Admittedly, it took me a while to start enjoying Pilates. Yes it is true! When I started (so long ago) most classes I tried left me feeling bored, intimidated or uninspired, until I tried a small studio in Los Angeles right down the road from my apartment!
Quite often, you see beginners trying to do something that the person next to them has been practicing for years.
After the first class I was hooked, and so began my love affair with Pilates. Sometimes it takes a bit of time to find a Pilates studio, class or teacher that is right for you. If you have always liked the idea of incorporating Pilates into your life but don’t know where to begin, here is a guide to help you get there.
1. IF YOU ARE KEEN ON THE IDEA OF PILATES, TRY AT LEAST THREE DIFFERENT PILATES STUDIOS BEFORE YOU DECIDE IT’S NOT FOR YOU.
I always wanted to love Pilates, but I didn’t “get” it for years because I never found a studio or teacher that stuck to me. It was when I tried a package of private sessions along with an introduction on each piece of equipment did I fall in love with Pilates. I finally was starting to “get” it and felt stronger and awesome when my session was over.
2. KNOW THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE ABLE TO DO TEASER TO BE WORTHY OF ATTENDING A CLASS.
Some people seem to be embarrassed and shy away from Pilates if they are not as flexible or as strong as some of their peers. This is very bizarre, considering everyone was a beginner at some point. Don’t be afraid that you cannot “roll up” in your roll down. Don’t be afraid of the fact that you can’t do Teaser. Pilates is not about how amazingly flexible, strong or balanced you are, and nobody is watching to see if you can touch your toes or not.
3. DON’T PUSH YOUR BODY TO DO THINGS IT DOESN’T WANT TO DO.
There is a reason that Pilates teachers give so many variations and modifications during class. Listen to your body and don’t push it. Quite often, you see beginners trying to do something that the person next to them has been practicing for years. This is a recipe for injury, or for turning someone off to Pilates because they think they “can’t do anything.” If you give yourself time to slowly build up to the exercises, you may actually enjoy class more and feel more at ease with what you can and cannot do.
4. It’s OK IF YOU LIKE ONE TEACHER MORE THAN ANOTHER.
Like people, Pilates teachers come in all different forms and not every teacher will please you. Try a few different teachers’ classes and find the teacher that is right for you.
5. IF YOU’RE A MAN, PLEASE KNOW THAT IS NOT JUST FOR WOMEN!
Many men are put off by Pilates because they think its for women, but this is certainly not the case. Ironically, Pilates was designed by a man and intended for men.
6. DON’T BE SURPRISED IF OVER TIME, YOU FEEL MORE MENTALLY AND EMOTIONALLY BALANCED JUST FROM PRACTICED REGULARLY.
You may enjoy the way your body feels and has changed from regularly practicing Pilates, but the benefits run deeper than that. Your brain will also get a “workout”.
7. COME TO CLASS FOR YOU, NOT TO PROVE ANYTHING TO THE OTHER STUDENTS IN YOUR CLASS!
Don’t compare yourself to those around you. This harks back to not pushing your body into doing things that its not ready to do. Listen to your body! There is no use in comparing yourself to the person next to you. In class, on the mat and on the equipment look out for yourself only.
8. DON’T TAKE IT TOO SERIOUSLY!
Some teachers and students take their practice very seriously, but that doesn’t mean you have to. You can still be devoted to Pilates and actually have a lot of fun, so remember to smile and enjoy your practice! Working out should be fun!