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  • What is the difference between a fully equipped Pilates studio and a Reformer Studio?
    The Reformer is the best known piece of Pilates equipment, but it is only part of the bigger system that Joseph Pilates developed. Mat Pilates is also part of that system, which is designed to challenge the body in different ways to make it stronger and more flexible. The Reformer is a sliding carriage, using springs, ropes and pulleys to move it. It can be lain on, sat on, knelt on and stood on and worked in various different planes of movement to achieve a full-body workout. There are also different pieces of equipment - like the Jump-board and Cardio-tramp which can be attached to the Reformer in incorporate jumping or cardiovascular aspects into a Pilates workout. A fully equipped Pilates studio also has a Cadillac, Stability (or Wunda) Chair, Ladder Barrel, Spine Corrector, Arc Barrels and other smaller pieces of Pilates equipment. These are selected by the instructor to support and challenge the clients in different ways and give more variety to the Pilates sessions. We are able to progress clients more effectively and create a safe environment for clients with injuries, issues or completely new to exercise. Instructors who are trained on all pieces of equipment are called Fully Comprehensive Pilates Instructors and specialists in the Pilates method. Pilates Now! is a fully equipped Pilates studio, with fully comprehensively trained instructors, qualified with STOTT PILATES - one of the best international training providers. We know our stuff!!
  • What's the difference between Reformer and Mat Pilates?
    Joseph Pilates developed both the 34 Mat exercises and the equipment we use in a Pilates studio, which includes the Reformer. He created the equipment to enable his clients to develop the strength, flexibility and body awareness needed to perform the Mat exercises properly. In some ways, the Mat exercises are the end point of the Pilates process. The Reformer is a sliding carriage, which uses springs, ropes and pulleys to move it. It can be lain on, sat on, knelt on, stood on ... there are so many different exercises, working different parts of the body, in different planes of movement. The important thing is to move slowly and be in control with your muscles and breathing. The Reformer, Cadillac, Stability Chair and Barrels are designed to support the body, whilst challenging it in strength and flexibility. It gives incredible feedback to feel exactly what you are doing so you can use the correct muscles; work to balance the weaker and stronger muscles; breathe properly and create length in short, tight muscles and strength in long, weak muscles. Working on the equipment is more effective and you will feel the changes in your body quicker. A specialised Pilates studio, with all the equipment and with specialist instructors is the best place to start your Pilates journey.
  • What are the Pilates Basic Principles?
    Breathing - "Breathing is the first act of life, and the last. Our very life depends on it. Since we cannot live without breathing it is tragically deplorable to contemplate the millions and millions who have never learned to master the art of correct breathing." Joseph Pilates Centring - drawing your own mental and physical focus during each exercise to the core, or centre. Concentration - the mind and body connection, bringing your full attention to the movements of each exercise in order to obtain maximum value. Control - "Be certain that you have your entire body under complete mental control ... Good posture can be successfully acquired only when the entire mechanism of the body is under perfect control." Joseph Pilates Flow - exercises should be done in a flowing manner, with the intention that the energy one exerts during each exercise should connect all body parts smoothly and thereby flow evenly through your body. Precision - bringing a conscious awareness of precision during each exercise's movements, incorporating breathing, placement, alignment, effort, energy and balance.
  • Is Pilates suitable for older participants?
    Yes! Absolutely! This is SAFE exercise for everyone. It is essential to come to 1-1s to start, especially if you have particular issues or haven't been active for a while. We welcome people of all ages from 18 - any age. Our 1-1s & small class sizes; well qualified & experienced instructors and excellent facilities mean you are in safe, caring hands. Our oldest client is in his 80s and attributes his fitness & mobility to Pilates.
  • What should I wear to do a Pilates session?
    You can wear anything comfortable that you can move in - gym clothes for example. We work in socks, gripper socks or (clean) bare feet. Gripper socks are available to buy at Virgin Active reception. Please avoid wearing bottoms, leggings or shorts with a zip in the back as they can scratch the Reformers.
