I have never been very interested in yoga or Pilates, as I prefer more of an active workout. However, having scoliosis, doctors have always recommended I take Pilates classes in order to strengthen my core and back muscles. So when I heard about the opening of Trinity, a company who offer Pilates and Barre classes, I jumped at the opportunity to put these two workouts to the test and see if they worked for me!
Trinity was set up by three friends (Mylène, Sharmila and Karen) who met through Pilates and wanted to share their passion with others by teaching Pilates and BarreAmped, an exciting class new to Hong Kong. Having not exercised in a couple of weeks due to a chest infection that spiralled into other maladies, I thought this would be the perfect way to ease back into things without disrupting my recovery too much… So off I strolled to my classes, a little over-confident that Pilates would be a breeze!
Pilates is all about technique, breathing and more technique… and clearly, my technique needs a lot of practise! Sharmila kept having to correct my movements until I got them just right but one of the things I loved about Trinity is that, since classes are small (Pilates classes have a maximum of 12 students), the instructors are able to focus on each person individually, making sure everyone understands and learns each controlled movement. This is particularly important in Pilates, not only because you won’t achieve maximum results unless you do each movement correctly, but also to avoid injury.
Each exercise begins with making sure your body is aligned. The exercises are in time with your breathing and designed to relax your mind and body, so that you focus on getting each movement exact, eventually leading to a stronger, leaner, more toned body.
In fact, Pilates certainly did not turn out to be a breeze! It took me a while to get each movement right, but with Sharmila’s help, I think (or hope!) that I got there eventually and could definitely feel the difference when I managed to get it right. With a bit more practise, I can definitely see the long-term benefits of Pilates.
Straight after my Pilates class, Mylène took over to teach BarreAmped. Although influenced by classical and modern dance, this is far from just a dance class!
The original Barre class has its roots in the Lotte Berk Method; Berk, a renowned German dancer, developed the exercise as part of her recovery for a serious back injury. Working with orthopaedic doctors, she combined her regular rehabilitative therapy with ballet bar sequences, forming this completely new type of exercise.
BarreAmped is a direct descendent of this original method, conceived by fitness star and former Lotte Berk Method instructor, Suzanne Bowen. Bowen’s method emphasises neutral spine and pelvic floor engagement to really strengthen the core. It is an intensive full body workout involving weights, balls and of course, a ballet bar for optimal positioning.
With a mixture of squats, push-ups, planks and other aspects, this was definitely more up my street and I’d like to think I was a better student for this than for Pilates! However, my arms fatigued and my legs shook, so again I’m unquestionably in need of more practise! BarreAmped classes are even smaller (a maximum of eight students per class), giving you the perfect opportunity to learn this unique exercise through dedicated guidance from the instructors.
My overall verdict?
I may have been a Pilates and Barre virgin, but through my brief taste of each class, I was definitely left with a craving for more. With their help, perhaps one day I’ll become that strong, lean and toned version of myself I so long for!
See the full schedule of Trinity’s classes here. Classes must be purchased online prior to arrival; one session costs $250 with multiple session packages also available (see here or contact 9688 3503 for full details).
Trinity classes are held at Red Dance Studio, Unit 3A, 3/F Arbuthnot House, 10 Arbuthnot Road Central, Hong Kong
Check out more from Ale on her fab blog, The Dim Sum Diaries!