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How long does each class last?

Each class lasts approximately 55-60 minutes.

Do I need to bring my own mat?

If you are attending a general mat class, then yes. This is for reasons of hygiene and also so that you can practise at home. Please ensure your mat has sufficient cushioning as some of the exercises involve rolling on the back. A yoga mat is unsuitable. The Airex Pilates mat provides good cushioning - please click here to obtain a 5% discount should you decide to invest in this particular mat.

If you are attending the pre-natal or post-natal Pilates classes, mats are provided by Meadowside Leisure Centre, Whiteley.

What should I wear?

Please wear loose, comfortable clothing. Feet should either be bare or with socks. Please do not wear jeans or any clothing that might restrict movement. Please ensure your feet and socks are clean!

Should I bring anything else to a class?

Please bring a small folded towel for head support and some water.

How many people are there in a class?

The maximum number in all classes is 10, save for the back care class where the maximum number is 8. Class sizes are kept small to ensure individual attention and quality instruction.

How can I pay?

Payment can be made by either cash or cheque when booking. Alternatively payment can be made by BACS bank transfer - details can be provided upon request.

All mat classes must be paid for in advance.

Can men do Pilates too?

Yes of course! After all, Joseph Pilates was a man and he originally designed his method for men. Not only did he train women and dancers, but he also trained circus performers, boxers, wrestlers and strongmen.

Isn't Pilates a bit like yoga?

Whilst there are some similarities, which is unsurprising as Joseph Pilates studied both Eastern and Western disciplines of exercise and breathing, Pilates involves more dynamic and flowing movements whereas yoga generally consists of more static poses and stretches.

How many times a week should I practise Pilates?

You should ideally try and practise two to three times per week with at least one session per week taught by a certified Pilates Teacher to ensure correct form and technique.

What if I have osteoporosis or some other back or joint complaint?

Please ensure any medical conditions are declared on the Client Enrolment Form so that exercises may be adapted to your specific needs and for your safety. In certain circumstances, it may not be appropriate for you to join a group mat class and instead we may advise you to have private tuition. Please note consent to contact your healthcare practictioner may be required in order to find out more about your condition before you commence any Pilates exercise.

Can't I just learn Pilates from a DVD or a book?

We advise anyone new to Pilates to obtain instruction from an accredited Pilates teacher to learn correct form and technique, otherwise there is a risk of injury. Thereafter, certain Pilates DVDs may provide a useful addition to your exercise regime.

What if I cannot attend one of the classes on the course?

We understand that life is busy and for this reason, we do offer you the option to make up classes that you have had to miss on an alternative day during the week, providing there is sufficient space. Sorry but refunds cannot be given for any missed classes and availability for a make up class on an alternative day cannot always be guaranteed. We will attempt to accomodate as many requests as possible for make up classes. Please note that missed classes cannot be carried over onto another course or given to another person. Please further note that it is your repsonsibility to request a make up class.

Will I like Pilates?

Pilates can provide an invigorating and challenging workout, however it is not a 'quick fix' and requires a certain level of commitment before its full benefits can be reaped. For those wanting more of a stretching or meditative experience, yoga may be a better option. We advise you commit to a full 6 week course to find out whether Pilates is right for you. Remember though that you know your body best - never work through any pain and if a particular exercise does not feel right, please stop and let your teacher know.

Do you offer a free taster session?

No. If you wish to try Pilates, you will be required to commit to a full course of classes.

Do you teach the original classical repertoire of matwork exercises?

Yes, with modifications and variations provided to suit the individual or any physical condition where appropriate. Props such as an inflatable overball, light arm weights, theraband and magic circle may also be used to provide assistance or more of a challenge. Please be aware that the classical repertoire is not appropriate for pregnancy, post natal or rehabilitation scenarios - modified Pilates will be taught instead, whilst still remaining true to the original fundamentals and principles of the classical method.

Where do you teach?

