Those of you who know my Pilates story have already heard that my first years of Pilates were only mat Pilates classes. I rearranged my entire work schedule so I could take class five days a week! I was obsessed with getting in my Pilates workout. I had no idea what other types of Pilates classes were out there and this was pre-working out online.
Now, over a decade later there are so many ways you can practice Pilates. You can take a group class or private and then there is group reformer, mat, tower classes, chair classes and multi-level mixed equipment classes!
But, if you are just dipping your toes into Pilates for the first time where do you start? What classes or types of Pilates are best for you?
First, I believe everyone should have a few private Pilates sessions before jumping into any group classes if at all possible. Pilates is so easy to look right but to be actually fully connected takes a little more time and a great teacher. It’s hard to know if you are doing Pilates correctly. So, having the one-on-one attention (at least in the beginning) is essential for feeling the benefits of Pilates sooner.
Private Pilates sessions are great for everyone! Especially if you have a tricky schedule. Classes are usually scheduled when a lot of people can come. If you need to have Pilates fit your schedule consider Private Pilates sessions. Also, if you have a hard time following directions, need more personal attention, are recovering from an injury or have specific goals in mind consider Private sessions. You can have an instructor come to your house, teach you online or go to their studio for these. While they are more expensive than classes they may be just right for what you need!
Group classes can be a great way to supplement your Private Pilates sessions. And, they are also a more cost-effective way of getting more Pilates in your body! Group mat classes are often easy to find at your local gym or yoga studio. Typically all you need is to bring your mat and they will supply some props. Other group classes that are sometimes more expensive than a mat class and are limited in size include Group Reformer, tower, and chair classes. The downsides to these classes is that they are not designed for your bodies goals and needs. And you will need to work your life around the class schedule.
Online Pilates classes are super awesome and easy way to get more Pilates in your life. I have weekly online mat classes for $5/week. And, Pilates Anytime has mat and equipment workouts for $18/month (use LLOGAN for a 30-day trial). You can skip the excuses of not having the time to get to a studio or maybe there just isn’t a studio nearby. Wherever you are your Pilates practice can go with you when you take the class online.
When you are doing your search keep in mind that ideally, you would do Pilates a few times a week. So, if you can find a mat class and a reformer class that fits your schedule try to snag a Private session to experience the Cadillac/Tower, chairs and barrels. Or, if all you can find are Reformer and Chair classes then be sure to join me each week for an online mat class.
What’s your Pilates workout preference? Group or Private? Do you like the equipment more than the mat?
Let me know your favorite way to practice Pilates in the comments.