Would you rather show off or hide out during Pilates class?

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In a Czech Pilates class, you walk in, pay, unroll your mat and grab a sheet with two holes cut out for the eyes.

Okay, fine, the last part isn’t true. But if it weren’t completely bizarre, Czech people would mayyyyybe kinda love to cover themselves with a personal curtain during class.

We hate attention. Cringe at the thought of someone stealing a glance during pelvic curls. You looking at these words even stings a little.

Okay, direct your burning laser eyes onto this for a minute:

Finding Balance Blog

Americans have straight up elbowed me to get to the front of the class, shimmy a top off over their heads and reveal a sports bras with 42 interlocking neon straps. Contour’s on point, lipstick in place. Sweat’s already beading on her abs and it’s 85% composed of cold brew.

These Americans are PUMPED. They loooove being seen.

I respect it, even if it’s so not me. If I bring glow sticks for everyone next class, I’ll be the most popular girl in school. Strobe lights you can attach to your bra straps? Lululemon probably sells them.

Okay, maybe these are stereotypes gone awry in my mind. But you’ve got to understand, coming from classes in Prague, the contrast is real.

Back home, class is more awkward than middle school gym, when our severely socialist teacher forced athletic uniforms on us. The building blocks of a class-free society: extremely high-cut shorts with an elastic band that leaves a red circle around your waist.

pilates class gear

How are my feet not permanently damaged by these shoes? Arch support, please…

At the after-work Czech Pilates class, everyone’s desperate to hide.

Most are just there to get some obligatory movement in after work. If the teacher acknowledges them, they just get really still, stare at the floor and hope they’ve ceased to exist somehow.

We’re a modest people. We can’t help it. That’s why, I’m telling you—a ghost sheet might calm everyone down. So, I’m announcing my international, two-pronged business venture: strobe lights bra attachments for the U.S., sheets with two hole punches for Prague. 😉 Where my investors at?

My favorite part of American Pilates classes, though, is the curiosity the students have.

Even though I think my lovely New Yorkers need to slow down, take a breath and make sure they’re using the right muscles before they hurt themselves, I love the gung-ho, ready to try anything attitude that I so often see.

People want to learn about their bodies. Have fun in their bodies. Play a little. And yes, show off some, too. And what’s wrong with that?

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