  • Will Reformer Pilates help my sciatica?
    Absolutely. Reformer Pilates will really help any back and leg pain. Sciatica is an umbrella term which describes pain in the sciatic nerve running from the pelvis and the back of the leg. It is caused by a number of different issues and so is treated differently, often it is a combination of things which trigger the pain. In Pilates we work holistically, treating the pain and the causes of the pain. We would need to see you in person rather than online, where all the instructors are trained in Injuries and Special Populations.
  • What age should you start Pilates?
    You can start Pilates at any age and it will bring benefits at any time of life - the sooner you start, the sooner you will feel the benefits. It helps to prevent injury and helps to rehabilitate injuries. It gives you great posture and will improve poor posture. It helps to maintain core strength and flexibility and improves core strength and flexibility. We are open to over 16 year olds (accompanied by their parent or guardian for a 1-1) and over 18 year olds for classes. We have no upper age limit.
  • Can I do Pilates if I have an injury or have had surgery?
    If you have injured yourself or had surgery your first port of call is the medical profession - your GP, physiotherapy or osteopathy. Pilates is for post-rehabilitation - we take it to the next stage of strength and flexibility. All the Pilates instructors at Pilates Now! have studied the Injuries and Special Populations course from STOTT PILATES and continue to build up their knowledge. Unless specifically trained in the medical profession, no Pilates instructor can state they do rehabilitation. We work with, and are advised by, the medical profession and really appreciate making links with those medically-trained. Once you have had the all-clear from the person treating you Pilates is excellent to ensure you make progress safely.
  • What's the difference between STOTT PILATES and dynamic Pilates?
    Stott Pilates is based on the Pilates methods and principles developed by Joseph Pilates, with an emphasis on breathing; slow, controlled movements and mind and body connection. It is a safe form of exercise for everyone and taught on an individual basis by fully trained Pilates instructors who have taken years to complete their comprehensive Pilates training, on all pieces of Pilates equipment and must complete Continuing Education Points every year to keep their knowledge up to date. Dynamic Pilates is a modern twist using the Reformer and Pilates exercises as a type of gym workout, a fast class, aiming to produce sweat and burn, usually in large classes, and not suitable for people with injuries, usually taught by fitness instructors who have often been on a short training course.
  • What are STOTT PILATES Basic Principles?
    The STOTT PILATES principles work on the biomechanical positioning of the body to achieve better posture and efficient movement. Breathing - Deep 3-D Ribcage breathing; transversus abdominals and pelvic floor engagement. Pelvic Placement, Chest Placement and Head Placement to create the perfect curve of the spine for the optimum shock absorption and movement. Shoulder Placement - to create shoulder stability and reduce risk of injury. Leg & Foot Placement - to create good alignment and reduce risk of injury.
  • How frequently should you do Pilates?
    Joseph Pilates said: "If you faithfully perform your [Pilates] exercises regularly only 4 times a week for just 3 months, ... you will find your body development approaching the ideal, accompanied by renewed mental vigour and spiritual enhancement." We recommend doing Reformer Pilates 2 - 3 times a week to really feel the profound effect Pilates can have on your body, mind and spirit.
  • What's the best Pass to get started?
    Do as many one-to-ones as you can with the 3 or 6 One-to-One Pass. If you would like to join a class, the Introduction Package is great to get you started as it gives you a One-to-One and 3 classes. We ask all new clients to do at least 1 one-to-one so we can do the postural & movement analysis; find out your health details & goals; go through the Basic Principles underlying all Pilates exercises. This enables us to create a personal exercise programme for you.
  • How can I buy a new pass from the App?
    To buy a new pass from the App, simply select your chosen session from the Calendar page and click 'Buy a Pricing Plan' at the checkout. You will be able to use the plan for all subsequent bookings until you need to buy a new one.
