The TRUTH about Pilates

Maybe you’ve heard that Pilates is similar to yoga or only for women. Or maybe it’s just all core all the time, or that it’s too expensive. Well, the truth is that Pilates has been around for a really long time. And it seems to be everywhere. But there’s a lot of myths and misconceptions around it. And today I’m going to be answering all of your questions, busting those myths, and making sure you understand the real truth about Pilates.

  • Author: Lesley Logan
  • July 9, 2023
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the truth about pilates online pilates classes

The real truth about Pilates

Maybe you’ve heard that Pilates is similar to yoga or only for women. Or maybe it’s just all core all the time, or that it’s too expensive. Well, the truth is that Pilates has been around for a really long time. And it seems to be everywhere. But there’s a lot of myths and misconceptions around it. And today I’m going to be answering all of your questions, busting those myths, and making sure you understand the real truth about Pilates.

Hi, I’m Lesley Logan, founder of™. And I’ve been doing Pilates since 2005, teaching since 2008. I was lucky enough to take training from someone who was taught by Joseph Pilates, which allowed me to travel the world teaching people about Pilates and its benefits. And because of this, I have seen and heard many of these myths, many of these misconceptions and here’s what frustrates me, it actually keeps people from doing Pilates. If they think it’s just for flexible people, they think it’s too expensive or they think something that is not correct. It keeps them from actually having the real benefits in their body. And so that’s why I’m so excited to share these misconceptions and what the real truth is with you today.

Welcome to™, the most supportive Pilates-loving community across the globe. Enjoy new weekly classes from our amazing teachers. Download the™ app today.

What is Pilates?

Let’s start with what Pilates actually is. Pilates is a strength-based workout designed to balance your imbalances. It was designed by Joseph Pilates and brought to the US in the early 20s. You can do Pilates on a Mat, Reformer, Cadillac or Tower, Wunda Chair. And Joseph Pilates also create some other pieces of equipment that you could also see in a Pilates studio or have access to in your own home studio.

So, over time, marketing experts have gotten their hands on what they think Pilates is and then telling you that you need to be doing Reformer Pilates or Tower Pilates or Chair Pilates. But actually, it’s all Pilates and originally was designed for us to do on the Mat, meaning you didn’t have to have access to any of this equipment. But then, Joseph Pilates realized that we needed some support, we need to have some connections so he created the other pieces of equipment to do in conjunction with the Mat.

Due to Pilates’ evergrowing popularity, a lot of different fitness modalities have tried to jump on the Pilates bandwagon. Meaning, if they are a low-impact workout, they’ll actually put it as a Pilates workout, when it’s not actually Pilates. So Pilates is low-impact fitness but not all low-impact fitness is Pilates.

What real Pilates feels like

So how do you know if you’re actually in a Pilates class? Well, first of all, you can ask the teacher. You can ask them about their training background. You can ask about their personal practice. You’re wanting to hear words like ‘comprehensive training’ or ‘450 hours.’ You’re also wanting to hear that they do have a personal practice of their own because that’s how they’re going to help teach you the best. Classes should also be about the quality of the movement, not the quantity of the movement. So if you feel like you’re doing more than 10 reps of an exercise, chances are that you’re not in a Pilates class. Ideally, you’re looking between five to 10 when you’re new to an exercise, and then around three to five, when you’re more advanced. Every session you’re in should feel like it’s a full-body workout, especially every exercise. Every exercise can feel like it’s full body every time you know you’re in a Pilates class.

To see what real Pilates feels like, go ahead and subscribe to this channel. Take a class from us. We have one coming out next Sunday.

Myth: Pilates an ab workout

Let’s get into these myths. First one, Pilates is your ab workout or is your core workout for the week. Here’s the deal, Pilates can replace all your ab workouts but it is not an ab workout – it is a full-body workout. Now we move from our center, which is not just your abs, it’s the muscles around your torso around your hips, your upper back and arms, so everything that can stabilize your spine. And then your arms and legs are to destabilize it as you move.

Myth: Pilates is just stretching

Alright, next myth: Pilates is all about stretching or just stretching. Well, here’s the deal, you can get more flexible by doing Pilates – absolutely will happen for you as a benefit. However, it is not a stretch class. If you want to take a stretch class, by all means go take one, but Pilates is a strength-based workout. And then you will have increased flexibility because of the way the exercises ask the muscles to work.

