All around the world, people are discovering the benefits of Pilates on a daily basis. In fact, one survey found that almost 12% of Americans performed yoga or Pilates in the year 2018.

Have you thought about jumping on board the Pilates train, and discovering its benefits for yourself? If you have, maybe you are wondering which is the best Pilates studio in Westwood for you. Of course, if you live in LA, there are a lot of Pilates studios from which to choose: but don’t worry! At Sheppard Method Pilates, we understand that you want to make the best choice for your fitness goals and lifestyle. This article will examine 6 common questions that newcomers to Pilates have, along with some helpful answers.

1. Is Pilates Right for Me? 

The first question in our list is also the most logical. After all, you want to know: “If I start practicing Pilates, what’s in it for me?”

The truth is, there’s a lot in it for you! Here are just a few of the benefits associated with regular Pilates training:

  • It’s great for your abs and core. One study conducted by Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that women who completed 36 weeks of Pilates training strengthened their rectus abdominis (the “six-pack” muscle) by an average of 21%, while also eliminating muscle imbalances between the right and left sides of their cores.
  • It can help ease back pain. In many situations, regularly practicing Pilates can also help to ease chronic back pain. After all, a stronger core means a stronger back.
  • Pilates enhances focus. Because so much of Pilates training centers around control (particularly of breath and body movement), it helps you to improve your concentration. And, as an added bonus, it creates an opportunity for your mind to focus on something other than your problems!
  • It boosts your brainpower. Researchers have found that Pilates practitioners enjoy increased alpha peak power in the brain; in other words, enhanced memory and alertness, among other cognitive benefits.

If the points mentioned above sound like awesome benefits, then yes: Pilates is right for you.

2. What Type of Pilates Do You Practice?

The Pilates methodology was originally invented by Joseph Pilates near the end of the First World War, and was originally called “Contrology.” Joseph and his wife, Clara, eventually opened a fitness studio in New York and continued their innovative work together until Joseph’s death in 1967.

Strict adherents of Joseph’s original teachings practice what is commonly known as “Classical Pilates.” However, many scientific and medical advances have occurred in the years since Joseph’s death; advances which have provided deeper insights into how the human body works, and how to adapt and optimize fitness training according to the needs of each individual.

At Sheppard Method Pilates, we take the core teachings of Classical Pilates, and combine them with more than 30 years of modern mind-body research in our training courses. Thus, we teach a combination of Pilates Reformer, Mat, Cadillac, and other exercises.

3. How Do You Handle Those Who are New to Pilates?

We know that new things can be a little scary at first, even when it comes to something as straightforward as Pilates training. We work hard to make everyone new to Pilates feel welcome. In addition, our studio offers the following advantages to newcomers:

  • Small class sizes, so no one gets “lost in the crowd”
  • A personal evaluation of your current fitness level and goals conducted by one of our instructors
  • Three 55-minute private sessions with an expert instructor

You may worry that you’ll fall behind in class, or that you won’t be able to keep up with your instructor. If you’ve entertained those thoughts, please be reassured: We are more than happy to adjust our instruction to your abilities, personality, and goals. We will always provide training at a pace beneficial to you, personally.

4. What if I Have Injuries or Ailments?

Pilates and other movement training exercises are actually an excellent way to deal with pain from injuries or other causes. Of course, if you are unsure of the source of your pain, then it is wise to seek a diagnosis from a health care professional before diving headlong into a Pilates training course. An accurate diagnosis can help your instructor to design a safe and effective exercise regimen tailored to your individual circumstances.

5. What are Your Options for Group Classes and Private Sessions?

Originally, Joseph Pilates intended Pilates training to exist within a purely one-on-one space. In that same spirit, we always seek to provide maximum benefit to each of our clients through highly tailored, individualized lessons.

While we are primarily a private-based studio, we do offer group-oriented options, such as semi-private classes, Mat Classes, and Group Reformer Classes. Ultimately our goal is to provide highly personalized instruction that meets the physical, mental, and emotional needs of each student, either in one-on-one settings, or in the class environment.

6. If I Am Undergoing Physical Therapy, Can I Still Practice Pilates?

Absolutely! In fact, many physical therapists incorporate elements of Pilates methodology in the movement exercises they prescribe for their patients.

Of course, you’ll need to provide your Pilates instructor with the details of your physical therapy regimen, or put him/her in contact with your physical therapist to ask about movement agendas and contraindications. Basically, you want to ensure that your Pilates training is working hand in hand with your physical rehabilitation exercises; and good communication is the key to that.

As you can see, practicing Pilates may very well be the key to unlocking a whole new you! At Sheppard Method Pilates, we offer world-class Pilates instruction for anyone living in the Westwood area. Whether it’s Pilates for men, Pilates for seniors, or even Pilates certification for aspiring teachers, we are more than happy to help each client reach his or her personal goals.

If you’d like to learn more about our classes, and the personalized services we offer, reach out to us at Sheppard Method Pilates today and find out why we are considered the best Pilates studio in Westwood.