I took a Pilates class today at my gym and can't decide if I will return for another round. I used to pop in a Pilates abs dvd every once in a while but I had never encountered a real-live Pilates teacher who actually says stuff like, "Pull your heartstring towards the ceiling and center your solax with your pantyline." Nevermind what the hell a "solax" is, but how do I center it with my pantyline? Was my pantyline visible? SHOULD it have been?
The class also involved some self-torture with a device called the Magic Circle, which you put between your thighs/ankles/arms and squeeze repeatedly while contorting yourself into weird shapes or doing things like rocking back and forth on your tailbone -- the teacher called this "scooping out your abdomen and pouring." No, no, in Pilates, it's not plain old rocking --it's pouring.
The teacher was a piece of work -- blonde, late 50s, sporting a lot of clankety jewelry. Earlier she had told me that in dance classes -- and Pilates, apparently -- one does NOT bring in water. "It's just not what you do," she said. No water. Check. I hid mine in the corner, ashamed. The normal rules of vocabulary AND hydration do not apply in Pilates, I learned. After the class, she told me that she had been a dance instructor for 35 years, she was a master Pilates teacher, and -- I am not lying about this -- a retired mime. Apparently someone IS out there forcing mimes off the street. That's comforting.