Myth: Anyone can teach Pilates

All right, next myth: Anyone can teach Pilates. Here’s the deal. I would love that every Pilates lover out there who wants to teach does because their passion is going to bring more people to taking this method. However, just because you have been teaching some other fitness modality doesn’t mean you can just look at the choreography and teach Pilates, you do need to understand the whole method from how it was founded, why the exercises are the way they are, and what the true concepts of Pilates is so that you can bring the full benefits of Pilates to people that are taking from them. So find a teacher who has been comprehensively trained, and understands how the history of Pilates works so that you can really get the benefits of it as you do it. At™ all of our teachers are comprehensively certified. I am a second-generation teacher, meaning, my teacher studied with Joseph Pilates. And, all of our teachers together have a combined total teaching experience over 70 years. Make sure you check out the about™ video so you can see everything we have to offer including tutorials, classes, and an amazing community, someone who can actually give you feedback on your practice and so much more. Plus, you will enjoy new workouts for every level here on the channel. So make sure you subscribe and make sure you get those notifications so you never miss a workout.

Myth: Pilates is easy

Alright, next myth: Pilates is easy. All right. So here’s the deal. If Pilates feels easy, it’s probably because you’re understanding the choreography, the moves, what’s going where, but not from where it’s moving from. And that requires you to connect to your center which can take some time. In fact, I always tell people, if you really believe you’re an advanced practitioner, the beginner exercises are going to feel really hard, like the beginner exercises can be a little esoteric. And here’s another myth bust there’s actually no beginner from Joseph Pilates. Joseph Pilates didn’t have any levels to his exercises. In fact, when you would take from him, he would give you the exercises that were meant for your body. And then as you were ready, he would add more exercises in. Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced levels came in because people had to create levels of classes for people to do it, and to help train teachers. So, when you are doing Pilates, if it feels easy, something is disconnected. And that’s an exploration you can take with your teacher to find out where those connections can come from.

Myth: You need to be flexible to do Pilates

All right, next myth is: You need to be flexible to do Pilates. Let me just say this right now, you do not need to be more flexible before you do Pilates. You do not need to lose weight before you do Pilates. There’s nothing that needs to change about yourself to start a Pilates practice. All right, you are amazing the way you are and Pilates will meet you where that is. But, Pilates is actually harder for flexible people because they are able to make it look like they’re doing Pilates without actually being connected. So the tighter you are, the easier it is to connect to those muscles and the more you’re going to feel the benefits of Pilates. For my people who are hyper-flexible, hello, I see you. We have to work really hard to find those connections and Pilates will challenge us in that way. And take us on that next journey. Remember, it balances your imbalances. So if you’re tighter, it’s going to make you more flexible. If you’re super flexible, it’s going to make you stronger.

Myth: Pilates is mostly for women

And maybe you’ve heard Pilates is mostly for women. Here is the deal. Joseph Pilates was a man. And he was a strong man in the circus and he was a boxer. And back when he was creating his fitness modality it was for men. In fact, only in the last few decades have women been encouraged to workout and so while a lot of women do Pilates, it is for you no matter who you are.

On Pilates is for dancers is the next myth that sounds like a lot like Pilates is for women. Here’s the deal, dancers started working with Joseph Pilates. They were actually sent to him to be “fixed.” But it wasn’t actually designed for dancers, however, because so many dancers were working with Joseph Pilates, and then these dancers were traveling the world, they started to teach his methods to other people, a lot of dancers do Pilates. Why? Because it balances your imbalances. And dancers have a lot of them. So it is not just for dancers. However, it is amazing for anyone who is an athlete doing any kind of sport.

Myth: Pilates is like yoga

All right, so maybe you’ve heard Pilates is like yoga, similar to yoga or a derivative of yoga. Yoga is its own thing. And while there are some exercises that are inspired or may look like they were inspired from yoga, they are actually two very different modalities and they have very different intentions. Pilates does have access to equipment, whereas yoga is slightly different, it’s always on the mat. So then when you look at Pilates on the mat, some people think, Oh, it must be like yoga. But again, the intentions and the goals of the exercises are very different. The breath you need to do Pilates versus yoga is very different. So here’s what I love to tell people: Pilates is going to make your yoga practice amazing. They are different exercise workouts. And I’m super excited because I have an entire video about Pilates and yoga coming up very soon. So make sure you’re subscribed to this channel and get your notification so you don’t miss that video.

