Class Levels

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Your safety and wellbeing are our priority, so we will advise you on the most appropriate level class for you - where we feel we can best meet your needs and ensure your safety within a group. Remember that ‘progress’ is not necessarily linear, and your needs will change at different stages of your life - particularly as you get older. Please trust your teacher’s expertise in guiding you, but feel free to speak to us if you have any questions or concerns about your level.

 

Level 1

This class is for you if you've never done Pilates before (complete beginner), or if you've only done a little bit. It is also for people who have done Pilates previously but don't feel that they really understand it yet, for example if you were taught Pilates in a gym environment or in a large group (without hands-on correction and individual guidance). Sometimes people stay in a Level 1 class for a year or more (possibly even permanently) depending on their ability and physical condition. Others move up to Level 2 after a few months - it is different for everyone. This class level enables you to learn about your body and work on the basic principles and fundamentals of the Pilates Method. Everyone is welcome at this level (unless an Over 60s or Chair class [or 1-1s] would be more appropriate for you).

 

Level 2

This class is for progressed beginners / “improvers”, who have mastered the basics of breathing and centering already. There might be many things you haven’t understood yet, or that your body can’t do, but you understand how to coordinate breathing with movement in order to achieve flow and core support for your spine. Many people will not progress beyond this level, if for example they wish to work at a slower / more gentle pace, or if they are over the age of 60 (many clients transition from a Level 2 class into an Over 60s class as they get older). Or you might have been doing Pilates for many years, but you do not have the strength or flexibility required for the more challenging Level 3 classes. Or you might have done Pilates in the past but you’re returning to a regular class after a break. We are happy to adapt for individuals with medical conditions such as Osteoporosis at this level.

 

Level 3

This is the class for you if you are quite experienced at Pilates but perhaps not as strong or as bendy as you’d like to be! You need to know most of the basic exercise names and be familiar with some of the Classical Pilates Repertory. You also need to understand the principles of Pilates and be confident with looking after your own body safely. There might be some things you can’t do, but you are capable enough to be pushed fairly hard and achieve adapted versions of the more advanced exercises. You will usually need at least 2-3 years of Pilates experience, although this will vary between individuals. This level class is not usually suitable for people with Osteoporosis or other physical issues requiring a more specialist approach.

 

Level 4

This class is our highest level class, so you need to be relatively fit, strong and experienced to join this level. No serious injuries or medical issues, as these are faster-paced, more dynamic and challenging classes for more advanced Pilates enthusiasts!

 

 

Over 60s class

If you have not done any Pilates before and you are already over 60 (or over 70) then this is probably the class for you. As most people in these classes will not be beginners, we ask anyone who is a complete Beginner to attend a 1-1 class first so that the teacher can assess their individual needs before suggesting they join a group. This is still a mat class, meaning you are required to get down to the floor and up again without assistance (and without putting yourself at risk of falling). You will also need to be comfortable lying down, as well as doing some work on the hands and knees (perhaps adapted).  

 

You might be over 60 years of age and comfortably attending another level class – many people are incredibly fit, strong and mobile in their 60s and 70s! If you have been practising Pilates regularly since you were 40, for example, then you may not need to switch to an Over 60s class until you are much older. It’s about the needs of your body, not your actual numerical age. Of course, many of us aren’t very happy about getting older! But please follow the guidance of your teacher when they feel the time is right for you to make the switch to this class (or to a Chair-based class) – we are concerned with your well-being and it is never an insult to be asked to move to a more appropriate class!

 

 

Chair-based class

This class is for you if you want to stay active and supple but you are not able to get up and down from the floor easily, or lie down on the floor comfortably. It is suitable for the older person or for those with restricted mobility, joint replacements, MS, Parkinsons, Fibromyalgia, Osteoporosis, balance problems etc. Rather than doing conventional Pilates exercises (which take place on the floor) this class uses the Pilates principles to help improve your balance, strength, mobility, posture and coordination, with exercises either sitting in a chair or standing (and holding onto the chair or wall). You might be sitting down, but these classes are not easy! Our teachers will still challenge you and push you as hard as they feel they safely can, whilst precisely targeting the different needs of the older client.