Pilates is a great physical and mental exercise. It is challenging, engages and flexes the core and focuses the mind. It is hard! it brings on a sweat and is not the same as yoga! I love yoga and my yoga friends are incredible but if yoga is about flexibility (with strength being something that happens along the way), Pilates is primarily about strength, allowing us to gain flexibility through our range of movement in executing Joseph Pilates' 36 exercises.
Pilates as a standalone exercise programme is great. If you are recovering from injury or have another reason not to include high impact or cardiovascular work to your weekly regime then Pilates in and of itself is great. But, if you can include cardio, any form of cardio, well that's a fitness marriage of epic proportions: improving muscle imbalances, strength and flexibility, knowing your body and adding a cardio regime that works for you is a good way to cover all bases. For me, that's spin and over the years I have choreographed and implemented spin classes executing the aerobic bell-curve perfectly. Recently I've launched Stages Flight power cycling programmes with David Lloyd, Harrogate, and here we have our fitness love story. That's not to say another cardio programme dovetailed with Pilates isn't great, but spin, and Stages in particular, offers this amazing opportunity to work through all the cardio zones - warm up, threshold, VO2 max, anaerobic, neuromuscular and back down again. Then finish it off with Pilates. Brilliant.
Whatever your fitness combination and however you do it, always try and look at your whole body and execute everything to the best of your abilities. It's about making the best of you, not what anyone else has to offer, and doing these things confidently and precisely, to your range of movement or output, leads to the most sustainable, measurable and controlled exercise regime that will stand the test of time.
For more details on Pilates classes and Stages Power, PM me and I will try to help.