Group mat classes take place at Lee-on-Solent Community Centre and Nobes Hall in Bridgemary. Pre-natal and post-natal classes take place at Meadowside Leisure Centre in Whiteley.

Josie is also able to provide instruction on the Reformer, Tower and Wunda Chair in her home studio.

Can you teach me in my home?

Due to time restraints and the popularity of her apparatus teaching at her home studio, Josie is no longer able to offer house calls.

Are you a physiotherapist?

No, but neither was Joseph Pilates. If you are injured or in acute pain, you should seek medical attention from a Doctor or other healthcare practitioner. Thereafter, you may then commence Pilates exercise once you have been medically cleared to do so.

Some physiotherapists are now starting to provide Pilates mat instruction which may be beneficial for some individuals in certain circumstances. However please be aware that this particular group of instructors whilst being medically trained, may not have been practising Pilates for very long, may have only attended a weekend course or two to obtain their Pilates certification and may have little understanding of the classical roots of the work - so technically they may not be teaching Pilates at all but physiotherapy based exercises. Physiotherapy is physiotherapy and Pilates is Pilates - they are not the same thing. You should find out what a particular teacher's passion and knowledge of the Pilates method is to find out if they are right for you!

All Pilates Foundation trained mat teachers have undergone an intensive training programme over a period of at least one year covering both the classical and modern repertoire of exercises, to include an in depth study of anatomy and physiology as well as rehabilitative techniques.

Can I do Pilates if I am pregnant?

Providing your pregnancy is progessing well and your Doctor or Midwife agrees, then yes.

If you are a new client, you will not be able to commence pre-natal Pilates classes until you are 12 weeks pregnant. If you are already taking part in one of our group mat classes and subsequently discover you are pregnant, you may be able to continue with those classes until such time as it is appropriate for you to join the pre-natal Pilates class.

Do you offer drop in classes?

No. The reason for this is 3 fold:

  • It is important a Pilates teacher has obtained a full medical history from a new client to ensure there are no physical or medical limitations on their ability to do Pilates to avoid risk of injury.

  • Pilates requires a certain level of commitment from both student and teacher and this cannot be achieved by attending a class on an occasional basis.

  • Classes are best structured and progressed when the teacher has knowledge of the participants and their bodies.

Are you a certified Pilates teacher?

Yes, Josie is certified by the Pilates Foundation to teach mat Pilates. She is also certified by Lynne Robinson of Body Control to teach pre and post-natal Pilates.

In addition, Josie is two thirds of the way through a comprehensive Classical Pilates Certification with a Second Generation teacher (who has been certified by Pilates Elder Jay Grimes), so that she can extend her service to teach clients to use the large Studio apparatus such as the Reformer and Wunda Chair and also ensure she is teaching from knowledge that is as close to the original 'source' as possible.

Is 'lineage' important and if so why?

The answer to this is definitely 'yes' as it is important to learn from the purest source possible. Unfortunately the Pilates industry is not regulated and anyone can now attend a weekend course and subsequently declare themselves a 'Pilates teacher'. There is also a huge disparity in standards among 'certified' Pilates teachers because there is no single unified standard that the industry is required to adhere to. This results in a watering down and altering of the original method, often with the incorporation of external factors in order to keep up with modern fitness trends - this is not Pilates.

It is far better to learn from someone who has either learned from the creator of the method or someone as close as possible to the creator. That is because these teachers will be the ones who can pass on to you the purest philosophy of Pilates as it was meant to be when Joseph Pilates created it. A teacher should therefore be able to trace their lineage directly back to Joseph and Clara Pilates.

Josie Williams is a fourth generation teacher with a lineage that can be traced directly back to Joseph and Clara Pilates. She has also attended workshops led by Pilates Elder and First Generation teacher Jay Grimes.

Do you provide instruction on the Pilates Reformer, Cadillac/Tower and Wunda Chair?

Yes, currently up to intermediate level.