Naked Pilates is no different from regular Pilates, except for the lack of clothing that could get in the way of perfect form. Without clothes, you'll be sure you're focusing on the correct muscles, and you'll be less restricted in your movement. Finding a class could prove difficult, as there are a few disadvantages to doing nude Pilates in a classroom setting. However, there are several DVDs that can guide you in your practice at home.
Finding a Nude Pilates Class
Not all towns will have a Pilates class you can do in the nude. Attendance becomes an issue for studios that try to start them because not everyone is comfortable exercising naked, especially not in front of others. If your local Pilates studio doesn't have a naked Pilates class, you could give them a call and suggest it.
Start Your Search
To locate Pilates classes of any type, try Wellness.com. You can narrow your results down to the studios that may be open to the idea of nude Pilates classes.
Practicing at Home
Practicing naked Pilates at home is a good first step, regardless of your reasons for wanting to do it. Follow along with any DVD or even YouTube Pilates workouts.
There are indeed some naked Pilates videos, but streaming classes online is more convenient. Naked in Motion offers online classes, and though the majority of their nude classes are yoga-based, some Pilates classes are available. They also offer one-on-one Skype sessions as well as audio recordings of their classes.
Regular Pilates Videos for Nude Practice
Another option is to use regular Pilates DVDs that are well suited to nude practice:
- 10 Minute Solution: Rapid Results Pilates: This is a series of 10-minute Pilates workouts that promise to tone up your body in no time.
- Exhale: Core Fusion - Pilates Plus: Part of the well known Exhale: Core Fusion series, this Pilates DVD is called the "Best Fusion Class" by New York magazine and is said to, "tone you from head to toe" by Prevention magazine.
- Pilates for Beginners and Beyond: Suitable for beginners, inflexible people, and just about anyone else, this DVD set can be done at home clothed or naked.
Benefits of Naked Pilates
Focusing on specific core muscles is a characteristic of practicing Pilates, and it becomes easier when clothes aren't in the way.
Perfecting Your Form
A loose t-shirt won't allow you or your teacher to tell if your abs are contracted as tightly as they should be. Shorts or sweatpants won't let you see the muscles in your butt and legs working, and you may not push as hard as you could in order to achieve that perfect limb placement as you work out. It's much easier to compare your form to that of the instructor's when you're nude. Once you've gotten the form down, even if you've just been working out with DVDs at home, your muscles will remember how it should feel.
Clothes Won't Get in the Way
In some cases, clothes get in the way. They're distracting because of the loose fabric hanging down, bunching up under you, or just riding up into uncomfortable positions. Sometimes they may not even allow you the freedom of movement you need in order to perform the Pilates moves you need to do. Not everyone wants to purchase special workout attire to do workouts at home, and doing Pilates in the nude will give you the best of both worlds.
Endurance Could Increase
Have you ever stopped exercising because you just felt like you were overheating? Wearing clothes when you work out can make you quit more quickly, simply because you're too hot, too sweaty, and just can't take it anymore. Stripping down to nothing before doing Pilates will allow your body to stay cool longer. Of course you may want to look for a moisture-wicking yoga mat towel so the sweat from your body won't accumulate on the slick surface of the mat, making it too slippery and sticky to use comfortably. Practicing on a mat without the towel could defeat the purpose, making you feel sweatier and stickier more quickly than wearing clothes would.
Disadvantages to Nude Pilates
Nude Pilates isn't for everyone, and can certainly take some getting used to.
Not everyone will feel comfortable baring all in front of their classmates, even in a private studio where no one else can see into the classroom. Some may even feel embarrassed working out in the nude at home when they're alone. Taking a new class, even clothed, can create anxiety. Attendees may worry that they'll fall down, drop a weight, get injured, or simply look silly. Going without clothing while learning new moves may just be too much to handle for some people.
Tips to Overcome Embarrassment
If you're interested in taking a Pilates class in the nude but you feel too embarrassed, start out by doing a selection of Pilates DVDs or online videos naked at home to take some of the questions out of the situation. Then you'll only have to deal with the anxiety related to nudity. Once everyone's in the class and you realize no body is perfect, you'll most likely start to relax and enjoy the class.
You will need to take your own mat and towel to a naked Pilates class, since there's nothing between the body and the mat or towel. Of course, even in clothed Pilates classes, the shared mats should be cleaned routinely. They aren't always cleaned after each class, however, and picking up a mat a naked stranger just used could prove too risky for your health.
Sometimes it's nice to have a little support for the genitals or breasts when you're working out. Even low-impact exercises like Pilates could cause discomfort when those areas repeatedly come into contact with the mat or move around during the workout more than you're used to. You could also get the feeling that they're in the way when you're trying to do certain Pilates moves. If this becomes an issue, try a sports bra and/or snug (but not tight) shorts, capris, or pants.
Could Nude Pilates Be for You?
Naked Pilates may be what you need if you're having trouble achieving the correct form, feel uncomfortable and unmotivated in your clothes when you're trying to work out, or just like to feel more in touch with what your body can do. The exercises are relatively low-impact, so support is not as much of an issue as it would be during other types of routines. Whether you're too shy to attend a nude Pilates class or not, you can still reap the benefits of working out in the buff.