‘You know,’ My friend said to me thoughtfully. ‘I really think Pilates is one of the few things that will actually change your body shape.’ She then pointed out that one doesn’t wear shoes in a dojo. She was being surprisingly helpful. I normally avoid gym classes at all costs (as my little sister will certainly point out under this post-I’m not 100% certain which is my Left and Right, which makes them fairly hazardous experiences for me) but my friend had been very reassuring. I strode confidently into the dojo. (This is a normal room but with mirrors on the walls and a padded floor. It’s interior design, as realised by The Playboy Mansion).

‘Um,’ My friend hissed at me. ‘We take places along the side, not in the middle of the room.’ Apparently this was a very strict Pilates class. I quickly scuttled to the back of the room. The teacher looked like all Pilates teachers do- brilliant in lycra.

‘Stop staring at the teacher,’ My friend whispered. ‘I’m watching to see what position we’re doing,’ I whispered back. ‘The class hasn’t started yet,’ My friend pointed out. ‘She’s asking if we have any injuries.’ ‘Oh.’ I was suitably chastened. I had been very pleased with my performance in the class up til then. ‘Pilates is terribly easy,’ I had been thinking to myself. ‘It’s just standing around in lycra and chatting. I will be brilliant at this.’ The class started, and it seems Pilates is not at all about standing around and chatting. I hobbled out an hour later.

‘You’re right,’ I told my friend in the changing room. ‘Pilates is one of the few things that will actually change your body shape. For instance, I can’t move my legs.’

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