If you are taking your first Pilates class you are likely excited and maybe a bit nervous. It’s time to relax because Pilates if fun, even if you don’t know what you’re doing. To help put your mind at ease here are some tips to get you prepared for your upcoming Pilates class.
Bring a Pilates Mat
A Pilates mat is similar to a yoga mat except it is a little bit thicker. The reason for this is because Pilates exercises focus more on the spine. You will place extra emphasis and weight on the spine, so having a thicker mat will mean you are more comfortable in class.
Dress in Loose fitting or Stretchy Clothing
When you take your first Pilates class you should expect to be doing lots of stretching & tight movements that result in bending & twisting the upper and lower halves of your body. For this reason you want to dress in either loose-fitting or stretchy clothing. Students usually choose some form of active wear because they allow a full range of movement without getting in the way of your moves during class.
Bring a Water Bottle
Pilates classes are typically not a high intensity & impact type of class, but it does raise your heart rate and may cause you to sweat. For this reason you should bring a water bottle with you and be prepared to hydrate regularly. Hydration is important in Pilates because it will help keep the muscles loose as you stretch.
Be Prepared to Focus on Your Breathing
Very few exercises ask you to focus as much on your breathing as Pilates. Breath management is an important part of the exercise because it forces you to focus on each movement you make. You can also use your breathing to set a rhythm for yourself as you go through each new exercise. If you have experienced yoga in the past, then you should be used to incorporating breathing as a key element in your fitness routine. Like Yoga, Pilates places breathing at the center of each exercise. The end result is that you become more precise and calm during each Pilates session.
Keep an Open Mind
Many people have expectations of what Pilates is only to find that it is something completely different. The best way to approach your Pilates class is with an open mind. Trust your instructor & your fellow pupils. If you feel uncomfortable about any of the exercises you are asked to undertake, simply pass on that exercise and join in at the point that you feel comfortable. There’s a good chance that some of the exercises will be difficult for you, but remember if you stick with it you’ll get better over time and soon each exercise will be we as easy as riding a bike.