Q: What can I expect to be doing in a Pilates session?
Working to your individual level we will have you moving your body in focused and controlled exercises. Using gravity, your own body weight and sometimes hand held equipment, you will stretch and strengthen your limbs and trunk. We work sitting, standing or lying on a padded mat on the floor so as to be safe, supported and able to concentrate on specific parts of the body. Some work is done standing and in every session we spend some time improving your balance, giving you a new strength and control over your body in whatever your lifestyle requires.
Q: What is the difference between Yoga and Pilates?
Some people feel that Pilates and Yoga look very similar. Others will say that they are entirely different. Both can be highly effective. Some people prefer one to the other, others love both.
Developed in India, Yoga is a psycho-physical discipline with roots going back about 5,000 years. There are several forms of Yoga, all of which focus on a series of physical postures, breathing exercises and meditation. The benefits of Yoga include improved physical fitness, mental clarity, greater self-understanding, stress control and general well-being. Spirituality is also a strong underlying theme to most Yoga practices.
Joseph Pilates was a big fan of Yoga, and borrowed from it and expanded on many effective Yoga exercises. Modern medical and scientific research has been applied to these inspirational exercises as well as all the other influences which Joseph Pilates drew upon. The result is today’s Pilates Method, a modern, relevant and accessible form of exercise which everybody can benefit from.
In Yoga the postures tend to be held static for a period of time, whereas in Pilates, the dynamic challenge of moving in and out of a position gives dynamic strength and flexibility in movement.
Q: Why is it important that my instructor is properly qualified? How do I check?
Since the explosion in popularity of Pilates, many training providers have jumped on the bandwagon to offer short duration, low cost Pilates and ‘Pilates based’ courses.
An in-depth understating of the Pilates Method, human movement, coupled with appropriate insurance and safe teaching practices is vital for your safety. Therefore you must be sure that your instructor is of the highest calibre.
The Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) is the only government backed regulatory body of Pilates teachers in the UK. Visit their website www.exerciseregister.co.uk to confirm that your instructor is adequately qualified as a Level 3 Pilates Instructor.
Q: What should I wear to Pilates?
Loose, comfortable clothing which will not hinder your movement are best. Most people wear sports leggings or tracksuit bottoms and a t-shirt. Socks are optional.
Q: Can I simply join a Group Mat class?
Sometimes people join an existing class as they have previous Pilates experience or they have done enough 1:1 training to be able to fit in to the programme with ease. The number of 1:1 sessions required will vary, and your instructor can gauge this at the very first session.
Because Pilates is a very specific exercise method, and your personal movements and requirements are unique, we require anyone wishing to join an existing group class to have completed at least one session of 1:1 training.
Q: Which is more effective, Group Classes at or 1:1 sessions?
Both class types are working you towards the same goal: a stronger, healthier, more supple body and relaxed mind. Here are some of the benefits of each.
· 1:1 sessions are more flexible and can be booked at any time that suits your own schedule.You get your instructor’s undivided attention.
· We can even create your own personalised programme which you can follow at home. With regular updates this is a great way to see progression and improvements.
· In the 1:1 session we can be more specific to your individual goals, sport requirements or injury rehabilitation.
· Many people who attend group classes also have a regular 1:1 session as they find it sharpens up their personal understanding of the training.
· Group Classes are more general sessions, designed to advance the group at a comfortable pace towards the Classical routine.
· You pay less for a group class.
· Group classes are at set times, encouraging a routine training programme.
· Our small class size allows the instructor close contact with each and every individual.
· Class sizes are restricted to 12 participants, and everyone in your class will be of a similar level. Everyone will feel challenged yet completely capable at the same time. It is a great way to have a regular time to come and practice in a social and comfortable setting.
Q: How often should I attend classes?
The great masters advocate daily Pilates, and suggest three good sessions per week are a minimum. However we have seen life changing results in even a single one-off session. Many people find attending our Matwork classes once a week makes a big difference to their posture and well-being. We do not expect that you should commit all your daily energy to living the Pilates lifestyle. However, by simply applying some of the techniques some of the time, whether in training or general life, you will find yourself in a stronger, more supple, and more capable body.
Q: Am I too old or unfit to do Pilates?
You are never too old to start getting fitter. Lack of fitness and injury do not need to be a hindrance either. Joseph Pilates developed resistance machines and many exercises to help injured inmates of the internment camp return to full health. All Matwork exercises can be modified or broken down to be appropriate for any condition which you might be concerned with.
Q: What should I bring to Pilates?
At Bälans we have everything you need for a challenging and interesting Pilates workout. Bring enthusiasm and a smile and we will provide the rest.
Everybody can benefit from applying a little Pilates to their life today!