What is Pilates?

Pilates is a fitness regime developed by a man called Joseph Pilates, a German in the 1930s. He called it ‘Contrology’ as it was an art of controlled movements with an integrative mind-body-spirit approach.

Pilates was an extremely frail child who had Rickets, Rheumatic Fever and Asthma. He began his practice by trying to heal himself and by training Prisoners of War. Along the way, he studied different sciences and developed apparatus like the Reformer to aid his exercises.

During Pilates’ lifetime, his regime developed a following among the dancer community, especially with ballerinas who benefitted from the rehabilitation. Soon society women and Hollywood stars followed, and Pilates grew. The system he developed was propagated by his students all around USA, and the world, leading to different variations of the original principles.

Why should I do Pilates?

Pilates is built on the belief that “modern” lifestyle, bad posture, and inefficient breathing lies at the roots of poor health. Thus, the concentration in Pilates is on your core, the powerhouse of your body. All movements in Pilates originate from the core and move outwards. What this does is that it works the deep muscle groups that are often neglected, which ultimately strengthens your body, corrects your posture, builds stamina and improves coordination and balance.

What is this 'Mind-Body Balance' that you are talking about?

Pilates is not just an exercise regime for your body, it is a lifestyle change. The principles of Pilates can help you be less prone to postural aches and pains. The controlled breathing practised and the focus on “how to do” each exercise, helps in syncing the mind with the body, calming your nerves down. Joseph Pilates believed mental health is as important as physical health, and his practise incorporates that.

So, Pilates is basically a western form of Yoga?

Yes and No.

Yes, Pilates is like yoga in a way that we use controlled breathing while exercising. But the similarity ends there. Pilates does not have individual breathing exercises. Joseph Pilates studied Yoga and Zen Meditation, but he developed his own system.

No, Pilates in not like Yoga in many ways. Pilates uses a lot of equipment like the Reformer, which Joseph Pilates called apparatus, which help in controlling movements with the help of resistance. Also, unlike any other form of exercise, Pilates can be done during an injury, to rehabilitate the body (under the guidance of an instructor, of course).

To sum it up, Yoga works on maintaining posture to improve flexibility, whereas, Pilates works on each component of posture, flexibility and balance, either individually or together.

Will I lose weight, especially around my tummy with Pilates?

Weight loss is a lifestyle change which involves one’s existing health to be addressed through exercise and nutrition. One cannot specifically lose weight around one part of the body by exercising that part only. Pilates does work your core. It helps as an exercise form that works on the mind and the body. It includes resistance training which helps in toning muscles. But one needs to add cardio and work out a nutrition plan for weight loss.

We, at Moushu’s Pilates, have included various types of classes which include the cardio component and also have a clinical dietician on board. However, any medical issues which affect weight, like an underlying thyroid problem need further medical attention.

By 'core' you means 'abs', don't you?

Your core muscles are not your abs.

Colloquially, our core is our torso and the major muscles of the core reside in the area of the belly and the mid and lower back.

The core includes the inner core and the outer core. The Inner core consists of the Pelvic floor muscles, Transversus Abdominis, Multifidus and Diaphragm. The outer core consists of the internal and external Obliques and the Glutes. These are the stabilisers.

The rest of the muscles, known as mobilisers, like Rectus Abdominus (your 6-pack), help us to move,

If our core muscles aren’t working right, the mobilisers work over time, producing incorrect stress on the body, making you prone to injury and fatigue.

All this sounds very intense. Is Pilates very complicated and difficult?

Classical Pilates is low impact and low intensity. It is performed under very controlled and safe conditions, under the guidance of instructors.

Moreover, there are different levels for every exercise. The levels are built up based on the flexibility and strength of the client. From beginner, intermediate to advanced, Pilates has exercises for everyone.

Now I get it! So what classes do you have?

We have a variety of classes to chose from. Check out the different classes here.

How many classes can I do?

As many as you like!

We have a fixed schedule for the matwork classes, which you can find here.

All equipment, whether group or personal training, are by appointment and can be fixed as per the available slots and your free time. Tell us which classes you are interested in here.

Is there any age restriction for Pilates?

Not at all!

We have clients ranging from 15 years to 70 years of age, both men and women.

Before you sign up for any class, we do an assessment of your flexibility and strength and take down your medical history. The essence of Pilates in Rehab, and with Moushumi being a Physiotherapist, the priority is always on healing first.

Is Pilates suitable and helpful for women over 50 years of age?

Women in the perimenopausal and menopausal stage require to exercise, in general, to create a hormonal balance and maintain bone strength. Pilates is one of the best exercises for women in this age group.

Various exercises under Pilates help in toning muscles and maintaining bone density. The weight-bearing exercises along with the spring-loaded Reformer exercises, in particular, really work in building strength.