Myth: Pilates is expensive

Okay, so something I hear a lot is Pilates is too expensive. I just want to actually myth bust this in a big way. Here’s the deal. If you’re looking at private personal Pilates training, yes, that can be a little bit more than you want to spend on an hour-long workout. However, it’s also very similar to what personal trainers are charging of any kind, and often it’s a lot less. Alright, when we look at Pilates classes, the reason why they can look like they’re more expensive than other fitness modalities is just space. There can only be so many Reformers in a room, often 12, whereas a yoga class, some of them have 30, 40, 50 people. I’ve been in spin studios where there’s 30, 40, 50 bikes. So based on the limited amount of space that Pilates has, for the equipment that it takes up, it can be more expensive for the session, however, you’re getting more attention. And it’s personalized to your body even when you’re in a class because you are going to do the exercise that is meant for you. And at™, you will see that we have memberships that are actually based on the pieces of equipment you have access to. And a monthly membership at™ is going to cost you way less than a monthly membership in a brick-and-mortar studio somewhere else. And our classes are designed for all levels. They’re on the Mat, Tower, Reformer or Chair, and again, you pick the classes that you actually have access to the equipment to. You can take a class live with us each month, you can enjoy classes on our app or on-demand on your computer. And you also can get feedback on your form in our amazing, amazing community that’s going to help hold you accountable. So make sure you check out the promo code we have below. It’s Give us a try and see how we can help support you in your Pilates practice.

Leave your comments below

Thank you so much for watching. I hope I answered all of your myth-busting questions. If I didn’t, feel free to put them in the comments below. I’m Lesley Logan. I will see you next week.

By Lesley Logan

Lesley Logan, NCPT, is the founder of, the first free online catalogue of Pilates exercise tutorial videos, where you can also find weekly online mat classes and workshops. When not teaching from her studio in Los Angeles, Lesley can be found traveling the world leading Pilates retreats, or offering Pilates business coaching to studio owners and other instructors through her private mastermind group. Connect with Lesley on instagram @lesley.logan or through the contact page on this site.

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this article are “affiliate links”, a link with a special tracking code. This means if you click on an affiliate link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. The price of the item is the same whether it is an affiliate link or not. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers. By using the affiliate links, you are helping support our Website, and we genuinely appreciate your support.


  1. hi lesley, less than a year doing pilates and very happy with results. every session is mind blowing and it’s like the only time i can truly say as my me time, being totally present in the moment, not thinking about anything but to feel each every muscle and breath.

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Swan & Swimming on the mat - online Pilates classes



Teaser is probably one of the most photographed exercises in Pilates. Which makes people think it's a "peak pose." But, it's anything but! It's simply another layer to your Pilates practice. This week we will acknowledge how each exercise contributes to your ability to do Teaser (someday) and then how Teaser teaches you where to get curious in your practice.

On the Mat we will use light weights for one round of Teaser as they can be helpful for those still adding into their practice.
No props on the Reformer.

See you in class,


MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, light weights and a Mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a Reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.



We are all going to feel like Super Humans after this month!!

Whenever I’m in a hard exercise (for me) where I’m holding myself up with my arms and reaching my legs away I picture myself with super human strength!!! I can do ANYTHING! It makes me smile and helps me stay STRONG.

This month our exercise is Up Stretch and when you think about it - reaching your legs away and staying strong over the carriage may feel a lot like flying!

We’ll be focusing on stabilizing our strong cores while staying equally balanced in our arms and legs. We are giving you some amazing building blocks by merging strength and stretch in all directions. You are going to get a little bit of everything that you can use to connect to your Up Stretch (and even your Roll Up and Knee Stretches Off).

Chair: Please have a foam roller and a balance pad available. We are going to challenge your balance safely.



Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

Alright loves, while we don't often talk about Grasshopper on the Mat or Reformer it is something we can beat those heels together on. And, another great way to challenge our connections. This week we are going to focus on our midline. And we are going to find different ways to show that we got that beat!

On the Mat have a magic circle or ball nearby to find our midline connections. On the Reformer have a ball nearby for some warm ups.

See you in class,

xx-LL 💋

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, a Magic Circle or ball and a mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, a ball and a reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.


Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

This week's workout is 30 minute reformer and mat with the small Pilates ball! Get ready to work! The ball adds a stability challenge on the reformer and spices up the classic, essential exercises. You'll also get extra outer hip recruitment, inner thigh work and more glute activation by adding in the ball. I hope you have a great time with this fun workout and feel like a baller afterwards!

