Frequently Asked Questions
Some of the most commonly asked questions about Pilates & our studio
View a selection of the most commonly asked questions about Pilates with Pippa Wylde Pilates
There are different options to consider when you decide to begin your Pilates programme. To achieve the best results we recommend a minimum of two sessions per week, although it is also possible to attend once per week at the studio combined with practising once or twice a week at home.
The more you practice the quicker your progress and the sooner you will begin to see and feel real results.
The speed of results will quite naturally vary from person to person and will be dependant upon your commitment to an effective and regularly attended Pilates programme. Your overall level of health and fitness are a result of genetics, lifestyle habits and your current physical condition and all of those factors will contribute to just how quickly you can expect to see results.
An average, reasonably active person taking part in two or three Pilates sessions per week (split between studio and home) could reasonably expect to see results within three to four weeks. Clearly, the more you practice then the greater the potential rewards.
By successfully completing the Pilates beginners course and moving on through the Intermediate to the Advanced stage Pilates programme you can be assured that your continual improvement will be monitored and recorded and could only have been achieved as a direct result of a higher level of fitness, commitment and overall understanding of the ‘Pilates Method’ and its ultimate benefits.
Joseph H Pilates once stated:
“In ten sessions you’ll feel the difference, in twenty, you’ll see the difference and in thirty you’ll have a new body”
In reality, this depends entirely upon you and your commitment and level of dedication to Pilates!
Ideally, your clothing should allow the alignment of the body to be clearly seen by your instructor. It should also of course be comfortable and able to stretch with your body movements and ideally should not be too loose fitting. Leggings, shorts and t-shirts are all suitable for this type of activity. Exercises are carried out in bare feet (for safety) or socks if preferred. Footwear, in the form of trainers etc, is not worn. If in doubt the studio is always happy to advise on what to wear.
Studio session sizes depend upon the Pilates stage that you are at and also upon your chosen method of instruction. It is possible to have private one to one or semi-private one to two / three instruction, and indeed this is the ideal way to learn and to obtain the maximum benefit and value from Pilates classes. Alternatively, you may choose to be part of larger group sessions where the numbers would be strictly limited to a maximum of eight persons.
Pilates is relatively straightforward and easy to learn. If you are starting as a complete beginner to Pilates then there are four stages that require to be completed on your way to becoming truly proficient in the ways of the ‘Pilates Method’. Progress from stage to stage will be dependent upon your general health and fitness levels and most importantly, your commitment to the Pilates programme.
The four stages are as follows:
- Assessment > Beginner > Intermediate > Advanced
In order to offer the best possible health and fitness regime we have aligned our classes to the ‘Body-Control’ Pilates method that centres around eight basic Pilates principles that are as follows:
- Flowing Movement
The ‘Body-Control Pilates Association’ is Europe’s foremost professional Pilates organisation with over 800 teaching members spread throughout the UK and Europe. Exercises, based upon the above Pilates principles, will be designed by your instructor to meet your individual needs and personal fitness levels.
Many Pilates professionals believe that the ‘Pilates Method’ should be taught ‘one-to-one’ utilising specially designed resistance equipment such as the Reformer and Trapeze etc to name only a few. It can of course also be taught in larger groups (see Item 4 above) using purely mat-based exercises. For mat-based exercise we believe that the class size should be no larger than 8 persons for maximum client benefit, although our own limit on clients taking part in Pilates exercises is six persons.
Pilates if practised with more than one person, should not be about competing with others, although this is indeed a common situation in large classes where everyone carries out the same exercise routine ‘in-sync’. Our own teaching philosophy is to treat our clients as individuals allowing them to progress at a rate that suits their own abilities and fitness levels. We’re all different!!
Our studio sessions where up to 6 persons take part, are intended to provide a completely peaceful atmosphere where you can concentrate on the movements of your own body. Basic mat-based exercises do not require any special equipment and once you have learned and understood them, they can be performed almost anywhere.
In addition to developing a strong, centred and well-balanced body, Pilates more specifically tones and strengthens deeper abdominal muscles and improves support of the lower back. It also relaxes tensed neck and shoulder muscles, increases overall flexibility and improves body alignment.
Correct postural alignment and a reduced risk of injury are just two of the main benefits of this technique although you can also expect an increase in body flexibility, mobility, balance, and body-awareness as well as a decrease in back and other more general pains.
As with all types of fitness regimes, persons with specific medical conditions or injuries such as osteoporosis, back pain, pregnancy, arthritis and tendonitis should consult their physician and obtain written guidance from them before taking part in this type of activity. Exercises can be modified to accommodate many medical conditions and indeed Pilates has long been considered by many medical practitioners (in particular Physiotherapists and Osteopaths) to be positively beneficial as an aid to recovery.
Our studio is fortunate to have been chosen by several local consultants as a professional Pilates centre where those suffering or recuperating from illness or injury can come and undertake closely supervised Pilates exercise.
