What exactly is Pilates?
Pilates is a system of over 500 controlled exercises that engage the mind and condition the total body. It is a balanced blend of strength and flexibility training that improves posture, reduces stress and creates long, lean muscles without bulking up. Pilates is functional, working several muscle groups simultaneously through smooth, continuous motion, with a particular concentration on strengthening and stabilizing the core (the abdomen, back and pelvic girdle region, sometimes referred to as the “powerhouse”).
The focus is on quality of movement rather than quantity, which makes one feel invigorated rather than exhausted after a session. Pilates takes a balanced approach so that no muscle group is overworked and the body works as an efficient, holistic system in sport and daily activity. Pilates exercises can be performed on a mat or on specialized equipment such as the Reformer, Cadillac, Ladder Barrel, Wunda Chair and other small apparatus, like the foam roller, magic circle, etc.
Can anyone do Pilates?
Pilates is beneficial for people of all ages, fitness levels and body conditions. The method is like a bridge between physical fitness and physical therapy, and can be adapted, modified and customized for individual needs. Some advanced moves and sequences will challenge the most elite athlete and yet others are manageable for even the frailest physique.
What should I wear?
Wear comfortable clothing that you can move freely in. Appropriate attire includes clothing you're able to move freely in, but is form-fitting enough for your instructor to see your body alignment.
If you choose to wear loose shorts, it is recommended that you wear a pair of spandex shorts underneath, as many of the positions on the reformer have clients on their backs with their legs higher than their hips. Socks are required (grippy socks are best). Please remove makeup or use a small towel for lying on the head cushions and wash sunscreen off as certain moisturisers can stain the Reformers.
How often do I need to do Pilates to see results?
We recommend Pilates be practiced 2-3 times per week in order to see results.
When will I notice results?
A famous quote by Joseph Pilates states: “In 10 classes you will feel the difference, In 20 classes you will see the difference, and in 30 classes you will have a whole new body.” It is also important to maintain a proper diet and engage in other activities such as cardio.
If I am new to the studio, do I have to complete a first time introduction?
Yes. The introduction session allows a new client to work one on one with the instructor and discuss their goals and needs. If a client has injuries or chronic pain it is important to understand modifications and the fundamental principles of the method. It also allows the instructor to assess your ability level, postural type, identify muscle imbalance and make recommendations on appropriate next steps for progression. Private Introductory Sessions are scheduled by appointment
What are the benefits of Pilates?
With regular committed Pilates workouts you can expect to:
- Improve strength, flexibility and balance
- Tone and build long, lean muscles without bulk
- Challenge deep abdominal muscles to support the core
- Engage the mind and enhance body awareness
- Condition efficient patterns of movement making the body less prone to injury
- Reduce stress, relieve tension, boost energy through deep stretching
- Restore postural alignment
- Create a stronger, more flexible spine
- Promote recovery from strain or injury
- Increase joint range of motion
- Improve circulation
- Heighten neuromuscular coordination
- Offer relief from back pain and joint stress
- Correct over-training of muscle groups which can lead to stress and injury
- Enhance mobility, agility and stamina
- Compliment sports training and develop functional fitness for daily life activity
- Improve the way your body looks and feels
Can I do Pilates if I am pregnant?
There is a lot of debate on the subject of Pilates and pregnancy and exercise in general. Generally speaking, moderate exercise is safe throughout a normal, healthy pregnancy and many gentle Pilates exercises are appropriate. However, keep the following cautions in mind. As a rule of thumb, doctors recommend not starting a brand new exercise regimen in the first trimester.
- Do not over-exert the abdominal muscles to avoid diastasis recti (separation of the abdominal muscles).
- Take care of you lower back, which can be strained with the weight of the fetus.
- Be cautious with exercises that require you to lie on your back. It is advised that women in the second trimester of pregnancy against doing any exercises that require this position as it can compromise the vascular system of both the mother and fetus.
- Do not over-stretch, as relaxin and progesterone levels increase during pregnancy causing the ligaments around the joints to become lax, loose and vulnerable.
- Be aware that your center of gravity and therefore your sense of balance has changed.
That being said, many gentle stretching and strengthening Pilates exercises can be very beneficial for a woman’s body and mind during pregnancy. Some mat exercises can be adapted from a supine (back lying) to a sitting position. Other exercises for the mat, Reformer can be performed in a kneeling or standing position. The Wunda Chair can be a useful piece of Pilates apparatus during pregnancy as well, as many moves are performed in while sitting upright.
It is recommend waiting until at least 6 weeks post-partum before returning after birth. Please note we require you to have clearance by your doctor before attending. We care about you and your baby so please listen to your body and look after yourself. Please advise of pregnancy prior to session. It is the instructiors discretion to refuse participation.