What is Pilates?

November 10th, 2014

What is Pilates? I hear this question often. Usually, I say “It's a form of exercise that teaches your body how to move properly.” Sometimes I might continue by talking about how it helps correct bad postural habits, relieve chronic joint pain, and strengthen the body. The answer really depends on who is asking. I think the more important question is- "What can I get out of Pilates?" Because, really, it's a method and a means to achieving your wellness goals whatever they may be.

Joe Mat Class

For me, Pilates has been many things. It started with a mentor of mine saying “I’m doing this new thing called Pilates and I think its similar to your style of personal training. If you try it and like it, I’ll teach it to you.” At the time I just moved back home from California with nothing in my pockets and a lot of time on my hands. I jumped on a Reformer, gave it a try, and 14 years later I’m still on a Reformer enjoying it as much as I did on that first day. That's the beauty of the method- it can be adapted to enhance your health wherever you are on the spectrum.

Even though I've been teaching Pilates full-time for over a decade I still consider myself a student. There's so much to learn and one day the same exercise can be a completely different experience from the next depending on one's level of energy or focus. An exercise can modified to challenge a beginner or experienced student. A good teacher knows how to personalize the exercises for the body in front of him/her while staying true to the Pilates core principles of breath, control, concentration, centering, flow, & precision. Pilates can deepen the connection you have with yourself and, for me, it's been a vehicle for facilitating positive change in others while creating meaningful relationships.

What is Pilates for you? What can you get out of Pilates?

Do you suffer from chronic pain (caused by sitting in an airplane or at a desk all day) and all you want to do is sneeze or get out of your car comfortably?

Are you an athlete who's sport has created imbalances in your body (all sports do this, by the way) which have now affected your performance and you need a cross training program?

Are you a mom who is months or years post childbirth & still having trouble engaging your lower ab/pelvic floor area or would love to shed those last few “baby pounds?”


Pilates can help you. You just have to give it a try and find out how it can be personalized for you. This is what sets our instruction at Shawn's Studio apart from others. We don't teach the method, we teach you. So, share your wellness goals with us and find out how you can feel better! We'd love to hear from you.