Frequently Asked Questions


Why choose Reform Pilates?

Programs at our studio are designed with quality, community and education in mind. Our Semi-Private classes are comprised of only 3 students at one time, so you can be sure to receive safe, effective and individual cueing with every visit.  This is important because no two bodies move the same. As such, we provide instruction relevant to each individual, providing specific guidance for each body in the room.  We offer authentic Pilates training in a safe and supportive environment while guiding students through effective and challenging workouts.  We are committed to offering the highest level of Pilates training and believe that is best achieved with individualized attention. 

What is the difference between Classical Pilates and Contemporary Pilates?

Classical Pilates instructors often teach exercises in an unvarying order, staying close to Joe Pilates’ original work. They also use equipment built to his specifications. Classically trained instructors will have studied the complete system of exercises and understand how the entire system works to support functional movement. Classical Instructors can generally trace their training back to Joseph Pilates through one of his protégés. Contemporary/modern Pilates does not adhere to specificity of sequence and exercises are greatly modified and varied from lesson to lesson with many changes made to the original exercises.

What is the difference between Classical Pilates and Clinical Pilates?

Classical Pilates began in the mid 19th century by Joe Pilates’ as a specific exercise system that focuses on core strengthening with simultaneous spinal and limb stretching.  Also known as ‘Contrology’, Classical Pilates was originally invented to counteract the harmful effects of an unbalanced, sedentary lifestyle. Unlike other forms of exercise, Pilates exercises are particularly adept at exposing imbalances and alignment issues that inhibit or affect functional movement.  Clinical Pilates is similar to Contemporary Pilates insofar as use and specification/ design of equipment, exercises are greatly modified and  “created” to suit a specific treatment protocol. Clinical Pilates has gained popularity as a rehabilitation treatment and is covered in British Columbia by health care insurance providers under the direct guidance of licensed physiotherapists.

I am new, where do I start?

All new students are encouraged to take advantage of our Introductory 5, or the Fundamentals Series. Introductory 5 is a set of 5 private sessions and our Fundamentals Series is a pre-registered group class that is comprised of a closed cohort of 3 students. Students are required to attend a minimum of 8 consecutive sessions and this series is only offered periodically so please check for space availability. Both Introductory 5 and Fundamentals Series cover orientation, Pilates principles, equipment safety and set up as well as foundational movement skills that are essential to know before entering into our levelled programming. All levels of fitness and experience can take either the Introductory 5 or Fundamentals Series and students come away with a deeper appreciation for Pilates and movement in general.

Where is the Group schedule?

You can view our full Semi-Private / Group schedule online here. If you do not see times that work for you, please contact us to let us know. We’d love to hear from you!

What can I expect on my first visit?

Please plan to arrive 10 minutes prior to the start of your first session to fill out new student forms. To allow for physical distancing between students, we do not allow anyone inside the studio early or during sessions.  If you arrive early, please wait outside the studio or until the door to the studio is opened. Occasionally, during early or after 6 pm the main entrance to the building may be locked for safety. Please wait outside until the instructor comes to unlock the premises. Out of consideration for our teachers and other students, sessions start promptly, late arrivals are discouraged.

I have osteoporosis / scoliosis / special considerations–is Classical Pilates safe for me?

We have experience with scoliosis, spinal herniation, adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder), shoulder separation, spondylolisthesis, osteoporosis, osteopenia and osteoarthritis, Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis as well as hip and knee replacements. We strongly suggest Private sessions if you are currently experiencing any of the above conditions and especially if you are new to the studio and would like to take group sessions. Please contact the studio for more information or book a Consultation.

How many Pilates sessions should I take each week?

The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology and the CDC recommend 150 minutes of moderate-intense physical activity and 2 days of muscle strengthening activity each week. Classical Pilates works the whole body, elevates heart rate and provides the benefits of muscle strengthening with the bonus of integrating physical awareness and alignment. Pilates benefits also include stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) function-a division of the autonomic nervous system, which lowers heart rate and increases proper digestion which is necessary for reducing insulin levels and regulating hormones. Other benefits include lowering anxiety and stress, improving sleep, improving posture and reducing risk of injuries. Students will feel immediate results after one class and can expect visible or more lasting results after 6-8 classes.

What is the difference between Matwork and Apparatus?

Pilates Matwork refers to the original 34 mat exercises developed by Joseph Pilates. Matwork is a challenging, integral modality and provides one of the most effective and comprehensive workouts that can be done anywhere. Mat exercises are traditionally done without ‘equipment’, however Joe designed small props that assist students with proprioception and help develop greater muscular awareness and strength. We use small props and devices such as toe-correctors, foot-correctors, bean bags, spine correctors and small barrels in all our Matwork sessions. 

‘Apparatus’ refers to the collective equipment we use for teaching the Pilates system and it includes but is not limited to the Reformer, Wunda Chair, Spine Corrector, Baby Arc or Small Barrels, Foot Corrector and Toe Corrector. Our studio also has the Cadillac, Electric/Big Chair, Ped-o-Pull,  High Barrel, Breath-A-Cizer and Airplane Board which are routinely used in our Private sessions and Open Gym. Pilates equipment per se does not have to have springs which help to generate resistance. 