Pilates can be practised by people of all ages, from the very young to the very old and at any level of fitness. Today, Pilates is used not only by dancers, athletes, sports stars (and a host of well-known celebrities) wishing to improve performance and reduce injuries but also by young and old alike striving for differing levels of physical fitness, balance and/or rehabilitation.
Because of the wide range of exercises available to suit all levels of fitness and mobility, everyone can enjoy the benefits of this form of activity.
Yes. There are many other ‘Pilates-style’ options available to you that may initially seem better value (less costly), possibly because they also offer additional facilities such as dance, step, yoga, spinning, weight training, gym, swimming etc, that are only available by joining your local leisure or sports centre. Unfortunately, very few employ permanent fully qualified Pilates instructors (see 3 above) who have been specifically trained and certificated and hold recognized qualifications to teach this exacting discipline on mat and/or professional Pilates resistance machines. The ‘Body Control Pilates Association’ is probably the largest and most respected single ‘governing body’ for professional Pilates instructors in Europe and you should check their register (see our links page for other organizations) for suitably qualified instructors in your area.
With Pilates class sizes at leisure and sports centres typically aimed at around 20 persons, the quality of instruction, personal client attention and resultant benefits of correctly taught Pilates are unlikely ever to be realised. Due to the ‘revolving’ nature of some activities in leisure and sports centres, Pilates is generally limited to matwork classes with no access to large, permanent resistance apparatus such as the Studio Reformer, Trapeze, Cadillac, Wunda Chair etc to name only a few pieces of equipment that only a ‘true’, dedicated professional Pilates studio is likely to have available for it’s clients. Permanent Pilates studios incorporating large-scale professional resistance equipment are rarely located in leisure or sports centres.
An amount of (possibly) deserved negative publicity has been aimed at the growing ‘Pilates-style’ industry that deals in large class sizes and employs untrained and/or unqualified and uninsured ‘Pilates instructors’. This end of the market is unfortunately geared more to profitability through larger class sizes with high instructor to client ratios than it is in offering genuine client value.
In short, you only get what you pay for!
The cost of Pilates (in general terms) depends entirely upon which method of instruction you decide upon. Introductory beginners courses (five sessions) are available for those who are completely new to machine-based Pilates. This price remains the same for normal studio sessions which most beginners ‘feed’ into once they have learned and have become more confident in the initial basic Pilates movements. Private and semi-private sessions are also available and whilst considerably more expensive, they are designed to help clients progress at a much faster rate. Some clients quite simply prefer to be taught on their own (one-to-one) and to have the instructor completely to themselves.
Please speak to the studio who will provide a detailed breakdown of costs and discounts where applicable.
By choosing Pippa Wylde Pilates you can rest assured that you have chosen a fully qualified (in both matwork and Studio Reformer), trained and comprehensively insured professional Pilates instructor with an enviable track record in both classical ballet and Pilates exercise. Currently, there are very few professional instructors in the UK who have not only a recognised qualification (certificated by the ‘Body Control Pilates Association’ or the ‘Pilates Foundation’) to teach large-scale Pilates resistance equipment, but who can also offer their clients permanent and dedicated studio facilities.
Cardio Pulminary Resuscitation (CPR) certification is also a ‘standard’ part of a Pippa’s training, without which insurance cover would not be possible.
Session sizes are currently strictly limited to six persons in order to ensure that you receive the maximum amount of attention when working with Pippa. The smaller the class, the quicker the learning cycle and therefore the greater the benefits.
From your initial assessment and essential ‘Health Screening’ all of the way through to successfully reaching an advanced level of competence in Pilates, you can be sure that your progress has been closely monitored and recorded by the studio at all stages and was the direct result of a combination of individual effort and high-quality professional instruction.
The years of experience, dedication and discipline that Pippa brings from her time spent with the London Royal Ballet Company to her Pilates teaching should further re-assure you that you have chosen wisely.
Undoubtedly, the resistance equipment (Studio Reformer, Trapeze, Wunda Chair etc) used in Pilates work is unique and has been specifically designed to strengthen, lengthen, balance, tone and relax the user. Unlike traditional methods of training and body development that tends to produce short bulky muscles (the types that are most prone to injury), Pilates resistance equipment elongates the spine, increasing the elasticity of muscles and the flexibility of the joints. This balance between strength and flexibility dramatically reduces the likelihood of injury in sports and everyday life.
The ‘Pilates Method’ is a body conditioning and postural alignment exercise technique that uses a combination of matwork, Pilates-styled resistance equipment and free weights to help develop a strong, centred and well-balanced body. Joseph Pilates developed the original methods and equipment back in the 1920’s, adopting various aspects of gymnastics, martial arts, dance and yoga.
Today, the ‘Pilates Method’ encompasses more than 500 carefully controlled, precise movements that have been specifically designed to stretch and strengthen muscles without adding bulk. The technique requires a reasonable degree of concentration, working on both body and mind with a clear focus on ‘core’ muscles (mainly the abdomen, back and buttocks) combined with deep, coordinated breathing.