Whether you are new to or already practicing Pilates for quite a while, going at it alone at home without a trainer can seem intimidating. Even if you are familiar with certain Pilates moves, the idea of doing the moves all by yourself instead of being instructed to do so can be daunting, and even demotivating. Know however that certainly, it can be done! Below are three tips and advice you can heed to make Pilates at home a breeze and all so worth it.
Allocate a Space for a Mind/Body Exercise
Pilates, like yoga, is certainly more than just a body fitness regimen. Instead, it is truly a body/mind fitness method and therefore, the space you allocate for it should be conducive for such. It does not need to be big or wide, just enough for you to do the moves and at the same time, practice inner attentiveness while doing the practice. Picking up just a mat and doing Pilates anywhere surrounded by distracting things can just put you off the practice at home altogether.
At a studio, inner attentiveness can be achieved by listening to how you breathe and what your instructor is saying. However, sometimes this can be affected by thoughts of you being in an unfamiliar environment and being around people, who while certainly not judging nor looking at you, can still cause you some to feel some self-consciousness.
At home, all you just have to set up a nice space that calms you and embrace it as an opportunity to truly focus your attention on what you are doing and how they are being experienced not just by your limbs and joints, but also by your mind. Having a nice space and setup can motivate you to do Pilates regularly and even want to go further in discovering deeper levels of Pilates once you feel the benefits.
Take Your Time, Listen to Your Body
Nothing can become boring and demotivating quickly as something you rush. If you watch videos to aid your Pilates practice at home or read how-to’s online, there is a chance that you will encounter moves that you simply are not good at or do not even understand, at first. Sometimes, forging ahead and doing them anyway sounds like a good idea, but truly this is a bad one. For yoga and Pilates, nothing is worse than not listening to your body and intuition and end up not doing them anymore altogether. Therefore, it is important to take your time.
At a studio, while the teacher can make it clear that everyone is at their own pace in their Pilates practice, some still feel compelled not to listen to what their bodies are saying for fear of being left behind. At home, you don’t have to listen to anyone but your own body! Do not be compelled to achieve a move just because you think it looks cool, knowing you are not on that lane yet. Also, there are days that you can feel particularly tight, so some moves you already achieved in the past might not work that day. Do not push it. Just let it be and move on to the next movement. Remember that Pilates is about relaxing some tense muscles while strengthening others. The last thing you need is to fire up your muscles unnecessary and causing yourself some injuries.
Maximize the Use of Aids, Tools
There’s nothing shameful about adding aids or equipment to your Pilates workout. In contrast, this can even make your Pilates workout at home better and more effective. Of course, doing Pilates on your mat is already enough if you are fine with that. But if the range that you can do increases with the right tools, motivating your further to delve into your practice, then that’s a win-win situation. Examples of aids and tools are foam roller, a Pilates ring or a Pilates Chair. In a Pilates studio that is fully equipped, a Pilates chair is always a constant. Do not think that they should be used at a studio though. You can purchase many home-friendly Pilates chairs out there. Be sure to check out the quality and features, including the brand before getting one though so you stay safe, such as Pilates Pro Chair Max. The range of Pilates exercises you can do with a quality chair such as this is unimaginable, making it a good investment. Read this comprehensive Pilates Pro Chair Max review for more information.