of your body, it is the only place you have to live in." - Joseph Pilates