What is Pilates?

Pilates represents a unique approach to exercise that develops body awareness, improves and changes posture and alignment, and increases flexibility and ease of movement. Pilates will help reduce stress levels by focusing on deep abdominal breathing and the exercises.
It will increase coordination and control by training the muscles in your body to work in harmony.
It will increase core strength, which will improve posture, protect the muscles in your lower back and flatten your tummy!!
“Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness. In order to achieve happiness, it is imperative to gain mastery of your body. If at the age of 30 you are stiff and out of shape, you are old. If at 60 you are supple and strong then you are young.”
– Joseph Pilates

Who was Joseph Pilates?

Joseph Pilates (1880-1967) was born in Germany. As a young child he was very sickly and suffered from conditions including rickets, asthma and rheumatic fever. Determined to overcome these frailties he studied various forms of exercise from all over the world and documented the results each of them had on his weak body. As a result of his resolve to get well by the age of 14 the benefits were clear in his life, he became an accomplished skin diver, gymnast and skier.
In 1912 he left Germany for England to train as a boxer, with the onset of the first world war he was put in prison in Lancaster, where he proceeded to teach his fellow inmates the exercises he himself used. His efforts resulted in many of them maintaining their health through the deadly influenza epidemic of 1918.
Ending up in New York, he and his wife, Clara, worked primarily with dancers of the New York City Ballet, and as his reputation grew; athletes and performers. In February 1956 Dance Magazine reported “At some time or other virtually every dancer in New York…has meekly submitted to the spirited instruction of Joe Pilates”.
Pilates continued to teach and develop his technique, maintaining his health, until his death at the age of 87.

Develop a body that operates effectively and efficiently not just for sport, but also for daily life.

Learn concentration and focus to isolate specific muscles, thereby engaging both mind and body.

Learn controlled breathing and three-dimensional continuous movement, training several muscle groups at once.


Learn to use gentle resistance to improve muscular strength – beginning with your core.

Reduce tension and pain along the spinal column, assist in relieving stress levels, improve posture & coordination.

What is the difference between Pilates and other forms of exercise which develop and strengthen muscle?

One of the main differences is focusing on the quality of movement. Performing each exercise correctly and using the correct breathing pattern maximises the benefit of each repetition.
Often in other forms of exercise, the focus is on the quantity of exercises performed, rather than the quality. This will greatly reduce the effectiveness of the action performed and unfortunately can result in serious injury.

How often should I practice Pilates?

Ideally 3-4 times a week for maximum benefits, if you are just starting out though, it is better to ensure you have learnt the basic exercises in a class session before attempting them at home.  Your instructor will be happy to identify which ones may be easily & safely practised at home.

Is there much difference between a “live” class and a DVD?

There are many benefits to attending a class, each of us are built differently and have different strengths and weaknesses in our bodies. In a class your instructor will be able to identify areas that are more of a challenge to you and demonstrate modifications to assist you in strengthening that body part.
While pre-recorded classes are of benefit most people who have worked out to a DVD/video and participated in group classes will testify that having an instructor walk you through the various exercises is always preferable.

Do I need to do any other forms of exercise?

Pilates focuses on building strength in your muscles, beginning in the core and extending to your limbs. It is also important to engage in some form of cardio-vascular exercise 3-4 times a week for optimal fitness levels. Power walking, jogging, swimming, cycling & spinning are good examples of cardio-vascular exercise.
Please note: please contact your GP before beginning any new form of cardio-vascular exercise program.

What do I need to bring with me?

An exercise mat is essential. These may be purchased in most sports stores. Be sure to get one which is more than the full length of your body and usually the thicker the better.
Most people also benefit from having a hand towel or something similar to support the head when lying supine, it greatly assists in reducing undue stress on the neck muscles.
Loose, comfortable clothing should be worn, footwear is not necessary.
Try not to eat a large meal up to 90 minutes prior to the class.

What Is Pilates?

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Pilates For Life Ireland has goals including 'Helping To improve Your Quality Of Life'. If you would like to know more and understand about our Pilates classes - read more.

Times & Locations

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Pilates For Life Ireland tries to ensure that you have the best options to enjoy the Pilates classes at times that are most suitable and locations that are most convenient to you. Explore our latest timetables and locations by reading this page.

Our Testimonials

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Customers are always put first and you can easily see this by what customers say about the classes. At Pilates For Life Ireland it is most important that you get true value for money. You can read more from valued customers here.

Sports & Pregnancy

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Pilates For Life Ireland provides Certified STOTT Pilates which has many benefits including benefits for people with sports injuries and ladies who want to get the most from their pregnancy.