GROUP MAT PILATES AND RELAXATION CLASSES

Group mat classes run in tandem with the school terms in blocks of typically 6 or 8 weeks. Classes have maximum of 12 so you get personal attention. In mat classes, you use your bodyweight and props (flexbands, small balls, hand weights, foam rollers, stability cushions, etc.) to get a great pilates workout. Classes resume week of 6 November; limited availability still in some classes -see here ! Get in touch by email pilateswitheimear@gmail.com or by text 086 8184218. Six weeks: €75 (deposit secures place).

*  M o n d a y s : Excel, Tipperary

10.15am: mixed ability: move your spine in all planes of movement, mobilise your shoulder and hip joints; build core strength, flexibility and endurance; stamina and balance challenges optional.

* T u e s d a y s : Source, Thurles

5.30pm: essential mat for beginners/improvers: move your spine in all planes of movement, mobilise your shoulder and hip joints and build core strength and endurance; gradually build up stamina and flexibility as you progress through the repertoire.
6.45pm: mixed ability: move your spine in all planes of movement, mobilise your shoulder and hip joints; build core strength, flexibility and endurance; stamina and balance challenges optional.

* W e d n e s d a y s: Cashel Lodge, Cashel

9.45am: mixed ability: move your spine in all planes of movement, mobilise your shoulder and hip joints; build core strength, flexibility and endurance; stamina and balance challenges optional
11am: back-care / gentle: suitable if recovering from injury or for more mature clients; this class is designed to get you fit and flexible and to assist in keeping you strong and flexible.
6.30pm: essential mat for beginners/improvers: move your spine in all planes of movement, mobilise your shoulder and hip joints and build core strength and endurance; gradually build up stamina and flexibility as you progress through the repertoire. DROP-INS possible to this class, €15.
8pm:intermediate mat: the challenge to co-ordination increases at this level to continue to build stamina, strength and flexibility.

IMPORTANT:  Group classes are NOT suitable for those with acute injuries or serious back problems. If you have had a back problem, one-on-one attention is needed. Pilates is not suitable during the acute phase of any injury. If post-surgery or injured, you are advised to come privately. If you are a complete beginner, taking at least one private lesson is mandatory before joining a group mat class that has been running for some time.

Always seek clearance from your doctor if suffering from any acute back problem before starting exercise.

What class should I come to?

It’s a question of your availability balanced with your body’s readiness for pilates! My 11am Wed class in Cashel is the most gentle suited especially to more mature bodies or if you just prefer a slow but focused class; suitable if you have osteoporosis for example. Otherwise, read the class descriptions above carefully and see where you think you’d fit it. Bear in mind that even if you are very fit, you need to understand the basics and be able to apply them before you move on to the increased balance and co-ordination challenges of the level two or intermediate classes. Also, be aware that there are always modifications to work to your ability – whether that is a) doing more reps or lengthening your levers to make an exercise harder OR b) doing fewer reps or paring a move right back to its essence.

Is pilates for men?

Absolutely! Pilates was invented by a man (see here). The benefits of Pilates – flexibility, balance and strength – apply equally to men and women. If you need more convincing, read this or this.

About mats

You need to provide your own mat (not in Thurles class). A pilates mat is thicker than a yoga mat to provide more cushioning for your spine and knees during floor work. Two yoga mats together work very well, nice ones available here. A top-quality 15mm pilates mat is available online here for €54.99. Locally, Lidl or TK Maxx often stock reasonably priced mats, but make sure it is at least 10mm thick and not too stretchy or slippy.

Am I too old?

As we get older, our flexibility decreases, but Pilates makes it possible to achieve even greater flexibility and fluidity of motion in your 50s and 60s than you had in your 20s and 30s. My classes suit all ages from 17 to 70+, as long as you have mobility for mat work at floor level OR no acute injury. Choose a class that suits your body; modifications and progressions are offered as appropriate.

What can I expect in a class?

Classes typically begin with breathing work to focus and prepare. You will then be guided through a series of toning exercises on your mat – maybe lying on your back, front, side or on all fours. You may work from sitting or standing. I may offer you small equipment – such as pilates soft balls, foam rollers, resistance bands, fitness circles – to assist you or to introduce variety or added challenge.

Everyone works to his or her own ability – remember no-one is judging you. You are encouraged to listen to your own body. Focus on yourself and not whether the person beside you can move his or her leg higher than yours. It is non-competitive!

Classes start on time. Clothing worn should allow freedom of movement e.g. leggings or track suit bottoms and t-shirt. No special shoes are required as pilates is done with bare feet or socks.

About my venues

All my teaching venues are spacious, congenial and warm!

If you have more questions check out FAQ, either call 086 8184218 or email me at pilateswitheimear@gmail.com.