Both modules can be anaerobic (higher intensity exercise) and students who enjoy maximum benefits of Pilates are comfortable with both the Matwork and Apparatus modules.

What is Grasshopper?

We named our Level 1-2 Program “Grasshopper” as a reference to the movie, Kung Fu where the main character is referred to as ‘Grasshopper’ by his mentor, a wise Shaolin monk. It is the first level after a student completes an orientation through taking the Introductory 5 or the Fundamentals Series. We use the term to invoke the spirit of Joe and Clara Pilates’ work which was based on learning progressive, natural movements. “Grasshoppers” recognize that patience is necessary to progress safely and to achieve mastery.

What is Internal Shower?

Internal Shower is synonymous with our Level 3 Program and is a reference from Joseph Pilates’ book, ‘Return to Life’. In his book he describes the ‘Internal Shower’ as deep circulation, heat and synovial fluid / lubrication that occurs in the body when students are able to move using whole body movements.  Compound, multi-joint exercises are one of the most effective ways to build strength, burn more calories, improve intramuscular coordination, elevate heart rate, improve flexibility and increase muscle mass. Students who have demonstrated proper breathing, concentration and centering as Grasshoppers are given a new focus of moving more deeply from the breath and generating the heat that is  known as the “Internal Shower”.

What is Contrologist?

Contrology is what Joseph Pilates called his exercise regime, another reference to Pilates’ book, ‘Return to Life’. A “Contrologist” aims for complete mastery of mind over body-a lofty goal! These exciting sessions are designed to take your Pilates practice to a whole new realm of challenges and possibilities safely. Consider signing up for this group session if you have experience in Level 3/Internal Shower.

What should I do if the Semi-Private I want to take is full?

Please sign up in advance for the times you want to secure your place. If you see the time you want is full, sign up on our waitlist so you can have first claim on that time if there is a cancellation. On rare occasions, sessions are cancelled if we do not meet minimum requirements for reservations. If this happens we will do our best to offer other viable options. If you do not see class times that work for you please contact the studio to let us know!

What should I do if the class I want to take has been cancelled?

Our studio strives to offer exceptional individual programming.  We also value flexibility, so we have adopted a first come, first served approach, allowing you to book your Semi-Privates, online, at your convenience or until your package or set of semi-privates “expire”. We rely on pre-bookings made 24 hours in advance. We also require a minimum of three students to run our semi-private/groups. Waiting until the last minute to reserve your spot in a specific time will, unfortunately, result in interruptions to programming and cancelled classes. If you do not see class times that suit your schedule, please contact the studio.

Is Pilates effective for weight loss?

No form of weight training or exercise alone will help you lose weight without making necessary dietary changes. Reducing your sugar intake, including alcohol, will improve your results regardless of which form of training you decide upon. While a cardio workout does burn more calories than an average Pilates class, Classical Pilates can use up to 300 calories per session or more. More important than caloric expenditure is its combination of anaerobic (resistance training) and multi-joint exercise approach.  This is an incredibly effective way to achieve weight loss results because major muscle groups work synergistically, building overall strength while working overall posture. Consider that with anaerobic training like Classcial Pilates, metabolism stays elevated for a longer period than cardio because muscles burn more calories at rest compared to some other tissues in the body.

When and what should I eat before a Pilates class?

We recommend you eat a complete meal which includes carbs, protein and fat 2-3 hours before Pilates. Consuming protein pre-workout can help increase muscle protein synthesis–the building blocks for growth. We understand that is not always possible to incorporate complex carbohydrates and proteins such as nuts or a protein smoothie in advance. If all else fails, grab a banana for energy which is a simple carbohydrate that contains potassium. Potassium supports blood pressure and helps regulate fluid balance. Don’t forget to also drink plenty of water before and after!

Is Pilates like Yoga?

No, Pilates is not like yoga. Most Yoga classes, having lost roots in the Vedic tradition of physical, mental and spiritual practice, are now mainstream and more widely known only for their fitness benefits. In that sense, it is easy to confuse Yoga with Pilates, especially with the myriad of classes that fuse “pilates” with yoga or claim to be Pilates: “Pilates Fusion” and “Yoga-lates” are routinely and typically taught without formal Pilates training. Classical Pilates teachers must undergo rigorous, in-depth anatomy and physiology training and must embody the Pilates Method before becoming certified. The two practices, while complementary and overlapping in their focus on concentration and physical discipline, are distinctly different. The most glaring difference between traditional Yoga and Pilates is the religious and spiritual references which are absent in Pilates. The second main difference between Yoga and Pilates is the use of equipment in Pilates. For students who enjoy the benefits of yoga but who are hypermobile, Pilates may help reduce their risk of injury or prevent the worsening of laxity in the joints, for example, simply because the focus of Pilates workouts are on building overall strength and awareness and to derail habitual patterns that lead to moving joints too far or too much out of normal range.

I can’t find a Group/Semi-Private session that works with my schedule.

Please contact us if you do not see times that suit your availability. We would love to hear from you!


Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

Sign up successful!