The benefits of Pilates are vast and include having a strong core and flat abs, increasing your range of motion and flexibility, more energy, supporting improved posture and body awareness, engaging breathing techniques and even reduce stress, increasing stamina, improving concentration and becoming more mindful. Pilates class is for whole body health, and you will begin to feel this effect after a few sessions.
Even reading that list of benefits, has me wanting to go out right now, to book myself into a class of yoga or Pilates, but then I have to wonder where the Pilates classes near me are? And how much do they cost? To enlighten yourself, you could try searching the net for 'yoga classes near me'. However, if 'yoga classes near me' is not what you are looking for exactly, then why not try changing your search term from 'yoga classes near me' to 'pilates classes near me' or 'classes in birmingham', for example.
Thankfully today we are going to delve into the prices of becoming a Pilates practitioner.
Things To Know Before Starting Pilates Classes
Before you can consider spending money on a regular exercise class, it'd be wise, would it not, to understand what you are buying into?
Pilates is a type of exercise which, as we know from above, has been specifically designed for total body conditioning, strengthening and improving the stability of the body. But, did you know about the fascinating history behind the popular exercise regime?
History of Pilates
Pilates isn't a physical activity that has always existed, like walking, its principles were formulated by someone who recognised the benefits of mixing up specific movements for the improved health of the mind and body.
Pilates was invented in the 1920s by a German soldier named Joseph Pilates whilst being held on the Isle of Man during the First World War. Pilates (the person, not the exercise regime!) was a firm believer in the connection between the mind and body, and this belief formed the basis for his activity.
Joseph Pilates invented Pilates to follow a set of principles, these principles are the foundation of Pilates, and when used together they support you to achieve all of the benefits that Pilates has to offer. So, if you are 'um'ing and 'ah'ing about whether Pilates can do much for you, then just see what you could be benefitting from in terms of its key principles.
- Control: This is the primary, most significant theory for Pilates; the idea is that if you can manage to control the movements of your muscles and your body as a whole it will lead to a better quality, and more beneficial, workout. This controlled approach requires you to use your inner energy and ensure that any energy that you exert is delivering the maximum benefits.
- Breath: In Pilates, your breath is the rhythm of your practise, making it relatively easy for anyone to follow. Filling the body with oxygen while preparing to make each movement fills each subsequent pose with energy. It strengthens your limbs and gives you the opportunity to extend your range of motion to your highest potential.
- Concentration: Pilates demands all of your attention, so you can expect to feel quite pschologically drained, as well as physically, after a session. Pilates should not be practised mindlessly while distracted by other things, the exercise demands your full focus if it is to work for you. If you do don't, then this is not Pilates at all so remmeber to leave your worries at the door!
- Flow: All movements in Pilates are graceful and fluid, you gently glide from one pose to the other giving your body a kind of unity of movement. The poses are seamless and not jerky, and all movement within the session is a part of the practise which allows you to conserve energy and make every movement count.
- Centering: The energy required and regenerated for and during Pilates comes from the centre of the body - the core. In Pilates, this is often called the 'powerhouse' and is located in the area between your navel and pubic bone. Pilates makes this area the central focus and the point from which all movement flows, hence why you are encouraged to take deep breaths down into your belly.
- Precision: Precisely aligned movement is significant in Pilates because, as we know, it is all about control and flow too. Each posture must be precise to gain the maximum benefit so getting your muscles to work in the right place is vital as well as being totally aware of where your limbs are in relation to one another. Precision helps with muscle memory and helps to prevent injury.
What Pilates Equipment Do I Need To Learn Pilates?
One of the most significant benefits of practising Pilates is the flexibility of the method. Pilates can be practised by everyone and can be done almost anywhere. The same can be said of the equipment, you can use anything from just a mat to the Pilates Reformer machine, the choice really is yours. The great thing is that it doesn’t matter if you practise with minimal equipment or fancy equipment you still get the same results.
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The Minimum Equipment Needed
- A good quality Yoga or Pilates mat.
- Enough space around you so that you don’t bump into things while in motion.
- Comfortable fitness wear that is breathable and does not restrict your movements.
- A large bottle of water to stay hydrated.
- The most important thing of all will be you, ready and open-minded starting.
While you can attend different types of Pilates classes some which will require equipment and some which will not. It is unlikely that you would need to provide any more than the above when attending classes as larger equipment is usually provided by the studio or gym. Often you can even get a mat provided, but it is still wise to invest in your own basic equipment.
So Let’s Break Down The Cost So Far.
- Yoga Mat – Good Quality mats start at - £15
- A good mat is defined as a non-slip, mat of at least 6mm thick
- Space around you - Free
- Fitness Wear – New fitness wear can cost upwards of - £20
- It’s worth investing in as you will get a lot of use out of it.