  • How do I pay with a plan?
    The easiest way is to go onto the Booking Calendar and select the session you want, once you have clicked on it, it will ask you if you want to pay with your plan (if you have one) or buy a plan (if you don't). Select your payment method and you're done! Booked and paid!
  • Can I use my Class Pass for studio & online classes?
    Yes, the Class Passes allow you to do both studio and online classes. Depending on which plan you have, it may be cheaper to buy a single online class or the 6 Online Pass. The Class Pass is designed to make it easier for you to practise Pilates wherever you are!
  • Can I cancel or reschedule a session?
    Yes, you can change your booking up to 24 hours in advance by going onto 'My Account'.
  • How do I book a Duet session?
    We book the Duet sessions in the normal one-to-one slots, so have a look online at the timetable. Both individuals have to attend a 1-1 private session before starting the Duet so we can do the postural & movement analysis and find out your individual health details and goals - they will be different for both of you, so we need to assess you separately. The Duet is the same price as the one-to-one and you have will have to sort out the finances between you and pay together. If one person cannot attend the session the full price is still due. Please contact Pilates Now! before booking.
  • Should I join an Essentials or Mixed Ability class?
    Both are excellent and will give you a great workout. The levels refer to your knowledge of the STOTT PILATES Repertoire rather than your level of fitness. The Essentials classes cover the Essentials part of the STOTT PILATES Repertoire, which is extensive and are the best place to start on your Reformer journey. The Mixed Ability combine the Essentials and Intermediate STOTT PILATES Repertoire. We recommend all new clients start with the Essentials classes to get acquainted with the the STOTT PILATES basic principles and Reformer exercises, even if you have done Reformer Pilates elsewhere,. Each studio and training provider are different and teach in different ways and we want to make sure you feel in control and confident all the way through your Pilates workout.
  • How do I book a 1-1 session or class?
    To book, simply go onto the Booking Calendar page and select the 1-1 or class you would like. You will be asked if you would like to pay with it with a payment plan (pass) or as a one-off. Click on your preferred option and you are booked! The Payment Plans (Passes) give you the best value but you van also pay-as-you-go.
  • Why do I need to do a Private session before joining a class?
    We ask all new clients to do at least one private session before joining a class so we can find out your health details and goals; do a postural & movement analysis and go through the basic principles underlying all Pilates exercises. This enables us to write an individual exercise programme which we use in all subsequent sessions or classes. All the classes are designed around the needs and goals of the individual participants in each class, so no two classes are the same - there is no 'one-size-fits-all' class at Pilates Now! and we pride ourselves on being able to give a bespoke experience in a class setting.
  • Should I do One-to-Ones or Classes?
    We ask all new clients to attend at least one one-to-one before joining a class, so we can do postural & movement analysis; find out your health details & your goals and go through the Basic Principles underlying all Pilates exercises. The more one-to-ones you can do, the quicker you will improve. If you are fit and in good health with a couple of low level niggles and issues a class will be fine. It's important to start with the Beginners or Essential level (even if you've done Pilates before) to start to learn the repertoire of exercises and focus on your technique. We still need you to do a one-to-one first, even if you have been doing Reformer Pilates for a while. If you have a specific issue or injury or have not done any exercise for a while it's best to do one-to-ones, so we can really look after you and make sure you are working out in as safe and effective way as possible.
  • When should I start Post Natal Pilates?
    The medical recommendation (and we always follow the medical profession) is that Pilates is safe to start 6 weeks after a normal delivery and 12 weeks after a C-Section. It is important to book one-to-ones in the early stages of your post-natal journey - whether that is 6 weeks after giving birth or 6 months - and bring your body back to a balanced and working whole. We work with clients who have diastasis, pelvic floor issues, prolapse and stress incontinence. Contact Ris for more information.
  • Which class should I book if I am postnatal?
