Frequently Asked Questions

What is Pilates?

Regardless of your level of physical fitness activity, you have no doubt heard of Pilates. Developed by Joseph Pilates nearly a century ago, Pilates has become one of the most popular fitness methods in the world. A system of exercises designed to increase flexibility, strengthen the body and provide greater mental focus, it has also been embraced by professional athletes and physical rehabilitation experts for its numerous benefits. Read more about those benefits here.

For much of his childhood, Pilates suffered from asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever, yet he was determined to improve his physical health. He studied yoga, qigong, gymnastics and body building, and developed exercises to increase his strength and flexibility, balance and alignment.

During World War I, Pilates was interned in a camp on the Isle of Man. There, he used springs removed from hospital beds to assist in the rehabilitation of wounded soldiers, developing techniques to increase their range of motion. In 1926, Pilates emigrated to the United States and opened the first Pilates studio in New York City. Among his clients were famed dancers George Balanchine and Martha Graham, though the benefits of Pilates were quickly realized by the New York society elite, theater performers, and gymnasts.

Joseph Pilates created over 600 exercises during his teaching career. The crude equipment devised of used hospital beds and springs was developed into equipment still in use today: the Reformer, Cadillac, Ladder Barrel, Wunda Chair and Spine Corrector. He believed that his exercises and equipment were not simply a fitness program, but rather a path toward total body wellness and health. His method, called Contrology, was designed to train the entire body and, by doing so, correct body alignment and balance issues.

Several approaches to the Pilates method have spread during the past century. The BASI Method, developed by founder Rael Isacowitz, aims to continue the essence of Pilates’ work, while also integrating more modern equipment and contemporary scientific concepts. During a typical Pilates session, a client will be led through progressive exercises in the Block System, including a Warm Up, Foot Work, Abdominal Work, Hip Work, Spinal Articulation, Stretches, Full Body Integration, Arm Work, Leg Work, Lateral Flexion/Rotation, and Back Extension.

How long are Pilates sessions?

All of our sessions and classes are 55 minutes. In order to keep the schedule running smoothly, please arrive at least 5 minutes before your scheduled appointment.

What is the difference between a Mat and Circuit class?

See our Classes page for detailed descriptions of the classes, but at the most basic level, our Circuit classes make considerable use of the studio equipment. Mat classes may involve the Magic Circle, a small ball, or other props, but all exercises are executed on a floor mat. Even though the equipment is not used during a Mat Class, the classes do incorporate all of the foundational principles of Pilates and the BASI Block System. Exercises work opposing ranges of motion, maintaining flow and balance while working through the muscles of the entire body.

New clients are welcome to join us in Mat Classes. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions or injuries (osteoarthritis, herniated discs, recovery from surgery, et al.), please contact the Studio to discuss the best plan for your body. Your safety and enjoyment is paramount; we may recommend that you begin with some private work before moving into group classes.

Since Pilates Circuit Classes make considerable use of the equipment, at least five private sessions are required before enrolling in these classes. During these sessions, you will receive training on safe use of the equipment, names of the exercises, and proper technique when executing each task.

What should I wear?

Please wear clothing that will allow your instructor see your alignment during all exercises. Pick something that stretches, provides appropriate support, and is comfortable enough to allow freedom of movement.

Galante Pilates is a “no-shoe” studio. No shoes are allowed in Mat Classes or on the Pilates equipment. Socks may be worn only if they provide some traction. We recommend Sticky Be Socks, available for purchase in the studio.

Jewelry and watches are also prohibited, as they can cause injury or damage the Pilates equipment.

In addition, as a courtesy to other clients who may be sensitive or allergic, please do not wear any scented lotions, perfumes or colognes.

What should I bring?

An open mind, positive attitude, and a water bottle. Since the studio is a “no-shoe” environment, we also recommend Sticky Be Socks or toe socks to provide some traction and keep the studio clean. Mats and small towels are provided for all classes, but you are certainly welcome to bring your own.

Will insurance cover the cost of my sessions?

Pilates can help you recover from an injury. If your personal physician or physical therapist recommends Pilates to assist in your recovery, check with your insurance provider to see if you are eligible for reimbursement. Galante Pilates does not bill companies, nor file medical insurance claims, but we can provide progress notes, records of private instruction and billing history. Also, check with your Human Resources Department to determine if your Pilates sessions can be covered through your employer-sponsored Flexible Spending Account.

How do I get started?

Contact us through the Contact page, email or by phone. If you are new to Pilates, the New Client Special is a great way to get started.

If you prefer to start with some classes, you are welcome to join us in Mat Classes. All Mat Classes focus on the core Pilates principles and can be adapted for all experience levels. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions or injuries (osteoarthritis, herniated discs, recovery from surgery, et al.), please contact the Studio to discuss the best plan for your body. Your safety and enjoyment is paramount; we may recommend that you begin with some private work before moving into group classes.

Since Pilates Circuit Classes make considerable use of the equipment, at least five private sessions are required before enrolling in these classes. During these sessions, you will receive training on safe use of the equipment, names of the exercises, and proper technique when executing each task.