There are two types of Pilates sessions you can attend. Matwork classes are generally group sessions, (although it can be taught privately) with upto a maximum of 12 per class. Exercises are mainly done lying on a mat sometimes using small equipment, stretch bands, spiky balls, toning rings, to help facilitate the exercises.
Pilates Studio Equipment is taught in much smaller groups. Generally one to one or no more than 3 people to one teacher. Large studios may have more than one teacher working at the same time with a number of clients. Exercises are performed on Pilates specialised machines. The teacher attaches a variety of different springs to the equipment, each with a different amount of tension to help target specific muscle groups throughout an exercise. Simplified, it works by strengthening the muscle whilst maintaining its length. Working against the resistance of the springs creates a very toning effect on the muscles.
Both Pilates Matwork and Pilates Equipment classes focus on Core Stabilty strength, mobilising and stabilising the spine, lengthening and strenghthening the muscles, postuaral awareness and whole body alignment. Breathing and learning to breathe correctly is a vital part of any Pilates class as it encourages the proper use of the diaphram, and flexibilty of the thoracic vertabrae, oxygenating the system and promoting well being.