    It is important to do one-to-ones before joining a class. Your Pilates instructor will be able to advise you which classes will be suitable. There is a postnatal class on the timetable specially for postpartum clients. As everyone is different, and everyone's pregnancy and birth experience is different it is important to get individual advice and support. Contact Ris at Pilates Now! for more information.
  • Can I do Pilates if I am pregnant?
    Yes! Pilates is safe and effective exercise to do whilst you are pregnant with instructors who are trained in Antenatal & Postnatal. Fortunately, all the instructors at Pilates Now! have done specialist training in working with Ante & Post natal clients. Antenatal Pilates can be started when you are 12 weeks pregnant (it is not recommended before) and is an excellent way to help the body deal with the changing demands that pregnancy puts on the body and to help to prepare for birth and recovery afterwards. It recommended to do One-to-Ones and we have an antenatal class on the timetable. If you are experiencing any problems during your pregnancy or have any contra-indications, it is important you follow your midwife or doctors advice. Contact Ris at Pilates Now! for more information.
  • How accessible is the Pilates Now! Studio?
    There is a lift between the Virgin Active entrance on the upper ground floor and the lower ground floor where the Pilates Now! Studio is located. There are disabled toilet facilities on the upper ground floor and a disabled shower in the changing room. If you have a blue badge and would like to use the disabled parking space, please contact Pilates Now! for details.
  • Is there parking at the Pilates Now! Studio?
    Yes, clients of Pilates Now! Studio can use the Virgin Active car park at Chiswick Park but must register your car in the club when you arrive. There is a tablet screen on the right side by the coffee machine, through the entrance barriers, put in your registration number plate. Ask the receptionist if you need any assistance. You must register otherwise you will get a parking fine. You can park for up to 3 hours. The car park is a 3 - 5 minute walk from the entrance of Virgin Active. The car park does get very busy at peak periods and you may have to queue for a while, please build this into your timing before your session. The car park is left at the roundabout and towards the rear of the business park. Alternatively, there is metered parking in the surrounding streets. If you have a blue badge and need to use the disabled parking space closer to the club, contact Pilates Now!
  • Are there changing facilities at the Pilates Now! Studio?
    Clients of Pilates Now! Studio can use the changing rooms at Virgin Active. There are lockers you can leave your belongings in but you need to bring in a padlock. There are showers but you will need to bring your own towel.
  • What equipment do you use in Pilates?
    Joseph Pilates developed many different pieces of equipment in his lifetime, all to support, challenge and assist the user during their Pilates workout. The best known is the Reformer, which uses a sliding carriage, attached to different spring strengths and using ropes, pulleys and bars. The Reformer gives amazing feedback so you can check you are firing the right muscles (and not compensating), enables you to increase your range of movement safely. It provides a full body workout by changing positions (lying, sitting, kneeling, standing, box position, backwards, forwards, sideways), changing the direction of the straps and ropes and changing the spring load. The heavier springs don't always give the hardest work, often the lighter the springs, the harder the body has to work to support itself. The Cadillac Trapeze Table was, if fact, named after the American car! Joseph Pilates was so impressed by the size of it when he got to New York that he called the Trapeze table after it! It works on the same principle as the Reformer with the springs but is static, and has a Push-Through Bar, Rolldown Bar and Trapeze to improve core strength and flexibility, especially of the spine. It's great for rehabilitation exercises. At Pilates Now! Studio, we have V2Max Reformers from Merrithew Health & Fitness. These have Towers at the end of them and give the opportunity to do combined Reformer and Cadillac exercises so you get the best of both worlds! The Stability Chair (or traditionally Wunda Chair) uses springs, a seated platform, pedal and handles for a workout with a great focus on core strength, balance, leg strength and alignment and is great for rehabilitation exercises. The Barrels include the Ladder Barrel, the Spine Corrector and the Arc Barrel, each designed to increase core strength and spine flexibility in a variety of different planes and ranges of movement.
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