If you’re feeling nervous about attending your first Pilates class, you’re not alone. It can be intimidating to enter a new room full of strangers, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. There are ways to ease your anxiety and make the most of your Pilates experience.
To overcome nervousness, start by doing your research, so you know more about what to expect. Check out the studio’s website and read through any information they offer about their classes, such as the difficulty level and type of movements you’ll be doing.
The right mindset and simple strategies can also help you feel more confident as you enter your class. Remind yourself that everyone was a beginner once and that mistakes are part of the learning process. Read on for more tips on overcoming nervousness about your first Pilates class.
1. Research the Basics
You don’t need to become an expert overnight, but familiarizing yourself with the basics of Pilates can give you more confidence for your first class. Look up the workout’s history, different types of classes available, basic Pilates moves, and terminology.
This will help you understand what the instructor is talking about during class. If you’re feeling extra brave, try watching a few beginner-level classes on YouTube or signing up for a virtual Pilates class if your gym offers one. The more you understand the practice before stepping into a studio, the less nervous you’ll be.
2. Check Out the Facility
If it’s possible to visit the facility before your class, it may be worth doing so. Familiarizing yourself with the environment can give you more confidence and help you become more comfortable and relaxed during class.
Ask questions to the staff, if they’re available. And if you’re allowed, take a few practice runs on the equipment and get an idea of how it works. Talk to the instructor about their teaching style and inquire about their qualifications.
This can help you feel more at ease with the instructor and make it easier to ask questions during class. Checking out the facility may also give you a better idea of what to wear and bring to the class. Make sure you are dressed comfortably and appropriately for your session.
3. Arrive Early
Arriving at your class 15 minutes early is always a good idea, especially for your first Pilates class. By arriving early, you’ll also have the chance to peruse the studio and take note of the amenities.
Most Pilates studios have water fountains, bathrooms, cubbies for personal items, and props like Pilates balls, bands, and foam rollers. Knowing where everything is located will save you some time later on.
Finally, arriving early can help put your mind at ease and calm any anxious butterflies in your stomach. Don’t rush to get there—give yourself some extra time to get settled in before it’s time for class to begin.
4. Practice Deep Breathing
Feeling anxious before a new activity is natural, but deep breathing can help ease those nerves. During your Pilates class, incorporate some deep breathing exercises. Take a few moments before class to close your eyes and take slow, deep breaths through your nose and out through your mouth.
These few moments of relaxation can help you feel more in control and ready to get going. As you move through the class, consistently remind yourself to take deep breaths. By focusing on your breathing, you may find that the nerves begin to fade as you gain more confidence.
5. Introduce Yourself to the Instructor
Introducing yourself to the instructor can help you feel more comfortable during your first Pilates class. Don’t be shy. The instructor will likely have been teaching Pilates for years and will be more than happy to answer any questions you have.
The instructor will be able to observe your form while doing Pilates and make adjustments as needed to ensure you’re doing the exercises correctly. Plus, getting to know your instructor can be a chance to make a good impression and establish a long-term relationship with them.
Before you walk in, take some time to think of a few questions you might want to ask the instructor. It could be anything from what type of experience they have teaching Pilates, what modifications they can do for the exercises, or their favorite Pilates move.
Remember to keep your questions open-ended and conversational for a better dialogue.
6. Set a Positive Intention
Before you start your first Pilates class, focus on how you want to feel afterward. It could be anything from energized and relaxed to improved posture and strength. Setting a positive intention for your class can help you stay motivated during the workout.
It can also help you focus on your practice’s long-term goals rather than getting wrapped up in any anxieties about your first class. Remember, any goal you set for yourself is achievable with patience and practice.
7. Focus on Yourself
When it comes to Pilates, the focus should be on you and how your body is feeling. Don’t worry about what the other people in the class are doing—or even how you look. As long as you’re challenging yourself and not pushing past your limits, you can rest assured knowing you’re doing something great for your body.
Remember that everybody was a beginner at some point, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Stay focused and be present at the moment—that’s the best way to get the most out of your Pilates class.
8. Bring a Friend
Bringing a friend to a first Pilates class can help alleviate some nervousness and make it more enjoyable. Not only will having someone you know by your side make the experience more comfortable, but it also provides support and motivation.
A friend can remind you to stay on track if you start to lose focus and be there to cheer you on during difficult exercises. Plus, if you’re feeling extra nervous just before the class begins, having someone to talk to can help calm your nerves.
By the end of the session, you and your friend will have learned some valuable lessons about Pilates and a great story to tell.
9. Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself
It’s natural to feel a bit anxious before your first class, and you don’t need to be perfect right away. As a beginner, making mistakes is okay, and your instructor is there to help guide you along the way.
Try not to get too frustrated if progress isn’t immediate. Remember that practice is key, and with enough time and dedication, you can become a skilled Pilates practitioner. You need to enjoy the journey and be kind to yourself.
Asking questions, taking breaks when needed, and being patient will help you make steady progress. Most of all, don’t forget to have fun and make the most of your Pilates experience.
Your first Pilates class can be a nerve-wracking experience, but with the right preparation and mindset in place, you can easily overcome any apprehension. Remember to practice deep breathing, focus on yourself, bring a friend, and don’t be too hard on yourself. With enough time and patience, you’ll be a Pilates pro in no time.