“Every moment of our life can be the beginning of great things.”
It is fitting that this quote is attributed to Joseph Pilates, the founding father of what he first named Contrology – what we know as modern-day Pilates. For many devotees of the practice, the physical training through this fitness regimen is indeed the beginning of great things: better support for the spine, better body balance and alignment, and improved awareness of breath and mindfulness during physical activity.
In 2003, the C.M. Gatton Beaumont YMCA introduced the Pilates Reformer program, and it has been going strong, and growing stronger ever since. A progressive program, every participant begins in Level 1 to learn how to safely utilize the equipment and practice the foundational exercises of Reformer. Level 2A classes are introduced after Level 1, progressing students into more advanced exercises at a slightly faster pace. Level 2A is followed up by Level 2B, a flow with a faster pace and deeper attention to body alignment, proper form and technique. Level 3 is the final progression in the advancement of the classes, for students who have completed all previous levels and have the consent of their instructor. Pilates students feel empowered as they master new movements and perfect familiar ones. All Levels build on the foundational exercises learned in Level 1.
The structure of this program truly allows for participants to work at their own pace, advancing when ready and being able to track progress over time. In addition to the Beaumont program, Reformer is also available at the High Street YMCA and the Whitaker Family YMCA, and collectively the YMCA of Central KY’s Pilates Reformer program has attracted highly skilled instructors who teach quality classes while building community.
“One of the great things about the Pilates Reformer technique is that it has so many applications in terms of physical activity,” says Pam Carey, the Healthy Living Director and coordinator of Pilates Reformer at C.M. Gatton Beaumont YMCA. “We launched a men’s class that has been very successful, and we enjoy training individuals of all fitness levels. Because Reformer can be injury prevention, additive to rehabilitation, or used to improved flexibility, strength, and coordination. There is truly no one who cannot benefit from its practice.”
Responding to various settings in which participants feel best and most successful, options for Personal Training Reformer and Buddy Training Reformer are available now in addition to group classes.
“We truly want everyone to feel welcome to try Pilates Reformer,” Carey added. “For many people, it might be a new training modality so it can feel intimidating or confusing. But our staff is always here to help and would love to introduce Reformer to anyone who is interested.”
Aware that some students may want to try Reformer to get acquainted or before jumping into a fee-based commitment, the locations hold free introduction classes before every new session launches. Four and eight-week sessions are available through the year.
The breadth of the impact that Pilates Reformer can have on students encompasses spirit, mind, and body, making it perfectly aligned with the mission of the YMCA. On-going updates, information and registration for Pilates Reformer can be accessed anytime here.