Some tips to get you started...
it can be very exciting and also a little scary starting something new. However, if you are prepared, the experience should leave you feeling great - and keen to do your next class...
Book your place
Class sizes are limited – so ensure you have a space by booking in advance. This will also ensure that I have sufficient equipment for everyone and you will not be disappointed.
Show up early
Aim to arrive about 10 minutes before class. This gives you time to sign in, have a quick chat with me, choose your spot in the room, take your shoes off and say Hi to those in the spots next to you - they are also very likely to be in the same position as you!
Should I eat before coming to class?
Best not to do a class either on an empty or a really full tummy. Aim to have had something light to eat at least an hour before the class starts – and be nicely hydrated.
What will we be doing?
We will be working all the main muscle groups and joints of the body. I teach through demonstrating, explaining, observing, and correcting. My aim for each class is to develop your understanding of not only the moves but also your body to ensure you get the most out of your classes and any home practice. In your first class - particularly the Pilates for Beginners classes and the All Levels Classes, we will cover the basics of Pilates – the exercises and the principles – and use these to work all the main muscle groups and joints of the body. We generally start at a slower pace to build up confidence gradually. Subsequent classes will continue to work the whole of your body and develop your knowledge and understanding.
What if I can’t keep up?
That’s okay – I will encourage you to work at a level that is right for you – and will help you find that level. Stop and rest whenever you need to and join in when you are ready. I encourage all students to focus just on themselves with a view to ending the class at least a little bit better than when they arrived for the class. You don’t need to be fit to start a Pilates or Barre class – but doing a class will help your fitness. Each of the Pilates or Barre exercises can be modified to take account of particular needs to ensure they are accessible, or to increase their challenge level.
What if it feels too slow for me?
I really struggled with this aspect of Pilates when I first started. Remember that faster isn’t always better. Slow down and resist the urge to rush through your movements. It was only when I did less that I got more and started to really appreciate the benefit of the movements. But do let me know if you are struggling with the pace - we can modify to suit.
Stick with it…
You might find you sleep really well the night of your first class – ensure you drink a little more water than you usually do. Students generally feel a little sore the day after their first class – however if it persists for more than a couple of days it is worth seeking medical advice. Between classes practice one or two of the moves you did in class – the class handout should provide a helpful reminder (be sure to pick up the class handout before you leave your class). Stick with it!
You don’t have to worry that you aren’t fit enough, or that you may be too fit, or that you haven’t been to a class for a long time, or ever. Under expert guidance you work at the level that you are comfortable with, challenge yourself when it feels right for you, and importantly - rest when you need to. It does not matter what the rest of the class are doing – the hour you spend at the class is about you and you are encouraged to focus on yourself.
Since its development in the 1920s by Joseph Pilates, it has grown in popularly and is practiced by people with widely varied backgrounds and abilities. It is often recommended by physiotherapists, osteopaths, chiropractors and doctors. One of the reasons it has become so popular is that it is effective and it works!
Last words of advice for your first class?
There is likely to be a lot of information to process, so try to concentrate, give everything a go, make the time count – and most of all make it all about you....and enjoy!