Frequently Asked Questions


Why choose Reform Pilates?

Unlike other Pilates studios that teach a general class to 4 or more students, our programs are comprised of three students, so you can be sure to receive safe and individual cueing with every visit.  This is important because no two bodies are the same. Effective, long lasting results can only be achieved with awareness-based training that is consistent and demanding upon the muskuloskeletal system.  We offer knowledgeable, experienced Pilates training in a safe and supportive environment while guiding students to understanding their individual physiologies.  We are committed to offering the highest level of Pilates training and believe that is best achieved with individualized attention. We are also committed to knowledge and research based training.  All our teachers are fully certified, embody the Pilates method themselves and require continued education through our in-studio workshop offerings and affiliate teacher training programs.

Why Classical Pilates?

Classical Pilates AKA: Contrology was created by Joseph Pilates over the course of his lifetime (1883-1967). Classical Pilates is a therapeutic prescription to counteract the harmful effects of nervous tension and stress living a fast paced, modern lifestyle creates. Pilates was decades ahead of his time with his idea on how effective breathing is for stress reduction, how focusing on specific movement ‘awakens the brain’ and stimulates the organs. He believed in his work and his philosophy of intentional movement so much that he created the Matwork repertoire so that anyone could access the practice from anywhere, anytime, eliminating the need to rely on specific apparatus or an instructor for direction. That said, a Classical instructor receives a minimum of 900 hours of training in anatomy, theory, and practical experience. Instructors at Reform Pilates are expected to continue their learning through attending regular in-house workshops, advanced teacher training through affiliate teacher training centers as well as acquisition of CEC’s on a yearly basis, further augmenting their knowledge base and experience.

I am new, where do I start?

While we recommend that all new students take advantage of our Introductory 5, we understand that is not always affordable. In the event that you are unable to take our Introductory Private Sessions or prefer being with others, we recommend the Fundamentals Series , a pre-registered class that is comprised of a cohort of 3 students. Students are required to attend a minimum of 8 consecutive sessions.  This series is only offered periodically so please check for space availability. Both Introductory 5 and Fundamentals Series cover orientation, Pilates history, Pilates principles, equipment safety and set up as well as essential movement skills that are necessary in our leveled programming.  These experiential sesessions teach body awareness, breath teachniques and practical movement skills beyond what is necessary for Pilates. Mobility, stability and balance are introduced, explored and challenged.

Where is the class schedule?

You can view our full schedule online here. If you do not see class 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. Due to Covid-19 and to allow for physical distance between students, we do not allow anyone inside the studio early or during sessions. Please fill out our Covid-19 Pre screening form before every session.  *The link to this form can be found in the reminder email prior to your session. We have spaced our sessions 15 minutes apart to ensure proper disinfection and cleaning of high touch surfaces and equipment.  If you arrive early, please wait outside the studio or until the door to the studio is opened. Occassionally, during early or late hours the main entrance to the building may be locked for safety.  Please knock or call the studio at 604-612-8486.  Out of consideration for our teachers and other students, classes start promptly, no late arrivals will be accepted as it disrupts the flow of our classes.

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

While we offer structured and various levels of Pilates training in our semi-private cohorts we also have clinical 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 become part of a cohort. Please contact the studio for more information or please book a Consultation.

How many Pilates sessions should I take each week?

The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology recommends physical exercise everyday and recommends targeting your muscles and bones two times per week. The answer really depends on the goals that you set for yourself and the level of fitness you would like to achieve. Classical Pilates is a system of exercise and exercise repertoire that works the whole body uniformly with dynamic, integrated alignment and breathing at the center of the work. Pilates benefits 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?

Matwork refers to the original 34 mat exercises devised by Joseph Pilates. It is a fun, integral modality in Pilates and provides one of the most effective and challenging workouts and can be done anywhere. These exercises are traditionally done without ‘equipment’, however small props and other devices such as balls, rollers, spine corrector (baby barrels) and bands are used in order to help students optimize neuromuscular function as well as build greater awarenss.

‘Apparatus’ classes refers only to the Reformer and Chair however we also have Electric Chair, Cadillac, Ped-o-Pull and High Barrel, routinely used in our Private sessions. With the exception of the High Barrel, all Apparatus have springs which help to generate resistance so students can develop greater muscular awareness and strength. Apparatus provides muscles with feedback through resistance and is an excellent compliment to the Matwork as it adds variety and challenges skill level and coordination. Both modules can be anaerobic (meaning higher intensity exercise) and students who aim for proficiency in both Matwork and Apparatus modules achieve the benefits of a well rounded Pilates practice. 

What is Grasshopper?

Grasshopper is synonomous with our Level 1-2 Program and is 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-so do we.

What is Internal Shower?

Internal Shower is synonomous 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.  We now understand that compound, multi-joint exercises are one of the most effective ways to build strength and 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 to achieve complete mastery of mind over body – a lofty goal indeed! We attribute the commitment and dedication required to reach Level 4 / 5 to the Contrologist student. These sessions are designed to take your Pilates practice to a whole new realm of challenges and possibilities safely. Only students who have embodied and completed Level 3/ Internal Shower repertoire are eligible or with permission from the studio.

What should I do if the class I want to take is full?

Please sign up in advance for the classes you want to secure your place. If you see the class you want is empty, sign up anyway as others may also.  If you see classes you want are full, please place yourself on the waitlist. This will provide us with information about what class times are popular and how to effectively design future program schedules. Occassionally classes are cancelled.  While we do our utmost to prevent class cancellations, if we do not have full cohorts,  we will cancel and re-direct students to other viable options. Get on our lists! Signing up increases your odds of getting the classes you want. 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 small studio strives to offer exceptional programming by keeping our “group” numbers small.  We also value flexibility, so we have adopted a first come, first served approach, allowing you to book your classes, online, at your convenience or until your package or set of classes “expire”. We rely on pre-bookings and reservations done in a timely manner to create and structure our programming. We also require a minimum of three students to run a class. Waiting until the last minute to reserve your spot in a specific class 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.  We love to hear from you!

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 drastically 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, cardiovascular, bone and muscle strength. Don’t forget to 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 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 absence of religion or spiritual references in Pilates. The second main difference between Yoga and Pilates is the use of Apparatus and resistive equipment that is used 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, because the resistive springs provide feedback that help create awareness and teach neurokenetic responses.

I can’t find a class time that works with my schedule.

Please contact us if you do not see class times that suit your availability. We are a new studio and growing! We would love to hear from you!

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