S & M or Restorative Exercise?

If I do say so myself, I have a beautiful Pilates studio, and I love sharing my space with my clients. It is a place where we can get away for an hour to focus on restoring, strengthening, and lengthening the body: basically, undoing all the nasty crap that we've weilded on it since last exercising. Take a look and judge for yourself:


Pretty nice, huh? I have most all of the major equipment: the stability chair, the reformer, the arc barrel, the spine corrector, and the cadillac.

If you are new to Pilates you may be saying to yourself, "slow down, what is this machine I am seeing on the left hand side of the picture, and what is it called?" Let's take another look:

Hmmm.... now if you are like countless others who are looking at the cadillac, otherwise known as the trapeze table, for the first time, you may be wondering what kind of kinky stuff goes on in a Pilates session. After I first got this machine into my house and my dear husband spent hours helping me put it together he was completely exhausted, but still managed to shoot a glimmering eye to me. "This looks like an S&M machine to me," he said ruefully.

Now, truly, I wholeheartedly agree. Let's look more closely at some of these parts:
Are you a little freaked out? Don't be. As much as I wish I had some steamy story about me and my husband hanging naked from some part of this machine having wild and passionate sex, let me remind you that I have two children under the age of 4. Not a thing, other than exercise, has transpired on this beautiful piece of equipment.

Let me tell you what the cadillac can do, because it is truly amazing. More than 200 exercises can be performed on it. They can be performed sitting, standing, and lying down, in all planes of motion. Moreover, these exercises range in difficulty from post-rehab to truly advanced. For example, if you were recovering from a shoulder injury, there are several exercises that your trainer could take you through where the machine would assist you to begin with and then begin to challenge you as you got stronger, giving you a safe and progressively more challenging workout. If you were a real athlete, your trainer could challenge you with a series of exercises where one holds the horizontal bars (the bars across the top) and stabilizes herself with her torso inverted, legs up in the air performing all kinds of beautiful leg work. Doesn't sound too easy does it? It's not, believe me, but it is fun and it is something to work toward, which is always motivating.

S&M machine? It is fun to joke about, but it does the cadillac a disservice. It is much more than some kinky freak show. It restores health and promotes health. Now that's a far cry from S&M. Check it out. It is worth trying out, even if for just one session.

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