Naked Pilates: What Workout Clothes Should You Wear?

Joe Pilates in typical workout attire. Joe Pilates in typical workout attire.

I’ve done Pilates naked and it’s not pretty.  I personally don’t recommend it.  That being said when we practice Pilates nowadays we actually wear a lot of workout clothes.  Joe Pilates had people train with minimal clothing.  He basically wore swimming trunks that looked like black or white tighty whities and women working with Joe often wore leotards.  I would not attend a Pilates class today if they required me to show up in a leotard.

There was a method to Joe’s madness though.  He wanted people unencumbered by clothing, although arguably being comfortable makes you feel freer to move.  I’d be really encumbered if I had to do exercises in front of people in a leotard.  Last fall I almost went out in public in a unitard—a near disaster.  Joe also wanted the skin to be able to breathe.  I get that too, but I’m pretty sure our skin can breathe with a little more clothes on.  And he wanted to be able to see his clients better.  That’s helpful.  If you show up to class wearing more form […]

Naked Pilates: What Workout Clothes Should You Wear?2018-02-14T15:43:16-04:00

The Pilates Basic Principles in Life

If you have ever taken a pilates class you have probably heard talk of the basic principles. Even if an instructor hasn’t called them that, they have probably told you to “engage your core,” “pull your belly button to your spine,” “engage your kegels,” “relax your shoulders,” “tilt your chin up or down,” or “knit your ribs.” There are thousands of ways to get people thinking about the basic principles of pilates, but the question really is do you consider them outside of pilates class?

Here are a few ways to start incorporating the basic principles into your day:

1) Engage your lower abdominals and kegel muscles at every red light, stop sign, when you touch a door knob, or while you are waiting for your Keurig Coffee.

2) When you are tense or cold, notice if your shoulders are shrugging up to your ears and try to relax them.

3) When sitting for long periods of time (in the car or at the office) do some pelvic tilts—rock your pelvis back and forth just a little to lengthen the low back and then return to a neutral spine.

4) Check in with your breath […]

The Pilates Basic Principles in Life2017-09-12T19:31:39-04:00

A Good Exhale

Sometimes even a pilates instructor needs to be reminded about the basic principles of the pilates method.

One day when Matt and I were in Switzerland we walked a half an hour from one village to another. The walk down was fine, it was downhill, but coming back up was a struggle for me. It was a short walk and roughly at 5,000 or 6,000-feet of elevation so I was surprised to be struggling, but I just couldn’t catch my breath. I’d even stop walking and couldn’t quite catch my breath.

Finally Matt said to me, “Stop trying to inhale and exhale as hard as you can three times.” I did it and after the third exhale automatically took in a huge, deep breath that made me feel better. (Matt had terrible asthma as a kid so he’d learned some tricks.)

In classes I will sometimes tell people to worry about the exhale because your body won’t let you die and will eventually inhale. Joe Pilates emphasized the exhale more than the inhale and tried […]

A Good Exhale2017-09-12T19:31:49-04:00

Yamuna Body Rolling

Last week some of the Personal Euphoria staff took a Yamuna Body Rolling class with Sharon Sklar. It felt wonderful. Basically for about two hours, she talked us through different ways to roll on a Yamuna ball—an inflated rubber ball with different firmnesses to increase or decrease pressure on a particular part of the body. Yamuna Body Rolling is basically your own personal massage.

We rolled the ball over everything—our glutes, backs, spines, chest, biceps, and hamstrings. Then she took out these half-balls covered in little nubs called foot wakers. My feet died and went to heaven in that moment. I have a new love, and I purchased some, so if you take private classes, you can know you will see these in one of your upcoming sessions.

The body rolling was good, but the feet wakers are great. My feet felt like I was walking on air afterward.

If you ever get a chance to take a workshop with Sharon, I would recommend it. She teaches you to self massage. You know […]

Yamuna Body Rolling2017-09-12T19:31:52-04:00

Pilates is Easy

Think Pilates is easy? You probably aren’t doing it right. Every time I take a pilates class I’m surprised at how difficult it is, and I like a tough, challenging workout. There are exercises that I didn’t find difficult at first, but once I understood them better (from years of practice) I found them to be my most challenging. Many of the beginner exercises are actually the most difficult. And when I’m not doing an advanced exercise as well as I should, it’s usually going back to one of the beginner exercises that will make me realize how I should be moving my body in order to do the more challenging exercise properly.

Even an exercise like ab prep–it seems easy, but it’s not at all. You are basically lifting your head and shoulders off the floor. Many people mistake it for an abdominal crunch, but the exercise is so much more, and once you discover all the intricacies, you can find what may seem like the simplest exercise extremely rewarding.

It may not happen right […]

Pilates is Easy2017-10-25T15:49:55-04:00