For first-timers, walking into a YogaWorks studio can be daunting partly because everybody seems so, well, knowledgeable about Pilates and yoga. There are also the range of equipment, such as the carriages, and the wide range of positions that the clients are in, many of whom seem to be contortionists.
Fortunately, being a Pilates virgin is neither a crime nor an embarrassment. We’ve all been there but we have transitioned well by keeping these tips in mind.
Bring Your Supplies
In most cases, you don’t have to bring any supplies since Pilates studios typically provide the equipment, from the mats to the carriages. But you may want to bring your own mat for sanitary reasons; the thought of lying down on a mat that another sweaty person who may or may not have an infectious skin disease may be icky. Be sure to ask the Pilates instructor about the right mat since a Pilates mat is usually thicker than a yoga mat.
You may also want to bring your water bottle although you may not need as much hydration as in other cardio and strength training workouts. Of course, be sure to bring extra clothes and shoes, as well as your own towel and bath products, just as you would when going to other gyms.
Wear Your Workout Gear
Since you will be performing a wide range of positions, your best bets are yoga clothes. The disciplines of yoga and Pilates share many similarities so wearing your yoga clothes makes sense.
But remember these things, too, when choosing your workout gear:
- Wear form-fitting, stretchy clothes that allow for freedom of movement without exposing too much skin. Clothes with stitches and seams that follow your body’s center and side lines are useful, too, in assessing whether your body is in symmetry and alignment. Skip the loose-fitting clothes as these can get in your way and detract from your position.
- Wear socks with grippy bottoms, if you want to wear them. But Pilates is best done barefoot so skip the socks; getting in with clean feet and clipped toenails is more important.
- Skip the belts, tie-backs, metal accessories, and jewelry, as well as the makeup, before coming into your Pilates class. Tie your hair into a ponytail, too, or wear a headband. Skip the strongly-scented perfumes, deodorants, and sprays, too, since these aren’t compatible with heavy sweating.
And please come to your first Pilates class with an open mind, preferably a humble attitude that will provide the best platform for learning. Even when you have read books, watched YouTube videos, and talked to a few Pilates veterans, you should never assume that you know more than the Pilates instructor.