- If you need to save money visit your local Primark or charity shop
- Bottle of water – Free from the tap or £1 from the supermarket
- Get yourself a reusable bottle that you can refill cheaply
- You present with an open mind – Free
Investment To Get Started = around £36
Different Styles of Pilates
Since being invented by Joseph Pilates 100 years ago, many styles of Pilates have been developed and are practised today. The most well-known style is classical Pilates practised in the studio with a mat. But other kinds of Pilates are also gaining popularity.
As with all things, it is up to the individual Pilates studios and Pilates instructors to decide what prices to charge. To find the price that is most suitable for you, you will need to shop around a bit, but we will give a rough idea of what you can expect to get you started.
- Classical and contemporary Pilates is the style of Pilates that is most well known and most regularly seen in Gym and studios. This is the style of pilates that beginners would try first.These classes focus on building up core strength (also called the powerhouse), connecting the mind and body, proper breathing and body awareness. Classical and contemporary Pilates differ only in that contemporary Pilates has continued to develop new postures to suit practitioners. Classical and contemporary Pilates give emphasis to holistic wellness and use resistance movements to improve the body. Classical and contemporary Pilates costs from roughly £15-£20 per session and less if you already have a gym membership and attend Pilates at the gym.
- Clinical Pilates is a fusion of physiotherapy and Pilates, it focuses on rehabilitation and the healing of injuries. Created by physiotherapists who were inspired by Pilates and the effects achievable with regular practise. This kind of Pilates is not Pilates in its traditional form, and although it is called clinical Pilates, the terms are used loosely. This Physiotherapy Pilates blend costs in the range of £55 for 30 minutes
- Stott Pilates is a branded type of contemporary Pilates with the main difference being the focus on spine alignment. Although the alignment of the body is the main focus, Stott Pilates is based on and very similar to classical Pilates. Stott Pilates costs in the range of £20 per session
- Polestar Pilates method is focused on balanced personalisation which allows each practitioner to have a different way to practice Pilates based on their fitness goals, fitness levels and body type. Polestar also focuses on rehabilitation and taking control of your body to move towards a healthy and strong Polestar Pilates has a scientific mission and is built upon the foundation of classical Pilates. Polestar Pilates costs in the range of £20 per session
- Reformer Pilates is the type of Pilates that is done using the Reformer Machine. This machine was invented by the same man who invented Pilates 100 years ago. This method of Pilates is entirely done with a machine, the machines are provided by the studio and are great for working out in a gentle but effective way without causing injuries. Group reformer Pilates costs from £45 per session
Minimum Investment For Your First Class Based On Style = £15
How Pilates Classes Can Change Your Body
We've discovered the principles of Pilates and what is required of you to make the exercise a beneficial one to do again and again, but what are the advantages and benefits we keep referring to and how do they really impact you and your body?
The overriding benefit of practising Pilates is that you will be able to improve your core strength which will, in turn, do great things for your physical self like encourage great posture, give you better spinal alignment, and strengthen your joints. All of these will then work toward offering you a good physical and mental balance. It is often described as a total body workout, meaning that literally all of your body is involved and thus develops and improves together as one.
In more straightforward terms, though, this activity supports gaining leaner muscles, losing weight, improving energy and increasing both physical and mental strength.
Each of the principles of Pilates is a building block toward good health, better posture, inner awareness, proper breathing, stronger abdominal muscles (core), and a fundamental connection between body and mind, so regular training sessions are recommended to unlock all of these positives.
There is no denying that Pilates is right for your health.
Pilates isn’t just about getting a better-looking body, (although this is just one of the great results of your practice), it takes it one step further crossing the barrier of the physical and psychological to strengthen your mind and your connection with your spiritual self.
While Pilates training can be challenging, it is so beneficial to your wellbeing and therefore addresses all aspects of your life.
Examples of How Pilates Can Make Subtle Changes To Your Body
Maintaining correct posture is a core focus in Pilates, and your posture will noticeably improve over time.
Losing weight is a natural bonus to anyone practising Pilates, along with maintaining a healthy lifestyle and eating a balanced diet. Over time, you will even notice that you have lean, toned muscles that make you appear taller and slimmer.
Improving flexibility is also a natural process of Pilates; the exercises encourage your muscles and your joints to release any stress and stretch to their maximum potential, a long-term benefit so long as you keep up the training.
Having a strong core is desirable for many and is a crucial part of Pilates training as the core of your body is the power station that supports the rest of your body. The benefits of a strong core are a smaller waistline, flat abs and a toned torso.
Everyone suffers from stress these days, and it is important to practice anything that can help you overcome that. Pilates workouts reduce stress naturally, as with most exercises, with a gentle, mindful, approach that can be practiced in your spare time too. The importance of the connection between body and mind are central to Pilates.
