Miguel Bengoa

All About Your First Pilates Lesson

Everything you wanted to know about your First Pilates Lesson

and some things you didn’t!


Ok, perhaps this isn’t your first ever Pilates Lesson, but it’ll be your first lesson with me…


First things first: photo credits – Emma Hogan Photography: click here

The Short Version


  1. I want you to do as much as possible whilst you’re here.
  2. You book online. There’s a short questionnaire to save your studio time.
  3. I’ll do my best to give you a call say “hello”, and to answer any questions you might have.
  4. Come to reception in the Zellig Building Custard Factory and I’ll meet you there.
  5. I’ll accompany you up to the beautiful studio and get you started ASAP.
  6. I’ll create a personal programme for you and send it via email 24 hours after your lesson.

The (much) Longer Version 👇🏽👇🏽👇🏽


Birmingham Pilates Studios Assessment Lesson
Your Pilates Studio. Photo credits: Emma Cheerio. Click to enlarge.

I’ve never done Pilates before!  What should I expect?

Shouldn’t I have an assessment or something before starting?

Yes, definitely!


🌟  I’ll do the assessment as you’re doing the exercises.  Pilates isn’t cheap – I want to give you the best value for money…

🌟  That’s why I ask you to fill in a short questionnaire before coming to the studio: so I have a fairly good idea about you before seeing you.  Tell me about any health issues and what you’re looking for from Pilates …

🌟  You’ll get to try different exercises on different apparatus: Mat, Reformer, Barrels, Cadillac and Wunda Chair (there’s also Foot Corrector, Toe Corrector and other small apparatus).  We’ll start with easy and see where we get to… 🙂

🌟 After you’re gone, I’ll create a personal plan for you and establish some goals for us to work on – you’ll get what you want AND what you need.

So, it’s all about you!




I have done Pilates before!  In fact, I’ve been doing it for years

Perfect!  Tell me where you are in your practice and we’ll take it from there!


🌟 If it turns out that you know more and are better than me, I’ll ask you to teach me – and I’ll pay you!

🌟 I go to other people’s lessons too!  All the best teachers have their teachers.  In fact because of the pandemic, I’ve had lessons with some of the best and well known teachers in the world!  I’ll tell you who, if you ask 🙂

🌟 Your first lesson is your chance to show me what you’ve been doing.   You can tell me in the questionnaire.  In your first lesson, I’ll be able to give you new challenges with what you’re currently doing and new exercises to help you progress.

🌟 I’ll create a personal programme for you that contains both what you want AND what you need…



You keep talking about “a plan” …  I don’t get it?

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

— now I wish I remembered who said that??


🌟 Pilates is about PROGRESSING – not repeating the same things lessons after lesson.  It’s not physiotherapy, it’s about getting to do what you already do, but much, much better!

🌟 I want you to get the best value for money: that’s why there’s a plan and that’s why there’s Open Studio Group Classes.

🌟 From your first lesson, we’ll decide on a monthly goal and I’ll create a programme for you to achieve that goal.  It could be anything from

  • being able to put your shoes on without sitting down to;
  • mastering a new exercise series to;
  • learning a basic series of exercises so you can join the Open Studio Group Classes….
  • becoming less dependent on your teacher and more self-reliant in your practice (saves you £££)
  • or, just having fun!  That counts too!



I just want to join a Class – I don’t want a plan or anything like that …

You can… but can you use the apparatus safely?


🌟 Moving carriages, ropes, springs, swinging bars and catapulting pedals make for an environment where accidents can happen.  Pilates apparatus was invented before health & safety considerations became important.  Did you know that some of the apparatus was dreamed up in Prisoner of War Camp in the Isle of Man during WW?

🌟 So, I always ask if we can have a one on one lesson before joining an Open Studio Class or Self Access.



What’s an Open Studio Pilates Class?

It’s a class in which you work semi-independently

Different people have different goals and wants.
There is no “one size fits all”.
Everyone has a different Personal Programme.


🌟 It gives you an opportunity to become more independent in your practice – I believe that there’s too much teacher led teaching and too much hand holding.

🌟 Think about it – being independent is a sign of proficiency 🙂

🌟 These sessions are cheaper and that means that you get the best value for money!



I just want 1:1 private lessons!

… and that’s fine too – so do I with one of my teachers!


🌟 It means that you get one on one attention – it’s more expensive, but you get my complete and undivided attention…



I live too far away – do you still do Zoom lessons?

… yes, definitely!


🌟 I have students in the US, Turkey and China.  I teach these people via Zoom 🙂



Convinced and booked?

Great!  Now, getting there…

There’s a map on our Contact Page: click here.

There are buses and both New Street and Moor Street train stations are within 15 minutes walk.

When you get to Custard Factory, go into the Zellig Building.  The Zellig is the most beautiful part of the Custard Factory complex:

That’s us: the beautiful red brick buildings on the main Digbeth High Street (Deritend High Street), Birmingham East Side.

Birmingham Pilates Studios Assessment Lesson
Photo by Nick Bradshaw @ Serious Content - click to enlarge

The view from the Gibb Street entrance:

Zellig Entrance
Zellig Entrance: click to enlarge

And here’s our amazing reception – we call it “Nomad”.  Tell the receptionist that you’ve arrived, and I’ll come to meet you!

Birmingham Pilates Studios Assessment Lesson
Click to Enlarge: Zellig Reception

See you very soon!

Best wishes,


Miguel 🙂

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