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What is Pilates?

Pilates is an exercise system developed by Joseph Pilates over 80 years ago. It focuses on engaging the mind with the body to create exercises that involve the entire body. Every exercise is performed with attention to the breath, proper form and efficient movement patterns. Pilates strengthens the core muscles, improves balance, increases coordination and decreases stress. The exercises are low-impact and are appropriate for anyone, from ages 10 to 100. Pilates focuses on learning to move better so the benefits are felt in everyday life. Pilates continues to grow and evolve to meet the needs of anyone wanting to improve their ability to move with strength, ease and grace. Part of the reason it has become such a popular mode of exercise is that it is customizable to fit a person’s health and goals, regardless of one’s age, gender, health status and fitness level.

What should I know before visiting the studio?
We REQUIRE you to wear grippy socks. You can bring your own or we have them available for sale at our studio. This rule is for your own safety and hygienic reasons.
Please wear appropriate workout wear. No overly loose clothing. Wear clothes where you can move freely without any accidental “wardrobe malfunction.” Men may wear shorts with compression shorts underneath.
Please avoid clothing with embellishments (zippers, studs). Such things can rip or puncture the vinyl mats or scratch the equipment.
If you have long hair, you may want to tie your hair up. This lessens any chance of your hair getting snagged in any moving parts or springs. Also, it allows the trainer to clearly view your neck position to cue proper alignment.
Pets are not permitted unless they are a licensed or certified service animals.
We welcome children over the age of 12. Our studio does not have the capabilities to accommodate younger children.
Please be open and honest about any pain or injuries. At times, we may need to touch you to correctly position you in a particular Pilates stance (which is known as “tactile cuing”) and before we do that, we will ask permission. If at any time you feel uncomfortable with being touched, please let us know.
Please arrive at least 5 to 10 minutes before your scheduled time, where we can discuss any physical issues, target areas or goals you may have. Please do not be more than 10 minutes late to class. If you show up late for your session 10 minutes or more, do not expect to have a full session, as the time will be subtracted from your allotted time. Please be mindful of our cancellation policy.
Please silence your phones during class.
Please refrain from wearing jewelry during the Pilates session, especially bracelets or necklaces. We have a place where it can be kept. Before entering the studio, please lock your car doors and remove any valuables from your vehicle. We are not responsible for any items stolen or damaged during your session.
As professionals, we aim to make our clients feel as comfortable as if they are in their own home. As trainers, we wish to feel comfortable as well, so we do not tolerate any inappropriate language or contact by our clients. If any such inappropriate language or unwanted contact occurs, the trainer will end the session immediately and all monies will be forfeited by the client.
All Pilates packages purchased are non-transferable and non-refundable. Keep in mind that Pilates packages expire in 3 months after purchase. If the client gets an injury, use of the Pilates package will be suspended up to a maximum of 6 weeks.
If a client wishes to take a photo, all parties that are present must agree to be in the photo. For proprietary reasons, videotaping of a session will not be permitted.
Who is Joseph Pilates?

The history of Pilates starts with its inventor, Joseph H. Pilates, who was born in Germany in 1883. As a child and young man, Joseph Pilates, had many health ailments (rheumatic fever, asthma and rickets). He sought to improve his health by exploring ways to improve his body and mind. He became intrigued by the classical notion of the ideal man, which combined a well-trained body with an equally well-trained intellect and mind. To improve his health, he got involved with gymnastics, yoga, boxing, wrestling, Zen meditation and martial arts. As his health improved, he moved to England and started to earn a living as a boxer and circus performer. When in England, WW1 broke out and Joseph was held in an internment camp as a resident alien on the Isle of Man. While there, Joseph took it upon himself to lead his fellow detainees in an exercise program. He was then given a job as an orderly at the camp’s hospital. He would help the patients with exercises whenever they could move. While an orderly, this led to him developing his first piece of exercise equipment by attaching springs to the bed’s frame (the first Cadillac!). Now the patients could exercise under Joseph’s supervision.

After he was released from the internment camp, he returned to Germany but then opted to move to America. While on the boat trip to America, he met his soon-to-be wife, Clara. When they arrived in New York in 1926, they rented a small studio in the same building as the New York City Ballet. He started to develop additional training equipment and collaborated with experts in dance and physical exercise. Both Joseph and Clara worked with clients from all walks of life but made a strong impression on the dance community, helping dancers overcome their injuries. This led to the development of his own comprehensive training system, known as “Contrology,” which focused on one’s strength, alignment of the spine and breathing. Joseph Pilates continued to devise a series of exercises and training techniques, developed and engineered all the equipment (e.g., the Reformer, the Cadillac, the Wunda Chair, Ladder Barrel), and taught how to properly apply his training method, all which led to what we now know as the Pilates Method. His principles for the Pilates method are as follows: Breathing; Concentration; Control; Centering; Precision; Balance Muscle Development; Rhythm/Flow; Whole Body Movement; and Relaxation.

Joseph’s studio was destroyed by fire in 1967 and he died soon after due to complications of smoke inhalation. His wife continued the work until her death in 1977. Several teachers carried on Joseph’s work and added their own voices to the work. Pilates has now become a household word thanks to the work of these first generational teachers and many others who kept his method alive.

Are Pilates and Yoga the same thing?

Although Pilates and Yoga share some similarities, Pilates and Yoga are not the same. Both practices focus on connecting the mind with the body, as well as having a focus on strengthening the core muscles. Both practices focus on proper breathing techniques, offer a low-impact form of exercise, and seek to improve mobility and overall fitness. Pilates focuses on strengthening while Yoga works on lengthening. Yoga is looked at as having more of a spiritual element, while Pilates is often seen as the more athletic of the two practices.

Yoga does not require much equipment – usually just a Yoga mat, but Pilates equipment is more extensive and integral to the practice. Pilates equipment includes the mat, the Reformer, the Cadillac, the Wunda Chair, the Ladder Barrel and other apparatus, all of which use resistance to carry out the Pilates exercises. Pilates can be quite complex and could be expensive depending on the workouts. This makes it more common for an individual to take private lessons compared to Yoga. Pilates exercises can also be greatly adapted or modified depending on the individual, which makes it more appropriate for ones who may be at an increased risk of injury or those in special populations. While Pilates and Yoga both emphasize the mind-body connection, while making sure each movement is done as precisely as possible, Pilates is more focused on physicality, muscle flexibility and strength.

I’m a beginner and the Pilates equipment seems intimidating.

There is nothing to worry about. A certified Pilates instructor will teach you the proper form and technique for using these machines and can modify the exercises which are the most beneficial to the client. This allows the certified instructor to tailor the exercises to be suitable for all ages and physical abilities. Using the Pilates equipment can help keep the Pilates workouts interesting, since this unique equipment adds variety to the workouts, which helps in motivation and assists with continuing to practice Pilates.

Do I have to be already in shape to start Pilates?

It is a complete myth that one needs to be in shape to start Pilates. Pilates is for men and women of all ages. Unless otherwise instructed by a medical professional, the Pilates fitness method is for the absolute beginner as well as serious athletes alike. The certified instructor will help the individual to proceed at their own pace, depending on their particular fitness level. Pilates is for EVERYBODY!

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