Taking any new fitness class can be intimidating if it’s not your steez. Not to worry though, Pilates classes are a lot slower than aerobics, cardio, or strength classes and focus on mind body awareness. Pilates focuses on strengthening and toning the muscles by moving mindfully, imagine something between a yoga class and a weight training class. So now that you’ve made the decision to take a Pilates class here are a few tips to have you looking like a pro in no time…
1. Two is better than one-If you don’t have a Pilates mat (a double ply thick mat) think about bringing two yoga mats to class to double them up. In Pilates we lie on our backs a lot and on our side and if you’re bony or not you may find it uncomfortable to be lying on a thin mat in some of the moves.
3. Don’t be shy-If you have injuries or concerns it is SO important to tell the instructor before beginning the class. It will put your mind at ease, but also help the teacher to better accommodate you during the practice. Pilates is used for both fitness and rehabilitation, so if you have an injury there are often exercises or modifications that can be used to strengthen your injured area and restore balance in the body.
4. The one-It’s important to find a teacher whom you connect with, and understand. Some of the concepts in Pilates as you get more advanced can be quiet complex, so you want to find an instructor who gets through to you. Just like flavors of ice cream, a lot of them are great, but not everyone likes every flavor!
5. If it’s broke, well then fix it-Most importantly if something doesn’t feel right or hurts, don’t do it! Call the instructor over and inquire about what you’re feeling. As I mentioned, Pilates is about mind body awareness and better understanding of how your body works. Unlike yoga, where it would be quite rude to interrupt the class during a pose, for the most part Pilates practitioners do not mind if you ask questions or interact during the class. We want you to be doing each exercise correctly and to get the most out of the class.
“In 10 sessions you will feel the difference, in 20 you will see the difference, and in 30 you will have a whole new body.”
“I hated the first lesson; I hated the second, but by the third… my ankle problem was better.”—Romana Kryzanowska, Pilates Elder