'I went to a pilates retreat with zero experience. Here's what surprised me.'

Thanks to our brand partner, Dove

I've never been a pilates gal. 

Have I wanted to look chic and sleek in a matching lycra set, swanning in and out of a Scandi-style studio looking all fresh and glowy? Sure. But for many many years, the gym has been my go-to for movement – lifting up heavy things, putting them down, etc, etc. 

But when I got the chance to attend Dove Camp in the City and have a go at some of the famed FluidForm Pilates, created by Kirsten King, I could hardly say no, could I? 

As far as I was aware, there was a lot of lying down in pilates, so it wouldn't be too taxing. I thought I could cruise through the morning, get my promised glow, and sail out feeling all smug and whatnot.

Ha! Was I in for a surprise. From one non-pilates girl to another, here are precisely four things I learned from the experience...

1. It hurt (in the best way).

I was not prepared. 

Well, phsyically I was – I'd spritzed on the Dove Advanced Care deodorant before the class got started, so I wasn't going to drip like a tap. 

But mentally? Sheesh. 

When we started lying down, I was lulled into a false sense of security. Because I LOVE lying down. 

It's one of my favourite things. But then the actual pilates part started and, oh my – I have muscles where I did not know I had muscles. And they were working. I had a new understanding of the term "feel the burn", but with our instructor THE Kirsten King herself urging us on, I managed to smash out (almost) every last movement. 

Image: Supplied.

I sound like I'm complaining but through every leg lift or rolldown I didn't think I could do, I was grinning like a maniac because it was FUN to push and test and challenge my body, in a room full of strong women who were all laughing along with me. This was female confidence and empowerment at its best.


And if you don't believe me, just know that there was a second class on offer and I jumped at the chance to go in for round two! 

2. I worked up a serious sweat.

Yes, friends... pilates is truly a workout. (Cue every pilates girlie everywhere cackling at my utter naivety.)

This might be an overshare, but after my DOUBLE pilates class (let's just not gloss over the fact that I did two back-to-back workouts, okay?), I had to race back to the office – and I didn't have time to shower. 

Yes, ew, I know. 

But the Dove Advanced Care deodorant I'd spritzed on before the first session honestly kept me feeling (and, um, smelling) delicious until I finished my shift. Seriously! 


Dove Advanced Care’s formula is enriched with one quarter of moisturising cream and caring oil for softer underarms and 48 hour sweat protection to keep you fresh all day – so, technically, I could've skipped the next day's shower too and still smelled fab. 

I didn't do that. But I could've. Just sayin'.

My new secret workout weapon. Image: Supplied.

3. Time flew by.

The two sessions I did were 45 minutes (you know, according to the clock) – but they flew by. Is that the very definition of what happens to time when you're having fun? (Yes, yes it is.) 


The energy in the room was high, the vibes were strong, the lo-fi music kept the mood chill but uplifted, and those two sessions sped on by. As Kirsten herself told me when we were chatting afterwards, that is generally the case – by the time you get those moves down pat, repeat them on both sides, have a couple of stretches... you're all done. 

You've had a top-notch workout and you BARELY KNEW IT WAS HAPPENING. Much more fun than slogging it out, checking the clock every five minutes in a harcore hour-long class imo.

4. The afterglow is real.

You know how I wanted to look all glowy and happy afterwards? Well, I came for the glow and I got it, baby. I felt so damn good after I finished, and the glow was less about how I looked and more to do with how I was feeling. 

Apparently endorphins really are... a thing?

Kirsten incorporated a focus on breathing with many of the movements, which made the practice mindful and calming. After a healthy lunch and a requisite coffee, a good chat to the other pilates newcomers, my nervous system was feeling regulated, my body felt stretched and strong, and my mind felt refreshed, ready to take on the rest of the day. 

Sure, the next morning I was reminded again that I had muscles where I didn't know I had muscles. But that's a good thing, guys. 

Pilates was such a beautiful, gentle way to gift my body some much-needed movement, and the feeling of calm, strength and empowerment stuck with me long after the class was over.

I think I'm going to have to call it: I'm a pilates girlie now.

Checkout Dove Advanced Care’s formula for 48 hour sweat protection to keep you fresh all day. 

Feature image: Supplied.

At Dove we think antiperspirant deodorants shouldn’t just protect you, they should care for your underarm skin, too. The best things in life lead to us throwing our arms in the air: great music, dancing and hugs with friends. In those moments, insecurities about our underarms definitely aren’t welcome.
This is why Dove antiperspirant deodorants are created with ¼ moisturising cream, to care for your underarm skin, leaving it soft and smooth.