You’ve heard about it, read about it, your friends have been nagging you to take up Pilates.
“It’ll change your life!” they’ve told you over and over. So you gather up your courage and sign up for Pilates. Now what?
First there’s the way Pilates differs from other fitness routines. Although with Pilates you will work hard and you may or may not perspire during the class, it is not a high intensity aerobic workout. Like yoga, it focuses on flexibility, mobility and balance but with the addition of strengthening your core muscles in the abdomen and back. Pilates involves specific techniques with an emphasis on precision, control and breath.
Pilates will focus on correct breathing, improving your posture, and achieving a feeling of calm and well-being. But with Pilates you’ll also lengthen and strengthen your muscles.
The two main types of Pilates classes are performed on a mat and on machines. Don’t worry about those scary-looking machines, they are called Reformers. At Pilates in the Grove we primarily use the Reformers and other Pilates apparatus for group classes.
Unlike a typical exercise class, you aren’t on your own when you walk through the door. Your instructor will take time to get to know you, your prior exercise history, and any past injuries you might have incurred during other exercise routines. She will then adjust your Pilates workout to suit your individual abilities and goals.
And unlike other fitness classes where you are expected to jump in and keep up with whatever the rest of the class is doing, your first session will be gentle and introductory. Your instructor will ensure that you learn and understand the essential breathing techniques as well as what it means to “find your core.” You will be taught the correct alignment of the spine, and a few beginner exercises to imprint the techniques and help loosen your muscles.
Finally, your instructor will check your posture and position to make sure you’re performing each position correctly.
Which brings us to the question of what to wear. Comfortable exercise clothing is best, but if it’s too baggy, the instructor won’t be able to see and correct your alignment and form. Also, don’t wear anything that would hurt when you’re lying on it: belts with buckles, zippers or ties that form knots front or back, for example.
Pilates is performed without shoes and usually wearing grip socks to prevent from slipping. If you have long hair, it should be tied back, and skip the jewelry entirely.
To be polite to other students, please refrain from wearing strong perfumes, scented lotions, or colognes. Also, turn off your cellphone before class. The session is time for you to focus on yourself, your breath and your positive movement and do not want to be distracted with your phone or distract those around you.
And don’t be afraid to ask questions. That’s what your instructor is there for, and she knows that everyone was a beginner at one time.
A class will typically take 55 minutes. You’ll begin to see and feel results from your very first class: relaxed, refreshed, and energized. And you’ll look forward to your next session.
So what are you waiting for? Book a class now at Pilates In the Grove. Your body and mind will thank you for it!