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Stretch and Slim: Pilates in Buenos Aires

Living, working or studying Spanish in Buenos Aires can be hazardous when it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle. Dulce de leche and media lunas for breakfast? a Milanesa for lunch?  Add into the mix a couple of hours of Fernet and Coke drinking at your local Boliche, a Chori Pan for breakfast and why not top it off with an Asado or two over the course of a week. Follow this common dietary path and you’re likely to be taking home a little more weight than your suitcase full of Argentine souvenirs.

However, anyone who’s been in Argentina for longer than a few days can’t have failed to notice that taking care of the body beautiful is an important part of daily life, especially for porteños (Argentines from Buenos Aires). So how do they do it? Well, apart from the standard gym membership (you’ll notice gyms situated all over Buenos Aires. See our blog on Gyms for more info on these). But Pilates is a craze that’s been sweeping the nation for a while now. Expanish Blog caught up with a member of the committed Pilates goer and member of the Expanish team to find out more…

After getting thoroughly bored of running, spinning and whatever class I decided to take at the gym I finally plucked up the courage to try one of the Pilates studios near my house. I had walked by for a few months watching various people doing exercises in what looked like medieval torture contraptions without having the nerve to enter.

I started my Pilates circuit / reformer classes with little more than knowing the words for head, shoulders, knees and toes, but, I was accepted and everybody was very patient with me. (Great way to learn Spanish btw).

So what is Pilates and what is the Pilates reformer?

Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates over 90 years ago as a system of exercises to stretch and strengthen the body and to find harmony between the body and the mind. Joseph Pilates believed that mental and physical health are inter-related  The body conditioning routines help to not only build flexibility, but also strength, endurance, and coordination in the legs, abdominals, arms and back. Pilates demands intense focus, which was a big challenge for someone like me who has the attention span of a goldfish. You have to concentrate on what you´re doing all the time and you must concentrate on your entire body. This is not easy, but I really needed to find something that made me relax as much as the nightly glass of malbec habit that I had got into (and now got out of).

I started off at the excellent Pilates chain Kali Pilates until I moved barrio and tried to find one as I loved as much but without luck. A few months later Gabi one of my former instructors opened her own studio and only 2 blocks away from my work so it was fate. So I now take 3 classes at week at Ser Consiente Pialtes and I am in the best shape of my life. I have now been doing pilates for 2 and a half years and I NEVER get bored, and when I go home I will miss it (yes, more than the carne). My routine changes every time I go and I never would have thought that my body could get into some of the positions it does. Gabi gives me clear goals and always is very vigilant about my posture and the way I do the exercises. The biggest compliment after being the most slouched over person ever was when somebody asked me if I used to be a dancer!

The best thing about Ser Consiente Pialtes is that Expanish students get a discount, so what better way to try out a new exercise and put your Spanish to practice and reap the benefits of looking good and having a restful mind!

P.s if you work as hard as I did you may even drop a dress size J.