Why Small Class Sizes Matter
Every day, more and more people are discovering the power of Pilates. With its countless benefits and ability to adapt to the needs of each individual student, it is no wonder that Pilates continues to grow in popularity. There are more Pilates studios popping up and more Pilates classes making their way into other fitness studios. I love that Pilates is reaching more people! But is that growing popularity coming at a cost? At its inception, Pilates was a rehabilitation tool that focused on restoring natural movement patterns to gain strength, balance, flexibility and health. The different exercises in Pilates aim to encourage proper posture and alignment to attain healthy movements. Here is the thing: Just doing Pilates isn’t enough. You need to be doing Pilates correctly in order to reap its rewards. In a perfect world, everyone would do private lessons as part of their routine. However, I realize that not everyone can afford to take private lessons in order to get the exact individual corrections and directions unique to their body. Classes are certainly a more affordable option which can lead to an increase in frequency and faster results. Group classes are a perfect solution, right?! Not so fast…
I recently had a new client start with me who revealed that she had been doing Pilates classes for years at various studios and had never received an individual direction or correction within a group class. I don’t care what anyone tells you…there is just now way that you are going to get individual corrections and help that are unique to your body and your needs in a large class setting. Sure, you are going to flow through exercises and get basic direction and cues from the teacher. The thing is, there is no generic cue that works for everybody because there is no generic body. We are all so different in our strengths and weaknesses that in order to get all the benefits to Pilates, we need to be getting the direction that is right for us.
At my studio, we limit our group Pilates equipment classes to 4-6 students. I feel that this small size allows my staff and me to keep track of each individual student so that everyone is doing the exercises in ways that benefit them and their unique self. There are countless tweaks that we as teachers can make in a single exercise that are going to serve you differently than the person next to you. Limiting the number of students in a class allows us to provide those necessary adjustments to each individual. Our clients are continually amazed at how these tiny adjustments make huge changes in how the exercises work. I also believe there is a safety issue that comes into play. Pilates is inherently safe, but just like anything else, if you do a movement incorrectly then you run the risk of injury. This is why small class sizes matter. Remember, there is no generic cue because there is no generic body. The exercises in Pilates will change you, but only if you are doing them correctly.