Sarah Woodhouse (the teacher) has been teaching pilates for 14 years. She's experienced, and while she can do all sorts of fancy things, she doesn't try to make her inept students (ie. me) do them.
She runs two levels of classes at The Commons: Regular, and 'walking wounded'. This means that students with chronic pains or illnesses can get the level of attention they require, and not feel like they're holding other students back.
I was incredibly impressed with Sarah's ability to give one on one attention to multiple students. She has small class sizes to help this, but anyone who's done group fitness before knows that individual attention can be hard to come by.
I took the regular class, and struggled. I hadn't done pilates for almost a year, and I was out of practice. My muscles wobbled, my core wasn't tight, my hips needed to be angled differently. In pilates, a tiny detail can be the difference between boredom and an intense workout.
Luckily, during the repeats of every exercise, Sarah walks around the small room, and adjusts you. She tests how tense your core is, she tries to steal the towel you're gripping between your thighs. Once a woman didn't get the exercise until the end. Sarah simply got the whole class to do another set.
She offers multiple levels of difficulty for most of the exercises, and watches carefully to make sure that you're doing them right. Despite her attention to detail, she never makes you feel foolish or embarrassed.
Now, I'm usually pretty stingy when it comes to, well, everything. I've done a fair bit a pilates through a couple of gym memberships, and I tend to come out of the classes disappointed. Not so this class.
Despite a relatively high cost ($20 as a casual, or a term of 7 classes for $120) I came out of the building feeling in tip top shape. Well, feeling tip top in an exhausted sort of way!
Life gets pretty busy, but Sarah says that pilates can undo a lot of the damage that you do to your body every day. Sitting in a car, walking with a heavy handbag, even slouching on the couch, can have serious effects.
If you claim not to do any of these things, I don't believe you. Check out her class options here, and find one that suits your schedule.