Wednesday 8 January 2014

What to expect at your first Pilates Class.

Well - congratulations, you've finally made the step towards a healthier future.  You may have been considering trying Pilates for a while - but have not been able to find a class to suit, right time, right place - but now the planets have aligned and you're about to attend your first group mat class.

What to expect;

What to bring;

If you are attending a class at a studio or sports centre - then they will probably already have mats available (yoga mats), or if the class is a community class then you may be asked to bring one along.  You may also be asked to bring a towel and a drink. 

What to wear;
Pilates is done bare foot - so no need for special trainers - although there are special socks that you can buy for the winter months.  You will need to wear comfortable clothes - leggings and t-shirt are fine.  You may need a warmer sweatshirt to put on for the stretching part.  You should be able to stretch in your clothes, and the teacher will need to be able to see that your body is correct aligned, so something not too baggy is good.  Long hair will need to be tied back, and long necklaces or bulky bracelets will get in the way - so make sure that these are removed.

I am a glasses wearer and Pilates I can still do Pilates in my glasses (unlike Zumba!!).

Upon Arrival
When you first arrive, try to arrive a bit earlier - so that your instructor can get a chance to have a chat with you about your expectations and any injuries that you may have.  You will be asked to fill out a PAR-Q form (Pre Activity Readiness Questionnaire) which is used to assess if you're able to join the class, or whether you may need to check with a doctor before you're able to go-ahead.  Exercise is suitable for most people, but there are a few people who need to check with their doctor before increasing their levels of activity and this form is designed to assess this.

First Class

All studios/teachers are different but there are a few consistent things that you will learn during your first few sessions;

- Neutral Spine
- Pelvic Floor Engagement
- How to engage your Transverse Abdominus
- Thoracic breathing technique
- Pelvic stability
- Scapula stability
- Ribcage closure
- Segmental control of spine

To name but a few - these are the foundations of great Pilates technique.  A good teacher should take you through these and ensure that all of the subsequent exercises are carried out incorporating the above, as well as introducing you to the Pilates Principles.

So there it is - the benefits of Pilates are numerous and the principles can be taken into everyday life, so enjoy your journey!

Let me know what your first experience was like.
Jill xxx


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