There are two types of Pilates sessions you can attend. Matwork classes are generally group sessions, (although it can be taught privately) with up to 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 private, 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 Stability strength, mobilising and stabilising the spine, lengthening and strengthening the muscles, postural 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 diaphragm, and flexibility of the thoracic vertebrae, oxygenating the system and promoting well being.