Thursday, January 24, 2013

Pilates is embarrassing!

Okay, so Pilates really isn't embarrassing.  But I had to grab you with a good title.  The truth is, Pilates can be embarrassing sometimes.

As a brand new student you may feel embarrassed because you are between two experienced students and you just aren't strong enough yet to do what they are doing.
It's okay.  They were new once, too.  Everyone takes different amounts of practice to get it right.  6 years in to my own Pilates practice and I am still working on lots.

Pilates releases pressure in your abdomen.  Translation:  it can make you toot!
Don't worry.  Your instructor has heard a symphony of toots in her/his career.  The other students will either understand because it's happened to them or be so relieved it isn't them that they won't judge you at all.  This may sound weird, but I actually feel good for the person that passed gas.  It's a natural thing our bodies do and part of Pilates is to help with intestinal issues.  Hello!  We have an entire series for massaging the stomach.  So, don't be embarrassed.  It means you and the exercises are working!

Bootys get touched.  
As a Pilates instructor I touch tails.  Yep, the good old tail bone.  It's not that I want to, but if a student isn't properly engaged and their rear is up in the air, a good old goose can do wonders.  Trust me.  I have been on the other side of it and had an instructor place her hand on my tail bone to lengthen it.  It works.  Touch works so much better than a verbal cue sometimes.  So this one is more for Pilates instructors than students.  Don't be embarrassed to use touch techniques.  Study anatomy, study where a prompt can be helpful.  Don't use a touch technique you are not comfortable with.  You have to own it and use gentle force.  No one wants a feather-weight touch on their back, leg, or anywhere.  It's just creepy.  If you are comfortable with it, your students will be, too.  And for students, if you do happen to be uncomfortable with being touched, make sure to let your instructor know.  They should ask, but may forget during the busy beginning of getting settled into class.

We get sweaty.
Pilates is typically done in gyms or fitness centers, but, for some reason, I have noticed people think they won't sweat.  You will.  And it's great!  Pilates is a full body workout that elevates your heart rate and challenges your muscles.  Sweating is a sign that your body is healthy and working properly.  So, don't apologize.  But do bring a towel :)

Your feet will be naked.
Ideally, Pilates is done with bare feet.  No one is looking at your pedicure.  I promise.  I know.  I have been a student with a cute pedi thinking SOMEone will notice and, trust me, no one does.  And on the other side of that, you don't need to apologize for not having nail polish on.  Your instructor has probably seen ugly toes, dry toes, toes with out nails (yep.) and all sorts of things that are a pinch worse than chipped OPI.  So, let it go and take your socks off!

Any experienced instructor will not be phased whatsoever by sweat, feet, your pants sliding name it.  And as for your fellow classmates, they will be so wrapped up in their own workout that a toot or misstep will probably go unnoticed.

I want to know:

Do you avoid group classes because of embarrassment/shyness?

Have you ever experienced an embarrassing moment?  

Is there something I missed from the list above?


  1. So love this article. Have been embarrassed because of my ugly feet & the fact that I look like a turtle flipped on it's back when I can't do some of the moves... Plus, I so sweat like a piggy :)

    1. Hope this helped! C'mon into class. You will see we are all ugly-footed sweaty turtles!

  2. I'm embarrassed just reading about it!

  3. This makes me feel better about how terrible I am at pilates. The good news is that it will only get easier if I keep at it!


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