The Joys of Learning Pilates at Home

This article is about the benefits of Pilates home workouts, but it is not about encouraging anyone to go it alone without in-person instruction. Pilates classes and the help of a Pilates instructor are invaluable. However, there is something very special about working out alone. It can improve your Pilates practice immensely. Here are some reasons to get inspired by Pilates at home.


A Good Environment for Self Awareness

A woman does Pilates at home.
Tatiana Kolesnikova/Getty Images

Pilates is a body/mind fitness method. As such, an inner attentiveness is integral to the practice. In Pilates class, a lot of attention has to be focused on the instructor, a less familiar environment and being part of a class. At home, you have the opportunity to truly focus your attention fully on what you are doing and how it feels. This is the perfect setup for discovering deeper levels of Pilates movement within yourself, making the exercises even more effective.


You Can Take Your Time

There is a lot to be said for moving through a workout at a steady pace. But sometimes that means we skip the parts we're not good at or don't understand.

You can take advantage of being on your own time to get clear on things you need to work on. Experiment with exercises that haven't been working for you. Try to figure out for yourself what they are supposed to do, and why they might not be working. Many discoveries can be made this way that will take your practice to the next level.

Home practice is also a great time to indulge yourself in studying the written exercise instructions online and in books and to watch and re-watch portions of DVDs and videos.


Nobody Is Watching

Have you ever had an instructor correct you even before you've had a chance to find out what a certain exercise is? Annoying, isn't it? Though we need our instructor's x-ray vision (a quality that never ceases to amaze me), sometimes we also need the freedom to look a little goofy before we get something right.

At home, nobody is going to nitpick your movement. There are no other students casting sidelong glances at what you're up to, and there is no teacher in training is taking notes on the sidelines. Home is your chance to work up to your edge, and maybe even push past it without worrying about looking silly.

Don't try anything dangerous (such as advanced moves if you are a beginner), but what the heck—do go for your next level.


You Can Embody Your Pilates Practice

Sometimes, going to Pilates class is like taking back a little piece of our life. Then, we go on about our day hoping the effects will last. When you take your Pilates home, you weave the practice into a more personal fabric of your life. This can make a huge difference in how you see yourself as a Pilates student. It's like claiming Pilates as your own and allowing yourself to fill out your practice from the inside—an empowering and strengthening move that will increase your fitness.


You Get Consistant Pilates Workouts

If you get used to working out on your own, you won't be dependent on anyone else for your fitness practice to stay on track and progress.

A very nice Pilates schedule is two classes a week supplemented by one or two home workouts. If your budget isn't up for frequent Pilates classes, the studio is closed on holidays or you travel a lot, none of that will throw you off if you're comfortable with practicing Pilates on your own.

By Marguerite Ogle MS, RYT
Marguerite Ogle is a freelance writer and experienced natural wellness and life coach, who has been teaching Pilates for more than 35 years.