1. What is Pilates?

Pilates is a specific type of exercise method originally developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century. He designed his practice to restore his own health from chronic conditions including rickets, asthma and rheumatic fever. Joseph firmly believed that many of today’s health issues related to the modern lifestyle, bad posture and sub-optimal breathing.

From this, he developed a number of physical exercises designed to improved designed to improve posture, balance, strength and flexibility as well correcting muscular imbalances and poor breathing habits. He also developed a number of apparatuses, one of them, which is famously known as the ‘reformer’.

Today, the practice is either performed on the mat, where the teacher will lead the class with the student on the floor using specific exercises or on machines such as the reformer. Today, the practice has evolved into a more dynamic form, which was originally developed in LA and has fast become one of the world’s most exciting workouts.

Using a ‘reformer’, which is comprised of a sliding plate, pulleys, springs with different loaded tensions and straps, there are a wealth of different exercises and routines that can be used in any class. The end result leaves the student energised and focused, full of endorphins pumping (those feel-good hormones that the body produces after exercise. Nature’s way of rewarding us for doing something good?

2. What are the benefits of Pilates?

Pilates is a full body, rehabilitative, strengthening and conditioning workout. It works by focuses on strengthening the body from ‘inside out’ through the core muscles, as well as the ‘glutes’, working to improve our posture, and overall mobility. The results: a body sculpting, therapeutic conditioner like no other.

The practice is also beneficial for pre-habilitative strength conditioning, before embarking on or preparing for any new leisurely pursuit. Skiing, tennis, basketball, or any sport that is athletic yet demanding on the body. It is the ultimate preparation to get the body in great condition for your chosen activity.


Pilates has the benefit of treating many of the common ailments afflicting the modern workplace. Back and neck pain are common complaints for which Pilates has been shown to be extremely effective in treating as well as knee pain, where the work done on strengthening the quads through the glute muscles creates stability and strength. By practicing Pilates regularly, you become more conscious of your posture, which Pilates aims to correct. Slumping can become a habit of the past as part of a regular Pilates routine.

3. Who does Yogibanker recommend for pilates?

Pilates has been a real cornerstone in Leah Willoughby’s life, since beginning her professional dance training. Whilst completing her BA (Hons) in Dance she qualified as an instructor under the expertise of Stotts certified Samantha Moore….