The Basics

Do you offer any guarantees?

Yes – if you’re not 100% satisfied with your first class then you don’t have to pay for it.

What exactly is Pilates?

Pilates is a physical fitness system developed in the early twentieth century by Joseph Pilates. He called his system “Contrology.” The fundamental goals are uniform development, proper breathing, flexible and decompressed spine/joints, robust circulation and a unity of body/mind/spirit. Pilates might be thought of as weight training meets gymnastics meets yoga.

What exactly does Pilates do? What are the benefits?

Quite a lot! It improves strength, flexibility, circulation, posture, stamina and more. It also decompresses joints, relieves stress and develops mental control.

What style of Pilates do you teach?

Classical Pilates in the tradition of Romana Kryzanowska.

How is Tone Pilates different than other Pilates studios in Vancouver?

Tone Pilates is Vancouver’s first MOBILE Pilates studio. We deliver classes to your home or office. Indeed, there are a number of great Pilates instructors doing in-home and in-office mat classes in Vancouver, but Tone Pilates is the first to make mobile the full lineup of Pilates equipment – the reformer, chair, tower, magic circle, etc. The system of Pilates is designed to make use of all this equipment and not just focus on mat exercises, which only make up a fraction of the total Pilates exercises available.

How long is a class?

For classes at the Tone Pilates studio it’s 55 minutes. For in-office or in-home classes it’s one hour.

How often does one usually take a class?

Once or twice per week. It’s said that with two classes per week the student will progress in their Pilates skills three times as fast as with one class per week.

How much does it cost?

Please see the Pricing page

What should I wear

Breathable, comfortable clothing without zippers or buttons – whatever you would wear for yoga, weight training, etc. Also, the more form-fitting the clothing is, the better the instructor can see your alignment.

What is the best way to start with Pilates?

The absolute best way is with a few private sessions because you’ll get the maximum individual attention and will learn the fundamentals most thoroughly. That said, all Tone Pilates group classes start out at a beginner’s level unless everyone in the class has had prior experience and is more advanced.

Who can practice Pilates?

Anyone! You can start Pilates at any age or ability. There are hundreds of exercises ranging from gentle to very intense.

I Really Want to Know

What kind of room is needed to host one of your in-office or in-home classes?

A room that is clean, well-lit and well-ventilated

What are the minimum room dimensions needed to host one your in-office or in-home classes?

Private: 12ft X 8ft

Duet: 12ft X 13ft

3 Person Class: 12ft X 18ft

4 Person Class: 12ft X 23ft

What equipment is used in Pilates?

The reformer, chair, tower, mat and magic circle are the major pieces of equipment. Please see the Equipment page for more.

Is Pilates similar to yoga?

Somewhat. Check out this graphic for a good comparison between the two.

Is Pilates just about abdominal exercises?

The first fundamental goal of Pilates is uniform muscular development. A good Pilates class will work virtually every muscle in the body – from head to toe. As you begin to progress in your Pilates practice, you’ll understand how many movements are supported by the correct use of your abdominal muscles – even if they don’t appear to be at first. The abdominals are involved in virtually every exercise to a greater or lesser intensity and for this reason one misconception about Pilates is that it’s JUST about abdominal exercises.

Will Pilates help me lose weight?

When first learning Pilates, it’s usually not a cardiovascular workout. However it does burn calories and increases muscle strength, which speeds up your metabolism. If your goal is to lose weight, you will need to do some sort of cardiovascular exercise in addition to Pilates and also eat a healthy diet. At an advanced level however Pilates becomes an amazing cardiovascular workout! If you are consistent, Pilates will change the way your body looks and feels.

Can I do Pilates if I have an injury?

It’s important to remember that Pilates instructors are not physiotherapists unless they have trained as both. However, Pilates instructors do teach proper movement and alignment and therefore Pilates is a fantastic exercise to do when your doctor and/or physiotherapist feels you are ready. Pilates is also the ideal exercise for injury prevention.

Why are group equipment classes a maximum of four people?

Pilates was not originally intended for teaching large groups. The method is most effective when cued specifically for individual bodies.

If you’re interested in a class for five or more people then we offer strictly mat classes (in-office and in-home only).

I Really Really Want to Know

I only have time in my life for one form of exercise. Why should I choose Pilates over weight training, CrossFit, Yoga, etc?

Pilates has a heck of a lot going for it and this could be debated over the course of an entire book! The short answer is if you are the type of person that wants a great workout while at the same time enjoys going deep within your own body to access previously hidden strengths then Pilates is worth giving a shot. Pilates is quite detailed and sophisticated, just like the human body, and learning it is more like learning a martial art or a dance style than a mere workout routine. There are hundreds of exercises to choose from. Lastly, Pilates is low impact and very safe under the direction of a qualified teacher.

Pilates seems really cool but why shouldn’t I just do it at home?

You should do it at home! Pilates was designed to be done every day if this is what you want. Because Pilates is detailed and sophisticated it really does help to take classes from a qualified teacher, at least on occasion if not weekly. You can only learn so much about Pilates and stay so motivated on your own.

How long does it take to progress to the more difficult exercises?

It depends on a number of factors including the fitness level you begin Pilates with, your movement history and your injury history. Some people advance very quickly while others need more time.

What are the guiding principles of Pilates?

Joseph Pilates developed his fitness method with one overriding goal: to give people a way to achieve “true health.” He defined true health as “the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body” with a well-balanced “holy trinity” of body, mind and spirit. Thusly, the guiding principles are:

Concentration and Awareness

Proper Breathing

Proper Use of Abdominal Muscles

Precise Control

Flowing Natural Movement

Oppositional Energy

What are the fundamental goals of Pilates?

Proper Breathing

Uniform Development

Flexible and decompressed Spine and Joints

Robust Circulation

Body/Mind/Spirit Balance

What is proper breathing?

Filling your lungs F U L L Y – expanding them to their greatest capacity – and then emptying them of all air. The more deeply you inhale and the more fully you exhale, the better you will nourish and cleanse your body.

How can Pilates be done every day? Why wouldn’t you need to take a break from it just like with most other exercise styles?

With Pilates, you don’t need to worry about overdoing it because the system offers so many exercise and movement options. Over the course of a class, virtually every muscle in the body is worked with no particular set of muscles being focused on.

Why are Pilates exercises so precise?

Each Pilates exercise is designed to provide a very specific benefit. Precise instruction helps you receive those benefits, giving your body a deeper and more effective workout.

Precision in Pilates teaches your muscles to respond precisely to your mind. Thusly, in real life outside the Pilates studio, you become more stable on your feet and aware of your surroundings. It will help you avoid injuries that can result from accidentally overextending or overusing joints and muscles.

Why are transitions a thing?

Your regular, daily activities involve many physical transitions. From opening the trunk of your car to carrying the groceries inside. From squatting down to grab the large cast iron frying pan to heating it up on the stove. There is a lower risk of strain or injury during these many daily transitions if they are done with awareness.  

Thusly, we practice transitions in Pilates. As you transition between exercises, you make each transition with the same kind of controlled, flowing movement as the exercises themselves demand.