First of all, what is Pilates? Pilates is a physical fitness program developed in Germany by Joseph Pilates, based on the principles of aerobics and yoga. It’s been widely practiced by dancers even before it achieved popularity in the late 1990’s. The central aim of Pilates is to create such a union of mind and body so that the body will automatically move with grace and balance even by just minimally engaging the mind. To achieve success in Pilates, one must observe the following principles: concentration, muscle control, precision, flow or efficiency of movement, flexibility, and proper breathing.
With all these principles in mind you might realize that learning Pilates could take effort especially at the onset. That is why it is very important that one is truly prepared to learn how to practice Pilates. And one significant factor is having the proper attire.
If you’re looking into practicing Pilates, here are some tips on how to dress appropriately for it:
- Look for the right material. As Pilates consists of much stretching and body movement, you’d have to make sure that you’d be dressed for flexibility and comfort. Choose outfits that are made up of a combination of cotton, spandex and nylon. This will help keep your body cool and would enable you to comfortably stretch and move around. Also, be aware that Pilates would make you sweat a lot, so make sure your clothing does not trap in heat and would allow your skin to breathe.
- Buy the correct size. Your Pilates outfit should not be loose as this might prove to be uncomfortable and would cause hindrances to your movement. At the same time, it should not be too tight or constricting either. A tip when choosing an appropriate Pilates outfit is to stretch your arms and legs to full length, bend your body and do big, wide movements. If you feel comfortable doing these movements then it’s probably the right outfit for you.
- Know the clothing rules. Like ballet, Pilates has some clothing rules. These include keeping your hair tied back; refraining from wearing perfume and strong deodorants (to avoid distracting the other members of your class or even to trigger allergy attacks), and abstaining from wearing jewelries. The key rule here is to minimize accessories that are not needed and that may impede you from moving comfortably.
- Raid your closet for appropriate outfits that you may already have. A typical closet usually has an appropriate Pilates outfit. Just put on some workout clothes or some loungewear that you already have and then try it on for comfort and flexibility. The point here is that you don’t have to spend big bucks on an outfit when you already have an acceptable one already.
- Ask recommendations from your instructor. Before the lesson begins, ask your instructor for his own specifications and recommendations. If you’re intent on buying a new outfit for the Pilates class then ask your instructor what particular brands he would recommend. You could also look at the make-up of the class; if you are female and there are lots of men in attendance then if you just might consider some less tight or less revealing outfits (if you’re of that disposition).
Planning your Pilates outfit is just the first step; hopefully it would follow up into a rewarding Pilates experience.