If you do not have a small Pilates ball you can use a rolled up bath towel.

See you in class,


MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, a Pilates ball or rolled up bath towel and a mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, a Pilates ball or rolled up bath towel and a reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.


Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

Rowing exercises are quite challenging on the Reformer. They can be done on the mat as well. But if you're missing the connections they can be all choreography and no core. So, this week we'll be focusing on the Mat how the Mat exercises prep us for a fabulous Rowing. And on the Reformer how they warm us up but then reveal themselves throughout the session.

Basically, you're rowing even when you're not!

On the Mat, you'll want 1 or 2 lb weights. Over the Reformer if you're new to rowing have them on the side.

See ya in class,

xx-LL 💋

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, 1 or 2 lb weights and a mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, 1 or 2 lb weights and a reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.


Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

While I never saw that movie growing up I was thinking about back bends. And how to build up to them. Now, if you're like LL I'm off back extension. Do not worry. This class will still have tall backs, side bends, twists and flexion of course. So skip what you can't do.

Whatever level of extension you can do we are going to take it and make it longer! And for some of my super flexy people, it might feel like you're not gumby anymore. However, we will create the strongest back bends ever! Always.

Props needed on the mat a bolster or a small barrel. On the Reformer we won't need a prop but we will be using our shortbox to focus on extension.

See ya in class!

xx-LL 💋

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, a bolster or a small barrel and a mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, shortbox and a reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.


Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

If you are a lover of the Reformer chances are you have little love for the Horseback. I don't blame you. It's not that fun. If you're on the Mat you probably have no idea what this means…

And that's ok! Horseback is like a seated Teaser but harder!

On both the Mat and Reformer we will be playing with how to connect to this exercise, prepare for it and find a Horse that works for us!

Props: Mat, have light weights nearby

See ya in class,

xx-LL 💋

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, have light weights nearby and a mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.


Online Mat, Reformer, Cadillac & Wunda Chair Pilates Class Descriptions:

Tami is turning 54 this month! And we are going to bring the best that Studio 54 had to offer to all of our month-long classes. The only rules for that iconic club were:

1. Be Your Grandest Self
2. Have Fun
3. No polyester Shirts!

Doesn’t that sound just like just like OPC?

*Note: I’m thinking the focus is on being grand…finding ways to expand our range of movement throughout the exercises, on all the equipment and the Mat.

Let’s be our grandest as we expand our range of motion on the Wunda! We’ll be using variations of the Pull Up (a very centering exercise) to power us up & out to a special full range exercise at the end! To all the October babies A Happy Birthday Indeed!

Wunda Chair prop: Please bring a pair of light weights (1-3lbs) to class!

See ya in class,

xx-LL 💋



We spend a lot of time in life looking ahead to what’s next and/or working towards something instead of celebrating where we are in the current moment. We forget to look back and see how far we’ve come.

It got the OPC crew thinking about how we tend to do this with our Pilates practice, too. We are always working towards something…the nemesis exercise, a higher lift in an exercise, a longer reach, a stronger connection, etc.

How about we spend some time this month celebrating where we are each day? And maybe we even take ourselves back a touch and become a bit De-RANGED from our current practice?

“De-Ranged” meaning we reduce our range of motion and observe what happens. Reducing our range may help us gain some insights about ourselves we can use to take our practice farther this month and into the beyond.

This month, we are challenging ourselves and YOU to take a look at where you are while you decrease your range and see if you learn something about yourself - without ANY judgment!

Try asking yourself some of the questions below throughout your practice:

  • Is this making the exercise more or less challenging?
  • Is this making things more or less stable?
  • Am I finding a connection a bit more easily or is it harder?
  • Am I finding a muscle that is trying to take over the exercise?
  • Am I finding I have to focus more to get a muscle to engage/connect?
  • Am I finding an area that is a bit tight and needs a little more stretch?

Feel free to share your reflections and ask us questions this month if you are wondering what any of this means in your body!

Props needed:
For the Cadillac, have a 2x4 (Kuna board) and the long box (from the reformer)

For the Reformer: small ball, resistance band, and small weights. Resistance band will be optional and is only for 1 exercise.

For the Chair, just you and your Wunda chair.

For the Mat, thera band and weights.

See ya in class,

xx-LL 💋