What to Bring to Pilates
A good Pilates prop can make or break your experience. For all group classes and all online sessions, you will need to provide your own equipment - ideally as much as you can of what is listed below. For face to face private tuition, all equipment is provided for you.
The very first thing you need to get out is your Pilates mat - this is absolutely essential for you to bring with you!
As we spend much of class lying on our back or on our side, it's worth getting a thick mat. It's especially worth going for a thicker mat if you will be practicing on a wooden floor - all Josie's class venues have a wooden floor.
A thick mat really helps to protect the spine, the shoulder, the knees - all the joints really!
A Resistance Band
Such a versatile prop to have around and easy to get your hands on. You can use it to find shapes and connections you didn't know existed. It's also great for using as an extension of your arms to reach further without sacrificing form.
In the photo above, Josie uses the band to press into for rounding the spine without slumping. This C-shape is used ALL the time in Pilates and the band is great for getting it right.
Strength & Length: Heavy & 1.5-2metres long
Worth Spending: £3-£6 (variety pack £6-£12)
Substitute: There's no sub for the elastic nature but a towel can be used at times extend your reach and to press into.
'Meglio: Heavy as we use and sell them at Everest Health and Fitness. They've never let me down! We sell a 1.5 metre band for £2.75 each, let me know if you'd like one.'
A Thin Cushion
A thin cushion will help with your comfort and also help you get the most out of exercises. For Josie it's number two in importance after your mat. A must for every single class!!
In the photo above, you can see how the cushion helps to support the head in side lying. Not only does it make the position more comfortable, it also makes the exercise more technically accurate! It also can help you move smoothly in exercises like the Roll Up and Roll Over.
Cushion Dimensions: 29cm x 21cm x 2.5cm
Worth Spending: £8-£15
Substitute: A household cushion or a folded up towel
'Body Control Pilates Head Cushions. I trained with them and they're better value than ANY other I have found online. I'd also recommend this one from SuperBrace.'
This prop is like magic! For most of us, sitting on the floor with the feet level with the hips is uncomfortable and it's practically impossible to sit in a neutral position. Sitting on a block really helps by lifting the hips higher than the feet.
Looking at the photo above you can see Josie demonstrating the difference a block can make. It helps you to lift up rather than slumping back.
Dimensions: 30cm x 20cm x 5cm
Worth Spending: £5-£12
Substitute: A thick book of similar dimensions.
'I have Proiron Yoga Blocks. One will usually be enough, but for some people in our groups two stacked on top of each other work really well for ideal height and width.'
Soft Pilates Ball
Not to be confused with a weighted Pilates ball! The soft Pilates ball is an inflated ball, though we don't usually have it fully inflated.
This prop is great for helping lift off the mat for inversions and its brilliant for propping is up to help us get deeper connections and understanding of movements.
In the top photo Josie has the ball under the pelvis and it provides her with the initial lift for the Roll Over exercise.
In the lower photo Josie has the ball under her side to remind her to keep the lift of her waist during side lying.