About Pilates

What is Pilates?

Pilates (pronounced Pil-LAH-tees) is a system of body/mind development named after its inventor, Joseph H. Pilates. More than exercise, Pilates is an integrated approach to movement that, when correctly performed, uniformly develops the body. The method's exercises safely develop strength, flexibility and endurance, without adding the bulk that often results from conventional exercises.

What are the Benefits of Pilates?

   • Longer, leaner muscles
   • Improves postural problems
   • Increases core strength/stability
   • Helps prevent injury
   • Enhances functional fitness
   • Balances strength and flexibility
   • Heightens body awareness
   • No-impact (easy on joints)
   • Can be customized for everyone from rehab patients to elite athletes
   • Complements other methods of exercise
   • Improves performance in sports / dance
   • Improves balance, coordination, circulation

How is Pilates different from yoga and other types of exercise?

Though some Pilates exercises are similar to yoga, Pilates does not involve holding poses. Instead, one moves through the exercise. The breathing technique used is different from that used in yoga as well. Pilates focuses on strengthening the deep stabilizing postural muscles.

What is the difference between Mat work and Apparatus work?

Both systems use the Pilates method and follow the same fundamental principles. In mat work your main resistance is the weight of your own body. On the apparatus you work against the weight of springs for resistance and stability. The apparatus can assist people to accomplish some of the exercises; often people will find the mat work more challenging. However, there are basic and advanced-level exercises in both the mat work and apparatus series.

Which one should I start with?

You may do one without the other or both simultaneously as long as you are healthy and don't have any major injuries. If you do have injuries or chronic pain that you are unsure of how to address, it is recommended that you start with a private session before trying Mat class. Keep in mind that you will not get the same kind of individual attention in Mat classes as you do in smaller semi-private or private sessions. You can choose what style of work you prefer.

Will Pilates help me with my knee/shoulder/lower back pain?

Pilates seems to be quite effective with rehabilitation and post-rehabilitation. A Pilates workout is gentle and controlled with no sudden jarring actions. Make sure your instructor is aware of your physical limitations; an experienced instructor will be able to modify the exercises to accommodate your limitations, continually challenge you and monitor your improvements. If you commit to a consistent workout schedule you will certainly feel results. Always check with your physician before starting any fitness or rehabilitation program.

Will it help me lose weight?

Pilates strengthens your muscles and does burn calories, but it is not aerobic. However, some clients report that their shape changes as their posture improves and muscle tone increases; as a result they appear thinner.

Who can do Pilates?

Almost everyone. Our clients range from 16-year-old dancers to adults in their 70's; injured and fit. Pilates can be modified to fit just about any client. Many athletes as well as PNB Company dancers fit Pilates into their fitness routine to enhance performance and gain/maintain strength when injured. Note: If you are pregnant, you should not begin any new type of exercise program without your doctor's consent. Then, with a careful approach and qualified instructor, you can strengthen muscles.

Can't I learn and do Pilates on my own?

Yes, there are many good books and videos available for home learning. However, these resources have one limitation in common: they can't give you feedback concerning your performance of the exercises. We recommend getting started with a Mat class or a few private sessions before practicing Pilates at home.

How often should I do Pilates?

As with any physical fitness program, 2–3 sessions per week is ideal to really see and feel the results quickly. Some people do more or less or supplement apparatus sessions with mat classes. Some clients do one session per week and feel results.

What should I wear?

Wear comfortable fitted or loose clothing that allows you to move easily. No shoes. Longer shorts or pants are preferable.

What is the difference between Private & Semi-Private Sessions?

New clients must begin with private sessions (even if you have done Pilates at another studio, you need to start with at least one private session). In private sessions the instructor will gear your workout to what your specific goals are and what is best suited for your body. After your private session(s), the instructor will decide when the client is ready to switch into a semi-private session. Most clients are ready for semi-private sessions after 5-10 privates and with the instructor's okay. In semi-private sessions, one instructor works with 2–4 clients and clients will generally do the same routine with modifications for individuals as needed.

Cancellation Policy / Multi-session expiration dates

24 hours notice must be given in order to cancel a session without having to pay. Multi-session packages expire 180 days (6 months) from the date of issue. Sessions are non-transferable and non-refundable.

© 2015 Pacific Northwest Ballet. All Rights Reserved.