Is Pilates suitable for Pregnant women?

Yes! We have a specially designed workout for expectant mothers .

During pregnancy, it is important to maintain posture and strengthen the core as the womb expands. The movements of Pilates, in general, work on strengthening lower abdominal, pelvic floor and back muscles, which are pivotal for posture, balance and strength. Under the guidance of our trainers, controlled Pilates exercises are extremely safe* and beneficial for a pregnant woman.

*However, we urge our clients to kindly consult your doctor before joining.

Do men do Pilates? Why do we mostly see women doing Pilates, and not men?

Of course, real men do Pilates!

Pilates increases core strength, improves metobolism and results in a flexible, lean and toned body. It is as good as any other weight-training exercise form, and even better because it combines the principles of mind-body balance along with practices of muscles strengthening, posture correction and improvement of balance. Now, don’t men want that?

Can Pilates help to tighten sagging skin and muscles?

Muscle toning and core strengthening are two of the essential benefits of Pilates. This can really help with working on loose and sagging muscles. The concentration on breathing in Pilates increases lung capacity and allows for more oxygen to enter the system, which is important to purify the skin. Apart from that nutrition plays a key role and cannot be ignored.

What are the essentials of a weight loss program?

Weight loss at any stage is achieved by 3 things : Exercise, Optimum Nutrition, and Consistency. Without exercising, there is no expenditure of calories, which is needed to lose weight. Optimum nutrition is needed to ensure you have enough energy and strength to function at your best level throughout the day and still lose weight. And finally, consistency of both exercising everyday (with a variety of workouts) and eating small portions of healthy choices of foods, is the key to losing weight and keeping it off!

What is the right meal before and after a workout?

Eating before a workout is a very personal topic. Many people are averse to having a snack before a workout, and some cannot work out without eating something prior to the workout.

The most important thing to remember is the timing of the pre-workout meal. You have to finish eating at least 30 minutes before a workout. A pre-workout snack should essentially be light and just enough to give you a little extra energy to do that extra set. Some options you can try are: a fruit and some nuts, or a fruit and small portion of cheese or peanut butter, or a parfait with granola.

Post-workout snacks, on the other hand, should consist of all macro nutrients – carbs, protein, and fats. Post-workout, you also need to hydrate yourself well. If working out in the morning, it is okay to have your breakfast as a post-workout meal, as long as the portions are not increased.

How do I improve my metabolism?

The 3 components that make up your Basal Metabolic Rate are exercise, food and your physiology (gender and age). Although all components are variable, the most prominent ones affecting metabolic rate are activity (exercise) and food intake. The more you exercise, whether in terms of intensity and/or time, the higher or more efficient your metabolism will be.

Food intake on the other hand has various outcomes on metabolism. Foods that have higher percentage of fibre (roughage) or water tend to make our bodies work more during the digestive process. This, in turn, increases the metabolic rate. Foods that have higher thermogenic effect (increased production of heat) on the body also can increase metabolic rate. However, the metabolic rate of an individual is dependent on all factors working together.

For a desired outcome- eat well, exercise well, sleep well!

Can Pilates help improve metabolism?

Metabolism improves with any form of exercise, intake of proteins and maintaining an active lifestyle. Pilates, like any form of exercise, works to activate your tissues and engage muscles, which in turn lead to metabolic activity.

Where is the studio?

Our Flagship Studio is at Kalyani Nagar in Pune. There are two more studios at Sopan Baug and NIBM in Pune.

And we have three branches in Mumbai at Juhu, Wadala and Marine Lines.

Find the address and contact details here

How do I join?

If you are based in Pune, you can call or Whatsapp on +91-9822308301 or visit us at our studio. You can find the address here.

If you are based in Mumbai, we have three branches: Juhu, Marine Lines and Wadala. For Juhu, Whatsapp or call on +91-9820023062. For Wadala and Marine Lines, Whatsapp or call on +91-9930980313.

You can even drop us a message here.

Can I become a Pilates Instructor?

Yes, you can.

There are different courses available. If you come from a medical background, Moushumi Kuvawala trains instructors in Matwork Pilates (Levels 1 to 3) from the Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates Institute (APPI (UK))

For those not from a medical background, there is a course on Equipment series (Levels 1 to 4) from APPI(UK) and a course on Anatomy in Three Dimensions from Balanced Body (USA). Along with this, Moushu also takes workshops on the musculoskeletal system of the human body.

You can read more about the instructor courses here.

All these courses can kickstart your career as a Pilates Instructor and you can take it forward from there.

To know the schedule of the courses, check our events calendar.

Why are there so many different types of certifications?

Pilates is not professionally regulated. There is no single organization with a trademark on the exercise form. Over the years, many institutes have emerged and developed their own certifications for Pilates Instructors.

What are the fees and how do I pay?