Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pilates 101

What can you expect during your first Pilates experience? How do you prepare? What do you wear? I'll tackle the basics to get you ready to learn Pilates with confidence in a studio setting.

What do you wear?
The all important question. Starting with your feet, Pilates is done either in socks or bare feet. As far as the rest of your ensemble, make sure your clothes allow you to move freely yet are not baggy allowing your instructor to see your body for alignment purposes. Long pants and a tee shirt or Capri bottoms and a tank top are common choices students wear. For more specific clothing styles and ideas click here. Hair needs to be off the face (high pony tail or low pig tails work best to allow your head to rest flat on the mat). Lastly, accessories should be kept to a minimum. Avoid anything that dangles which could be distracting or dangerous (including long necklaces, chunky bracelets and hoop earrings). 

What do you bring?
Most studios already have all the equipment, including mats there. I highly suggest you bring a water bottle to keep you hydrated throughout. If you plan on booking more sessions bring along your calendar so you can book another appointment while you are already there. Most importantly bring with you an open mind ready to learn and experience all Pilates has to offer.

What to expect when you first walk in?
You will have to fill out a liability waver beforehand so be sure to arrive a little early. The waver will include all your basic contact info such as name, phone number, email. It also will have places to write down past injuries or medical conditions. You will than be introduced to your instructor who will start off by getting to know you and teaching you the basics of Pilates (breathing, scooping, and imprinting). Later the movements will progress including staple exercises like The Hundred or Roll Up.

When you call to book a session feel free to ask any further questions you may have. Many studios also have web sites including more specific info such as instructor bios or class schedules. Questions are a good thing and can provide helpful feedback to your instructor as well as the studio. I hope I've covered some of your concerns. Now go enjoy your first Pilates experience!

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