Q 1: How Do I get Started?

A: At Core Align Pilates, I offer 4  different entry points to begin your Pilates journey.

Here is what I recommend:

An Introductory Session – Great for the very beginner or someone just getting to know the studio. This will allow you to experience Pilates with Betsy , get your questions answered and address how Pilates can best meet your personal goals.


New Student 5 or 10 private sessions package – To really accelerate your learning we recommend taking 5 or 10 private sessions to learn the basics of pilates an how to take what you have learned and apply it to your life.

For the Serious and Committed client- 20 session Package- Commit to doing pilates 2-3 times a week  and a regular home exercise program designed to meet your goals.


Q 2: Is Pilates Like Yoga?

A: Yes and no.

Pilates was developed by a man named Joseph Pilates in the early 1900′s. His method is a beautiful mixture of many different movement techniques (including yoga-like postures), styles and his personal insights into the body. Like yoga, Pilates emphasizes mindfulness and helps to cultivate focus and intention through movement. Both practices accentuate the mind-body connection. Like yoga, Pilates is meant to be practiced regularly with dedication.

Unlike yoga, Pilates is a series of controlled rhythmic movements done with highly focused attention and repeated generally 8-10 times as opposed to yoga where postures (Asanas) are generally worked into and held. Pilates focuses on alignment and the integration of the whole body as a well functioning system as it’s primary goal. Yoga was created thousands of years ago as a spiritual practice. Pilates can become a very mindful practice that eases the mind and strengthens the body, but is not emphasized as a spiritual practice.

Both practices promote awareness, strength, balance between stability and mobility and are best used as a regular and consistent practice. Pilates and yoga are wonderful compliments and students who engage in both achieve tremendous benefits.

Q3:  What is CoreAlign™

A: CoreAlign™ was developed by Jonathan Hoffman, PT and is manufactured and sold by Balance Body, Inc.

It is a piece of equipment which allows the client to work against resistance in multiple orientations to gravity but most notably in standing.  All of pilates principles can be applied when working on this piece of equipment and thus makes it a powerful and challenging  mind body experience.  It has many applications for injury rehabilitation, balance, coordination and very challenging specialized training for all types of athletes.  No pilates training is necessary to begin CoreAlign™ training.  However,  learning Pilates or incorporating the two give the client a deeper understanding of their movement as it relates to daily life or activities and will facilitate a more rapid learning process for them.

Q4: Is Working on the Equipment better than working on the Mat?

A: No. In the beginning Pilates — then called Contrology — was mat work alone.

The work starts on the mat at its most fundamental and ends on the mat at its most advanced. The equipment was later designed to assist those who could not get down on the mat or had limitations in achieving the movements properly. Today we use the Pilates apparatus as a tool to both assist and deepen student’s understanding of their body and to offer challenge. Pilates is a complete system on the mat and can offer tremendous benefits.  Work on the equipment is sometimes better suited for particular students — those with injuries or limitations —  and can add to a student’s depth of understanding and development. We find the work on the equipment can help to propel students forward, but is not necessary for ultimate success.

Q:5 What should I wear?

A: Comfortable, yet form-fitting clothing so that we can evaluate your posture and movement patterns.

Socks with sticky bottoms or bare feet.  And please no fragrances.

Q6: How many times a week should I practice Pilates/CoreAlign™?

A: You will see the most benefit from Pilates if you practice at least 3 times a week.

Your practice can include group classes, private and/or semi-private sessions, home practice, and self practice. We recommend at least 2-3 times in the beginning in order to establish your practice. Ideally our Pilates practice becomes a part of our everyday life. Thirty minutes a day everyday is what Joseph Pilates hoped for us.

Q 7: What are the Pilates principles?

A: Breathing, balance, centering, control, concentration, precision ,  flow &  whole body health.

Q8: Will Pilates help my back pain?

A: Although you should always consult your physician before starting any fitness routine, a Pilates workout is gentle and controlled with no sudden jarring actions. Pilates focus on abdominal strength, flexibility, and posture and proper alignment  lends itself well to those with back pain. However, these principles can be difficult to learn in a group setting, especially for those who may require specific modifications to avoid re-injury or aggravation of symptoms. I recommend that all clients with a history of back pain, especially if it is ongoing, take a private session before participating in the mat class. This allows me  to evaluate your abilities and make recommendations to improve the safety of each exercise.

Q 9:  What is the difference between Pilates and weight training?

A: Pilates strengthens AND stretches muscles (unlike weight training) and improves body posture and awareness. Pilates typically incorporates more muscles in one exercise than in weight training because it is three-dimensional—exercises can be performed using all movement planes. Pilates’ emphasis is on rebalancing muscles around the joints, and balancing strength with flexibility. It also focuses on concentric-eccentric contraction for injury prevention and corrects over-training and muscle imbalance that leads to injury.

Q10: How long does a session usually last?

A: 55 minutes

Q11: Is it a cardio workout and will it help me lose weight?

A: While Pilates is not a cardio workout per se, the focus on core strength and flexibility make Pilates a wonderful compliment to a well rounded fitness program. Pilates promotes exquisite body awareness and disciplined practice. CoreAlign™ practice, however can increase the heart rate enough to gain a cardio workout once the basic skills are mastered to safely perform  the excises at an increased tempo.   The mind/body focus is an invaluable in  addition to a responsible diet and regular cardio work which will help you shed those extra pounds.

Q 12: Can my pilates/CoreAlign™ sessions be tailored to my ability, strength and endurance?

A: Absolutely!

Pilates and CoreAlign™ can be tailored to any level — not just of fitness, but also of health. It’s these modifications that make Pilates ideal for someone just starting out, while still providing a challenging and engaging workout for athletic types and well-trained weekend warriors. If you are injured, pilates exercises can be modified and geared toward restoring functional movement patterns and aiding in the recovery of soft tissue injuries. The exercises can just as easily be modified to provide a greater challenge for those who are further along in their pilates practice. Pilates benefits men and women alike, all ages, those who are recovering from injury or chronic pain, athletes looking to enhance their abilities and is an excellent workout for women who are  pre or post natal.


Q 13:  Will Pilates and CoreALign™ add bulk or slenderize my muscles?

A: Slenderize.

Pilates will give definition to muscles without adding bulk.  The exercises are designed to develop strength through the full range of the muscle both eccentrically and concentrically giving the muscle both flexibility as well at functional strength.

Q 14: Is Pilates only for women?

A: No.

Joseph Pilates was a boxer and a gymnast and developed his pilates program from his movement experience and applied to many athletes, dancers and people regardless of sex.  Some of his most challenging exercises were developed to challenge men. He also helped many people recover from  injury or surgery.

  All American Betsy LLC