First Pilates Lesson: everything you wanted to know

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
–Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The Short Version

  1. You book online. There’s a short questionnaire to save valuable studio time: I want you to do as much as possible whilst you’re here.
  2. Before you come I’ll give you a call to answer any questions you might have.
  3. Come to reception (office hours only)  in the Zellig Building (Custard Factory) and I’ll meet you there.
  4. After your session, I’ll create a personal programme for you.  You’ll get it by email 24 hours after your lesson.

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General FAQs

See the FAQs post with video (here).

As you start, you’ll realise that you are in control of what happens at all times.  And that’s a part of what Pilates is all about: learning control.  In fact, that is what Joe Pilates called his exercise system: “Contrology”.

You can, after a first lesson.  Remember that in the groups, you’ll be working under the supervision of the teacher, but semi-independently.  This helps you to become independent faster an objective of Pilates.

Safety.  I don’t wrap people in cotton wool, but some of the Pilates apparatus is potentially dangerous.  I need to know that you aren’t going to fall off a Reformer, hit yourself with the Push Through Bar or get hair or fingers caught in a spring.
You’re programme.  You need to have an idea of what objectives you’re aiming towards.

I’m afraid not.  Lessons are all either 1:1 or in small groups (that includes closed duet lessons too).  In small groups everyone is working semi-independently at their own pace on their own programme.

Before your session

Yes, there’s lots of paid parking.  The most economical is just opposite the Zellig.  The Zellig has a large car park with security camera.  The cost is £1.20 per hour – the machine takes cash only.

The Custard Factory also has surveillance and you can pay by phone.  It costs considerably more, though.

Please feel free to call if you have any questions you’d like to ask.

Please book online though – unless for some reason you just can’t.  This is to avoid circular telephone tag or conversations like: “are you free on Tuesday afternoon?”…

There’s a short screening questionnaire to fill before you come.

There are booking buttons scattered all over this website.

Yes, there is a shower room on the First Floor with two separate, lockable cubicles.

No, Pilates is done without shoes.

Some people prefer not to take off their socks.  Be aware that some exercise require standing or pushing off a surface.  So, the if you do really want to wear socks, make sure that they are specially made for Pilates (yes, they exist :-)) with sticky pads on the soles to improve grip.

As long as you are not absolutely stuffed – a light meal isn’t usually a problem – unless you suffer from gastric problems.

You can use the confirmation email to reschedule up to 24 hours before your lesson.  After that, you’ll have to call me to ask me if I would reschedule for you.  Repeated rescheduling can result in the cancellation of your booking.

And it’s not all about exercise he was promoting physical and spiritual (not religious) health.

During your session

The idea is to create change.  And creating change takes effort.  Think of taking and “internal shower” rather than total exhaustion – no-one can move properly if you continue to total exhaustion, but it is supposed to be work.

A little bit frequently goes much further than total exhaustion infrequently.

Close fitting and stretchy are best so that I can see clearly how your body, your spine especially, is moving.

Yes – on the first floor.  The studio is on the third floor.  For your first time, it’s best to come ready to workout though, as that saves your workout time.  When you know where things are, you can go and change before your lessons starts and also have a shower afterwards.

Most most people can start on Reformer.  If the Basic Reformer exercises are unsuitable for you then we can start off addressing your specific needs on Cadillac, Wunda Chair, Barrels or small apparatus…

After your session

Then, 24 hours after you’ll get an email with your personal programme that we’ll work towards together.

If you enjoyed your session and wish to continue, as I’m sure you will, the next step is to book “Starter Lessons”.

Zellig Neck Tie
The Studio: third floor windows - above the neck tie
Gibb St. entrance
Zellig Entrance
The Atrium area of Zellig
Birmingham Pilates Studios Assessment Lesson
Zellig Reception: office hours

If you have any other questions you’d like to ask, or you just want to say “hi”, don’t hesitate to call (or send a mail) – I love to help.  Details are on the contact page.


Miguel 🙂

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