Pilates really is for everyone, no matter stage you in life you are or what your ultimate health goals are. Pilates can bring great benefits whether practiced on its own or alongside other physical activities. Pregnant, injured, inflexible, child, senior citizen... anyone and everyone can give it a go!
Can Pilates Make You Grow Taller?
While exercises like Pilates cannot magically make you grow, the stretches that are involved in the workout can indeed add an appearance of height to a person because of how they improve posture and work to stretch their body into a more elegant pose. The difference won't be significant though, mind you.
Some youngsters practicing yoga may believe otherwise, but it is likely that their growth is down to their bones and body continuing to grow to their final length and height (which can happen as late as between age 18-20 years of age according to experts).
Some fitness lovers have capitalised on this ideology of growing through exercises which could be seen a somewhat controversial, especially if they are taking money from people who are in it to get those extra few centimetres.
The Daily Mail reported on entrepreneur Pierre, who developed a class named A-Grow-Bics dedicated to pint-sized people (and equally for those who aren't vertically challenged) which aims to train the body to appear taller. Pierre claims to have gained inches from this workout regime but does put it down to the elasticity of the human body when trained and manipulated.
The Daily Mail reported:
"Pierre, an Italian, is 5ft 9in now, but he proudly tells me he used to be two inches shorter. After spending most of his life longing to be taller, he developed A-Grow-Bics.
This revolutionary exercise system blends elements of Pilates, Yoga, cardio exercises and stretching moves; it involves hanging upside down like a bat . . . oh, and being strapped on to a rack. Yes, a rack — those devices that were all the rage in 15th-century torture chambers."
But growing taller doesn't come hand in hand with making you healthier, in fact some might say that the measures taken by Pierre and his pupils during the class are unhealthy due to them putting so much unnatural force on the body. The jury's out on this one!
Different Mediums To Learn Pilates
- In The Studio Or Gym
If you choose to attend a Pilates class in person, it is likely that you will visit a gym or Pilates studio. There are many styles of Pilates available, from simple classes with a yoga mat to classes which use the reformer machine. Many gym packages come with a full class schedule and unlimited access to classes, and it is likely that Pilates will be one of those classes on the schedule. This means that if you have a gym membership or are interested in buying day passes. You will already have access to a Pilates class without having to pay extra.
- Costs from £10 for a day pass in the Gym
- Pilates Retreats Or Workshops
If you are looking for an intensive experience, a Pilates retreat is perfect for you. Held all over the world in the more beautiful locations Pilates retreats are a daily immersion into connecting your body and mind. You will be introduced to all Pilates principles which guide your practise, and you will get to live the holistic approach for the duration of your trip.
- Costs in the range of £2,240, for 7 days
- Pilates Workout DVD
As long as you have a DVD player and some space to practice at home, a Pilates DVD can be a cost-effective and private way to practise Pilates.
You basically follow a Pilates Instructor to complete your workout; you will work the whole body. Pilates for beginners can be well suited to this style of learning, as it gives you the opportunity to see what a Pilates class is like and decide if you would like to attend a live class.
- Costs in the range of £9.95 per DVD
- Private training with Pilates online live streaming class
If you would like to connect with Pilates instructors all over the world. Live streaming can be a great way to practise. Many Pilates teachers offer online classes which are suitable for people who prefer a more private approach. 1 on 1 classes are not only an amazing way to have an assessment from head to toe about where you are with your goals. But you will also have someone who is partnering with you, to help you to achieve your goals.
You could want to be stronger, develop your core muscles, have good posture, regardless of what Pilates benefits you are after. With a private instructor, you will be able to deepen your practise and be on the right track to getting there. Many Pilates teachers offer face to face or online classes so you can even attend classes if you are traveling out of town or if you prefer to work with someone who is accessible in your immediate vicinity.
- Costs in the range of £35
- Pre-recorded Pilates fitness online classes
If you are like most people, then you like the word ‘Free’, if so then this way of practising could be exciting for you. There are 100’s of websites online which offer 100% free workouts. Of course the most popular is YouTube. The videos are of fantastic quality, and the hosts are dedicated to communicating clearly for beginners and more advanced students. Of course with this exercise program, you can practice whenever you want to.
All you have to do is find a video, press play and follow along. The only downside is that you need to have the motivation, to practise. This is especially true for beginners who may not have experienced the amazing benefits of Pilates exercises.
Costs are from Free
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Minimum Investment for your first class by location = Free
My first yoga Manchester class was free!
So how much will your next Pilates class cost? That depends on how and where you want to practise. But the cost is very promising with free being the starting price for many of the classes available. Whatever you decide don’t let too much time pass in deciding. A whole host of Pilates benefits are waiting for you to incorporate them into your life.