...going into a Pilates studio.
Have you been curious about Pilates for a while, but still a little confused and scared? Are you starting to feel like the only one of your friends who hasn't done it yet?!? I gathered this list with help from my students to prepare you for that special day you go all the way...into the Pilates studio.
Here's five things your mother won't tell you about your first time doing pilates.
1. Your teacher might touch you
Touch, or kinestethic feedback, will enliven your Pilates practice. Touch is one of the very big differences between watching a Pilates video and attending class in a Pilates studio. A touchy teacher will help your body understand unfamiliar movements. The touch should be helpful and feel good. It might "hurt so good" kinda good, but should still be good. If the touch is uncomfortable, let your teacher know. Sharing your body’s experience may provide some helpful information for both of you.
2. There’s gonna be foot stuff
The feet are your foundation. They are covered in muscles and fascia. To help connect you with your feet, Pilates is done without shoes. Barefoot is best, but some studios have policies about wearing socks. Do not wear athletic socks in these cases, as you will slip. You can usually purchase or borrow ToeSox at studios which have that policy. And please, do not have to apologize for the condition of your feet. Most people do not get pedicures every other week. Most people are normal, with normal imperfect feet, like yours!
3. There IS such a thing as too much lube
I love a pair of freshly waxed legs covered in coconut oil as much as the next gal, but your Pilates practice does NOT. There are many positions which require you to grab your own body parts for support. If your body is greasy, you can not grab. Sometimes trying new exercises can feel a bit precarious. Adding additional instability because your feet or hands are slipping on lotion does not help the body open and release.
4. You might cramp
In Pilates we activate and release muscles who may not have been moved or activated in the last month or year. Don’t be surprised if your body responds to these new movements with a cramp (often in the foot). This doesn’t happen to everyone, but if it happens to you, know that the cramps get less frequent the more time you spend practicing Pilates. If you are prone to cramping, make sure to be well-hydrated before your lesson. Some people can reduce their cramps even more by eating foods high in Potassium, Magnesium and Calcium.
5. You can just fake it
No one will be able to tell that you don't know what you're doing. NO ONE. Well...EXCEPT your teacher. But that teacher was once a beginner and understands how the body progresses in Pilates. A Pilates practice is something to build up over time. As your body learns the details of the movements, your body will move more smoothly. Pilates class is a community space to love your body and nourish it, not a space to shred your body and compete with your neighbor. And the wonderful thing is, even if you have absolutely NO idea what you’re doing and don’t move like that guy in the front row, your body will still be doing Pilates and still be feeling the benefits of Pilates!
If you are in the Chicagoland area, let me pop your Pilates cherry at Frog Temple in Bucktown. I'm gonna give you my whole class schedule. You can take that as a sign that I'm serious about you.
6pm Beginner Group Equipment. This is an equipment class designed for first timers, just like you. Introduce your body to The Joy of Reformer.
7pm Slo-Mo Release & Flow. A mat class designed to help release tightnesses before focusing on technique and details. You will feel the work but the pace is perfect for someone who's nervous their first time will be too fast or too hard.
9am Circuit Work-It. You're WILD! You want to SWEAT. You want to be on ALL the equipment. This class will have you on the jump board, reformer, tower and low chair. It's designed for all levels of experience.
9am Group Equipment: A classical-style equipment class. Classical means we do it the way German hottie Joe Pilates did it.
10am group mat MAT class: A classical-style mat class. Get your Joe on again.
11am Circuit Work-It: You're WILD! You want to SWEAT. You want to be on ALL the equipment. This class will have you on the jump board, reformer, tower and low chair. It's designed for all levels of experience.
Your first group MAT class is ALWAYS free. Sign up here.
Just you and me? Let's connect over here.