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Pilates FAQ

Breath & Body Wellness

Frequently Asked Pilates Questions

Hopefully any questions you may have will be answered here, but if not, please ask!

What's the difference between Pilates & Yoga?

As they are practiced today, Pilates and Yoga both offer numerous benefits for overall health and wellness.  They both focus on developing strength, flexibility, control, endurance and connectivity to the body as a whole.  They both also have a strong connection to breath work.

The most basic difference is the emphasis on the spiritual or meditative aspect that is found in Yoga.  While both disciplines encourage body awareness and connectivity to the whole, Pilates is focused more in the physical realm.  Yoga is a holistic discipline that originated in ancient India as a spiritual philosophy and works towards uniting mind, body, and spirit.  Pilates, on the other hand, was developed in the early 20th century by anatomist and inventor, Joseph Pilates, who called his physical system of fitness “Contrology”.  It is a system of specific exercises aimed at improving flexibility, posture, and strength through the development of a strong core.

A more obvious difference is the use of equipment designed by Joseph Pilates, which offers a whole other repertoire of exercises.  Spring loaded resistance based equipment like the Reformer and Pilates Chair add variety and challenge to those seeking a more fitness-focused kind of workout.  You are also much more likely to use props in a Pilates class (ball, resistance bands, magic circle, etc.).  This makes it natural and easy to fuse the Pilates method of exercise with other modern variations such as Barre, etc.

Are grip socks required?

Non-skid or grip socks are strongly encouraged for all classes, but only certain classes require them for safety reasons.  Regardless of whether or not you have worn socks in class, take care that you thoroughly wipe down all equipment used so that it is clean, sanitized, and ready for the next class participant.

What is a Reformer?

The Reformer is an awesome invention developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 1900’s.  It’s shaped kind of like a bed.  It has a sliding carriage, ropes, pulleys, and springs with various levels of resistance that change the amount of challenge or support as needed by the practitioner.  You can lay, sit, kneel or stand on it to enjoy a wide variety of exercises that improve your core strength, balance, flexibility, musculature, and more.

During World War I, the British sent Joseph Pilates and other German citizens to an internment camp.  While interned, Pilates worked with injured soldiers to help with their rehabilitation.  He attached springs to their hospital beds, which provided a way for them to exercise in a supported and modified manner as necessitated by their injuries.  This was the beginning of the Pilates method and the various pieces of equipment now used in Pilates studios around the world. 

How many classes should I take each week?

Obviously the more frequently you do Pilates, the more quickly you will see and feel the results of your efforts.  A consistent practice of 2-3 times per week is encouraged, however, you know best what kind of commitment you can make to your practice. 

Should I sign up for a monthly membership or buy packages?

This depends largely on your lifestyle and schedule.  If you travel a lot or like to change up your exercise routine regularly, then a package might make more sense for you as the credits remain active for a year from the purchase date.  This allows you to use them as frequently as you wish without worrying about them expiring anytime soon.

If, however, you are committed to coming to Pilates classes on a consistent basis each month, then the monthly auto-pay membership is a good way to go.  The memberships are designed to provide you with credits to match your practice (i.e. An 8 credit membership accommodates a 2x/week Pilates practice.).  The credits for memberships do expire at the end of the month if you don’t use them (i.e. They don’t roll over month to month.), but this is a great way to maintain consistency in your exercise regimen.