"Judge your success by what you had to give up to achieve it" –Steven Covey


What are the benefits of Pilates?
A longer, leaner and more toned body, increased strength and flexibility, better posture and balance, good core stability, improved circulation, ease of movement, increased body awareness, release of tension, stress and fatigue to name just a few!

How does Pilates differ from Yoga?
Yoga is a holistic spiritual discipline. The aim is to keep the body supple through movement and stretching but ultimately the focus is on the mind. The goal of yoga is to create a state of balance and composure in life through the movements and flow of energy through the body. Yoga focuses on strength of the external mobilizing muscles and flexibility. Pilates, on the other hand, is physical conditioning first and foremost. While Pilates is also very concerned with flexibility, the focus is on the internal, postural muscles. There is no spiritual element to Pilates. However, I do consider it a mind body technique as it is about gaining mastery of your body through absolute focus of the mind. The other big difference between the two is the breathing. Yoga practices breathing into the abdominals whereas Pilates involves breathing into the thoracic spine primarily into the back and sides of the lungs (the posterior-lateral breath).

What should I wear?
Something comfortable you can move in. I will need to be able to see your body and alignment so nothing too loose. Ideally, leggings or yoga pants and a t-shirt or tank for ladies, shorts or yoga pants and t-shirt for men. No sneakers. Pilates is done in bare feet or socks.

Can men do Pilates?
Of course. Joseph Pilates, the originator of the Method, was a man. It is a shame that over the years Pilates has largely become the province of women. I believe we should be working to correct posture and alignment and bring more awareness to the core stabilization muscles. Pilates exercises are a great enhancement to any workout regime and complimentary to many sports such as golf, tennis, and rowing. In fact, many top athletes are now making Pilates an integral part of their fitness program to improve their performance and keep their bodies strong, supple and injury free.

Can I do Pilates if I'm pregnant?
Pilates is one of the best forms of exercise for pregnant women. Core stability exercises help strengthen deep postural muscles to help you carry the baby's weight and alleviate back/joint strain. Pelvic floor exercises are essential to prepare you for the rigors of labor and aid in a speedy postnatal recovery. The exercise will help maintain your posture as your body changes during pregnancy, it will increase the length of the spine creating more space for your baby to grow and it will also rev up the circulatory and lymphatic systems to keep you and your baby healthy. Exercises need to be specifically adapted, therefore, you need to attend a small group class or arrange private one-on-one session.

Am I too old to start Pilates?
Never. I have clients ranging from 25 to 80 and the great thing about Pilates is it can be modified to suit any age or fitness level for all to reap the benefits. To quote the man himself:

If at the age of 30 you are stiff and out of shape, you are old. If at 60 you are supple and strong then you are young." Joseph Pilates

Can I do Pilates if I have a back/neck injury?
It depends on the severity of the problem. If you have a serious injury/back condition I may ask to consult with your physician to determine if you are ready to exercise or if you need private sessions before joining a group class. Pilates works to strengthen the core muscles and bring the body back into correct alignment therefore helping to alleviate problems and prevent injury. Many physiotherapists and osteopaths do recommend it.

I'm very fit, can I join the advanced class?
Definitely not. Pilates is very specific and regardless of fitness levels, everybody needs to start at the beginning. Performed incorrectly Pilates is at best, ineffective and at worst, dangerous. It is therefore important that you start with the basic core principles to gain an understanding of the Method and gradually build up to the more advanced level.

How long before I see and feel a difference?
The question on everyone's minds! And an impossible one to answer. There are many factors to consider: your physical make up, any past injuries, how often you practice. The first thing people usually notice after 8 to 10 sessions is an improvement in their self awareness and posture. As you progress you will improve your flexibility and may notice fewer aches and pains. As you move on to the more challenging exercises you will start to build strength and muscle tone. Pilates does works, but it takes focus, commitment, and most importantly patience!.

When can I start?
Contact me...TODAY!

Pilates with Julietta™ · webmaster The ActionDiva™ © 2011, all rights reserved · Photos by Monte Isom