Solo Session, Workout Buddy, Class—What’s Right for You?

August 22, 2018

By Cathleen Leszczynski

Pilates is a movement system that takes some serious focus and consistent practice in order to progress our bodies and reap the benefits of the Method. Studios now offer a range of options when it comes to Pilates training: private sessions, duets, trios, classes, and more. It can be overwhelming to decide the best course to take for your personal practice, and only you know what your mind and body prefer, when it comes down to it. Each of these options work for some people but not for others, so there may be some trial-and-error when deciding the next step in your Pilates training schedule.
Here at Studio BE, new clients are required to complete the Introductory package of five private sessions before progressing their practice. These sessions are very important because here the clients learn Fundamentals, beginner work on Mat and Equipment, and have the chance to ask questions at any time throughout the session. Afterwards, the clients can pick the direction they wish to go with their training, with the guidance of their Instructor.

Private sessions:
A one-on-one session between you and Instructor is always productive and the ultimate way to progress individually. You have the full attention of the Instructor, and you work on different things each session based off the your strengths, weaknesses, limitations, etc. A variety of Mat/Equipment is likely to be used throughout the session. There is the chance to learn more difficult exercises and improve on others with the watchful eye and guiding touch of the Instructor. Privates give the best understanding of movement and its purpose within your own body—they are the place you really learn Pilates. All that said, it is on the higher end of the price range, so it is more of an investment.

Duets and Trios:
Another great option if you perhaps have a sibling, parent, friend, co-worker, or spouse (we have all sorts here!) with whom you would enjoy doing Pilates. You and your workout buddy choose from available times to take a lesson from an Instructor. The Instructor then caters the lesson specifically to the needs and limitations of you and your duet/trio buddy, giving you both more individualized attention than would happen in group classes. Semi-private sessions like these are a great way to further your practice with a session that’s geared specifically to those in front of the Instructor.

Mat and Equipment classes:
Classes are an excellent choice when it comes time to apply your technique and practice what you’ve learned in your Private or semi-private sessions. They are a fun way to learn variations and modifications in a safe environment, while improving what you already know. Classes also happen at the same time week to week, making it easy for you to sign up and show up as you please. Moreover, it is on the lower end of the price range spectrum, so you could easily add classes into your Pilates routine for some variety.

Many clients end up with some combination of the choices above. Private or semi-private sessions alternated with group classes gives the best of both worlds. It gives you a chance to work individually with an Instructor, and then apply your expanding knowledge on your own in a class. You learn Pilates in one, and practice it in the other. I find it is always important for clients to take Privates, even if intermittently, so that they can hone in on their technical skills and body’s needs more carefully with an Instructor and develop a good understanding of Pilates and their own mind and body. So regardless of what path you choose for you Pilates training, there are many options available, and you can find your grove over time. Most important of all, you are expanding your Pilates practice and finding change within yourself—a healthier, happier you!


  • Pilatespal says:

    Thank you for sharing this information. I think many people who are looking to try Pilates out for the first time are at a bit of a loss when starting the practice. This is Jolene from I didn’t know anything about the method when Heather (the founder of the site), asked me to be a part of Pilates Pal. (Marketing was my purpose for being involved.) However, to be knowledgeable about the business, I wanted to know more about what I was working with. When I began Pilates at first in Heather’s studio. My thought at the time was to take solo classes as I wanted to be sure to learn the method hands on before joining a group class where I didn’t think that I would receive the direct attention that a solo class provides. When I wanted my sisters to try Pilates out, I gave them each a three-class gift certificate for duet sessions at a studio with an instructor who worked with Romana,close to where they both live. That allowed them the comfort of being together while a qualified teacher provided the instruction.

    All three of us began our education learning on the reformer. I’d say we enjoyed we all enjoyed the apparatus as beginners.

    For anyone else who may be starting, I would recommend based on my first experience with Pilates, to try their practice either by way of solo, duos or trios, or even small group classes. In doing so, they will get the direct attention that is necessary to ensure that they learn the moves correctly and that they get the most from the exercise. In my opinion, that is where they will see the most value and want to continue the exercise.