After more than a month’s hiatus from Pilates, I was completely ecstatic to start a new cycle this week. We have a newcomer in this cycle (who just so happens to be Tika), and she sounds even more excited about this than me. Other than the usual grilling on what Pilates sessions are usually like, she also asked me about the outfit. So I thought, hmm, why didn’t I ever make an article about it? Because it can be quite unnerving to start something new, while coming into a new “group” dressed in the wrong outfit can add extra discomfort. As not all sports are created equal, so are the costumes! (What we do at FDHQ is Floor Pilates, by the way).
So how should you dress up and what should you bring for your first pilates session?
1. The mat is a must!
If you’re going into a class, please check with the studio or your private trainer whether a mat will be provided, or if should you bring your own. If you don’t own one yet and are still window shopping for the best exercise for you, my advice is not to fall prey into buying a mat. Mats aren’t cheap, and since there will still a slight possibility that you might not enjoy the new form of exercise, your mat could go wasted if you don’t plan on trying out other mat-based workouts. Should you find yourself in a situation of needing a mat, bring a large beach towel to cover the mat for hygiene.
If you think Pilates is a slow-moving exercise where all you do is lie on your mat and walk away from it without breaking a sweat, you’re completely wrong! I would find myself dripping in sweat just ten minutes into the session after a warm-up . So it would be very helpful to have a small towel within your reach to keep yourself sweat-free.
No, it’s not to see who has the best figure in class, but it is meant to deliberately show your figure. When you first start a Pilates session, you will be taught how to breathe the right way, which involves sucking in your belly when you exhale. It’s much easier for your trainer to know whether you’ve tucked in your belly properly when you’re wearing tight clothes.
The same applies to bottoms: I much prefer wearing leggings that fall below the knee. Why? Because when you lie flat on your back, you will engage in a lot of positions which will involve pointing your legs skyward. Loose-fitting pants will only pool material to your thighs, a very annoying situation! It distracts you from the repetitions you’re trying to complete.
Just in case you’re still questioning whether shoes are required or not: rest assured, you will not need to wear a shoes. Some new variations of Yoga will still require shoes, but not Pilates.
5. Wear a sports bra!
A lot of postures require lying down on the mat, but there are also some that require you to be on your feet and jumping from one spot to another. God forbid, we end up with a saggy pair of ta-tas in the quest of being leaner, so it’s better to strap them in securely with a good sports bra. If there’s one thing you should invest in before you start exercising, it’s a well-fitting and comfortable sports bra.