Not being a person to attend online classes (not if I have a choice :-)), it was even a surprise that I considered it. To start with, it was curiosity that triggered it (not that curiosity that killed the cat :-)), as quite some of my school classmates were talking about how they have benefitted from it. What added to my consideration was that, it was one of my school classmates who was conducting the classes – a known angel called Nandini Hande, a Pilates Instructor. Now it would be clear what class I am referring to :-).. The consideration to join Nandini’s online workout classes, got converted to a decision when I outfitted one of my most favorite dresses :-(..

Oops!!! Recovering from a heel injury and not being able to go for my regular and brisk one hour walks, helped in a weight gain. I was determined to get myself back into a ‘fit as a fiddle’ state. When I heard First things first was how to pronounce Pilates – initially I pronounced it as if one added the words – pile and ates to get the word Pilates. Seriously, I have this penchant for pronunciation gaffes, especially with unfamiliar Proper Nouns!!! Google aunty was a big help to find out how Pilates is pronounced – Pil (as in the word pill) + a (as in the sound of ‘a’ in large) + tes (as in tess)

If attending online classes was not my cup of tea, attending online group workout classes was certainly not even a sip of my tea; but having decided to sign up, I didn’t want to back out. I have been missing out big time on my early rising and decided to sign up for a 6 AM class. Since the classes were on Zoom, I had to have a workout workspace, from where my workouts could be clearly seen by Nandini, my ‘known angel instructor’.. It was fun to walk from room to room the previous night, with a laptop and a yoga mat, just to check out a position for the workout workspace. The next morning, with lots of excitement and some trepidation, I logged into my first ever online class for workouts. Whew!! I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw a few known faces of some of my school classmates – imagine, even after so many years we are all in the same class :-).. There were a few people I didn’t know, but I guess after the initial few moments of anxiousness it was nice meeting them too..

Here is some excerpts of my experience in the class..

Body balance? What’s that?

Body imbalance – now that seems more clearer..

Instruction – Swing the right leg up forward, stretch the left hand forward and touch the toes of the right leg.. What do I do? The right leg is swung forward and so is the right hand to touch the toes of the right leg.. The moment I realised what I did, I tried with my left leg and what comes forward? The left hand.. Gosh!! Right or left – everything seemed to be the same.. Coordination? What’s that?

Instruction – Do an elbow plank.. So I see the screen to observe how it is done and I catch the movement of Nandini and the movement of the person whose picture is next to hers on the Zoom Window!!! I wonder how I will do this movement which seems so so complicated but I still try it.. Little did I know that I had merged the movements of two different people and I was struggling to make it work to the teeniest weeniest bit 🙂 :-(.. Smart instructor that she is, she caught what I was doing perhaps and said “Malathy, pin my picture, that way you don’t have to see anyone else :-)”.. Now I know why children don’t want to do online Yoga classes.. They perhaps also see merged movements!!

My first two days were a lot of groaning, puffing and huffing but I also felt really ‘alive’.. What also was really ‘alive’ was almost every muscle in the body!! All thru the two days whenever I had to move myself, all muscles seemed to be calling out their attendance loudly, with a “Present ma’am”..

When I signed up, I did it for a month to start with – classes thrice a week. Once I completed my third class, I wondered if I should increase it to one more day a week.. I could think of four reasons for this and in no order of priority – firstly, even in the peak of Chennai summer I would never sweat. This class seems to have got the sweat, sorry, the best out of me :-).. Secondly, my pet, Mr. D thinks this is fun time for him too. He is right there in front of the camera and moving along with me and when I do the walking exercises for the cardio, he thinks I am playing with him and tugs at my hand.. Thirdly, the ambience in the class is serious but fun. There is a light banter that at times breaks the silence of everyone engrossed in their workout and making sure they reach their count; and this gives a sense of comfort. Last but not the least and this is perhaps true of any class – what makes a difference to the learning is the well moderated energy and enthusiasm of the teacher / professor / instructor – Someone who knows the subject to whatever extent is needed and who understands that each student is different.. who is aware that the process of learning has to be modified to the student’s needs.. who makes the class fun to be in and makes it conducive for learning.. Nandini defines all this as a Pilates Instructor and so beautifully too.

My elder son who is a Strength and Conditioning Coach would say often, “Your body speaks to you. Listen to your body”. Perhaps time to listen to it more keenly and remain signed in to ‘Getfit with Nans’ (this is perhaps the fifth reason :-))..