Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common questions we get asked. If you want more information, or want us to contact you directly, send us an email or give us a call. We will get back to you as soon as we finish teaching class!
What is Pilates?
The Pilates method of body conditioning is a unique system of stretching and strengthening exercises developed nearly 100 years ago by Joseph H. Pilates. It strengthens and tones the muscles, improves posture, provides flexibility and balance, unites body and mind, and creates a more streamlined shape. - Brooke Siler “The Pilates Body”
Is Pilates all I need and is it really for Everybody and Every Body?
Pilates offers great balance to any persons wellness activities, sporting pursuits or fitness regime. We encourage our clients to take part in a variety of activities that they enjoy, be it running, skiing, dance, rock climbing, yoga or gardening. If you are currently inactive, Pilates is an excellent way to become active!
Of course we believe that every person can benefit from Pilates. We believe that because it is what we do and we do it well! Bio-Mechanically we are all ‘built’ the same, so yes, in that case, Pilates is for every body. We certainly have individual needs with our bodies. The beauty of Pilates is that it works with all of those needs toward the ultimate goal of restoring the body to its original healthful condition.
Perhaps not everybody will enjoy Pilates. There is no way to know for sure until you try! We encourage everyone to lead an active, healthy, balanced lifestyle.
Are there different types of Pilates?
As Pilates has grown in popularity over the years, a danger lies in the potential for its dilution. There have been many schools developed that are ‘Pilates-based’ and ‘Pilates-inspired’ rather than purely authentic Pilates.
At Precision Pilates, we teach what is known as ‘Classical Pilates’ and is true to Joseph Pilates original method. There is more to this than knowing the exercises and teaching in small groups. This method is passed down by the ‘generations’. There are very few Classical Pilates teachers in all of Canada, among the thousands who teach classes that combine other movement modalities such as yoga, tai chi, dance, physiotherapy in their classes or teach ineffective partial versions of the REAL Method.
The Pilates 'Elders' are first generation instructors who were some of Joseph Pilates original students. These students went on to teach his method to others. This lineage is important to uphold the method and to keep it 'clean' without interference from other modalities such as yoga and dance.
A short list of about 10 or so, these elders opened their own studios and shared with others the incredible body of work that Joseph Pilates created. Some remained true to his work, and some changed it by adding in other movement practices or leaving out important pieces of the work.
Of these elders, Romana Krysanowska, Jay Grimes, Kathy Grant, and Lawrence Hayward stayed true to Joe's work and passed down what we know as 'Classical or Traditional' Pilates. Studios that stay true to the real Pilates Method are few and far between, and the training centres for these teachers are even harder to come by.
Most Classical instructors know their lineage and share the method as it has been handed down. We are third generation instructors having been trained by second generation instructors who received their training from Elders Romana Krysanowska, Kathy Grant, and Jay Grimes. This is an incredible privilege for us in many ways. The education is second to none, the 'family' is a tight knit bunch, and the peek into Joe's life with stories oral and written is fascinating.
We are so pleased to be able to share this with all of you.
What should I look for in a Pilates Teacher?
These days it seems that there are Pilates teachers everywhere. However, like many trades and professions, not all teachers are created equally. There are varying types of Pilates teacher training programs that range from single weekend trainings that require no formal testing, apprenticing or practice teaching, to programs that can take months, and even years to complete and require hours of personal practice, practice teaching, apprenticeship and formal exams on written material as well as practical teaching and doing exams.
In addition to that, there are programs that teach ONLY the matwork portion of Pilates, and not any of the apparatus at all.
When you are ready to begin Pilates there are some questions you should ask your prospective teacher, and they should be willing, and excited about answering your questions.
- Does their training include more than just the matwork? This is important, because many of the fundamental concepts of Pilates are best taught and learned on the apparatus, thus having a broader base of knowledge in ALL of Pilates makes for a better teacher on the mat, and on the apparatus.
- Did their training require any written and practical exams? This DOES matter. Would you go to a doctor who went to school, but didn’t have to write any exams to validate their competence?
- Does their training require CEC’s (continuing education credits), and if so, is the teacher current? All of the most respected Pilates teacher training schools require a number of continuing education credits every two years in order to maintain a current certification. CEC’s can be from a number of different sources, including attending Pilates seminars and courses, workshops or classes at a University level on applicable subjects like Anatomy, bio-mechanics etc. Without CEC’s the teachers certification expires!
- Does the teacher have a solid personal practice? This is really important. All Pilates instructors should have an extensive practice of the Pilates method on the mat and on all of the apparatus. Being able to do the exercises and feel them in your own body is an important part of being able to teach them to others. In addition to this, all teachers must take lessons in Pilates from teachers with more knowledge than they have. This is the only way teachers can correct the issues that they have within their own bodies. In rural parts of the country, this often means travel. Pilates is an unending journey and all great teachers know this.
What does my Pilates teacher expect from me when I go to class?
Pilates teachers have expectations of their clients.
- full disclosure of any illnesses, injuries or other physical limitations including history of surgery or accidents
- obvious courtesies including arriving on time, wearing proper clothing and turning off mobile devices.
- being ready to learn, to try hard and to have fun!
What should I expect from my Pilates teacher?
You must have high expectations of your Pilates teacher!! Your health and body is in their hands. They should be on time, prepared for class, looking neat and tidy. They should be an example of how the Pilates method works, with good posture, movement, and knowledge. Their studio space should be clean, safe and conducive to healthy movement.
Your Pilates teacher should never ‘do the exercises’ with the class. Pilates is a careful and precise way of moving and your teacher needs to have her eyes on the bodies in front of her at all times. This is YOUR time.
Your Pilates teacher will correct your movements, sometimes guiding your body with their own hands, using cues, or may occasionally demonstrate if she believes it will help you to understand the movement.
How does the online registration work?
Clicking here will take you to our online registration. There you will be able to create a profile and manage your class schedules.
A few tips:
- if you want to register for the SAME class every week, you can use the ‘make recurring reservation’ button. This will give you a calendar for a start and end date option. This makes it easier than registering for each individual class.
- if you forget your password, there is a ‘forgot password’ button under the sign in option that will take you through the steps to create a new one. If that doesn’t work for you, email us and we can help.
- There is an App you can download so that you can register on the go from your handheld device.
Can Pilates help my back?
We’ve gotten an expert in Spines and wellness as well as a Pilates enthusiast to answer this question for you!
The short answer is: yes!
Here’s the long answer: It’s always good to consult with a spine expert first – i.e a Chiropractor to determine the root cause of the concern. In most cases of mild to moderate back issues (pain, stiffness, lack of strength, poor posture) Pilates can have a huge impact on the strength and mobility of the spine.
Also, be assured that the teachers at Precision Pilates are highly trained and can detect your ability to perform all of the Pilates exercises safely and can modify the techniques accordingly. --Dr. Jason Fortier, B.A Kin, CMAG, D