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How To Set Up A Pilates Home Studio

Let's be honest - it doesn't matter how diligent and disciplined we are about our Pilates and wellness practices. The truth is, sometimes, the busyness of our lives gets in the way.

It doesn't matter if you're juggling school, house chores, or your social life - having a dedicated space at home where you can be at peace and get a bit of practice done can do wonders for keeping your practice on track.

Now, here's the problem - we want to move freely and comfortably without carpet burns, breaking ceramic vases or bumping our pinkie on the sofa's foot.

On top of that, we'd like to get the most out of our practice without the convenience and easy access to the many Pilates equipment available during our Pilates class.

So, in this article, we'll discuss the basics you must consider when setting up your own home Pilates studio so you can officially ditch any excuses out of the way and get a good workout done at any given time of the day.

Let's get to it!

Choosing The Appropriate Pilates Space

When choosing the appropriate space for your Pilates exercises, you must consider how spacious and open the area is, how quiet the room is, and how well you feel in that environment - preferably with good natural light and feng shui.

As we know - the Pilates practice goes far beyond just mindless physical exercise. You get the most out of it by being fully relaxed, present and focused, so ensuring you are in your best state of mind is a must.

Main takeaways:

  • choose a spot where you can move freely & comfortably
  • choose an area where you feel at ease & relaxed
  • good lighting and quietness will help

Essential Pilates Equipment

Now, the main question Pilates practitioners ask when starting their home practice: What Pilates equipment are must-haves for my home studio?

While Joseph Pilates has created it so that you can practise with nothing but your body and mind, the minimum we'd recommend is for a Pilates mat so that you can execute any floor exercises without sore back or knees afterwards.

Secondly - comes smaller accessories like the Pilates ring, a.k.a the "Magic Circle," which is a great versatile piece of equipment to add resistance to mat exercises workouts and help target specific muscle groups, such as outer & inner thighs, hips, core muscles, among others.

Other handy and practical Pilates equipment to have at your home studio are resistance bands and small hand weights - which are both super versatile and can help you deepen stretches, strengthen muscles, and add a little oomph to your upper body exercises.

Next up, let's talk about the Pilates reformer.

Yes - this will demand a bit more space, but if you have a garage or a covered area in your backyard and you're serious & committed about your Pilates practice, the investment in a reformer will be a game-changer.

You can find great-quality Pilates reformers for as low as $400.

To recap:

  • have at least a Pilates mat available
  • consider smaller accessories, such as a Pilates ring or resistance band
  • invest in a reformer if you have the space & budget

Additional Accessories

Aside from the Pilates equipment, a good, absorbent towel is essential for wiping down your mat or, dabbing away sweat and maintaining your home studio's hygiene.

You can even roll it up and use it as a makeshift bolster for specific exercises. Versatile, right?

Now, let's talk hydration. While Pilates may not be as cardio-intensive as a HIIT workout, don't let that fool you - you're still working hard and losing a lot of water through transpiration, which means you need to stay hydrated. Keep a water bottle within arm's reach.

Opt for a reusable bottle with a secure lid to be eco-friendly and accident-proof.

Last but definitely not least, consider installing a mirror. It's easy to think you're nailing that plank or teaser position until you catch a glimpse of yourself and realise you need to adjust.

We wouldn't expect you to have a full-length mirror in your living room - but anything big enough for you to make sure you're doing your exercises correctly.

Creating the Right Atmosphere

With the Pilates equipment, accessories and space, you already got all the basics sorted to get started on your home practice - but we'd like to do one better.

By creating the best atmosphere possible for your practice, we can get our minds in the right place and maximise the effectiveness of our practice.

Here are some things we can do:

Infuse Relaxing Aromas

Relaxing aromas can do wonders to relax and ease your mind. Three ways to go about it are incense, scented candles and our favourite - essential oil diffusers.

We'd highly recommend either lavender or eucalyptus oils - as they're known for their calming properties, making them perfect for a slower and more meditative Pilates session.

On the flip side, if you're doing a more dynamic workout, citrusy scents like orange or lemon can give you that much-needed energy boost. It's all about matching the aroma to the vibe of your workout.

Add Your Favourite Playlist

Some Pilates practitioners swear by a Pilates session filled with the sounds of soft, instrumental tunes, while others prefer the beat of energetic tracks to keep them motivated.

If you're focusing on slow, controlled movements and breathwork, you might opt for calming or no music. But if you're getting into some Pilates HIIT, pump up the jams!

From our experience, everyone is different in their preferences. So the choice is yours.

Add Ambient Lighting

To keep it simple: get your lights too bright, and you'll feel like you're at the doctor's office; get them too dim, and you'll likely feel like a nap. Consider adjustable lighting options like dimmer switches or smart bulbs that let you control the brightness and colour temperature.

Soft, warm lighting can create a cozy, inviting atmosphere, while cooler, brighter lights might be better for more intense workouts.

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