faq

If you're new to Pilates or new to Energy Within Pilates, you probably have some questions. This should answer a few, but reach out to Rachel directly for more information.

Understanding Pilates

I have injuries. Is Pilates safe for me?
Once you are released by your doctor and able to exercise, Pilates is excellent for neuro-muscular re-patterning. The most common cause of injury is improper muscle balancing, which causes improper alignment in the bones. If the injury is due to an accident, once released by your physician, Pilates will also help rebuild your strength and endurance.

Many people have to learn to move their body differently then they currently are. What they are doing is not working and the result is pain. It is best to have the work spread out and every muscle to do its “job.” That way, one set of muscles, or the bigger muscles, are NOT doing the majority of the work. The small intrinsic muscles need to be activated and doing their job. When everything works correctly and each muscle is carrying its own load, the muscles “fire” or work in the proper sequence. Then you have proper muscular recruitment and a normal movement of the joints. Once the muscles are strengthened and help realign the bones, the pain will be reduced or go away altogether.
I have Scoliosis. Is Pilates safe for me?
Scoliosis is a three-dimensional deformity or curvature of the spine that occurs when the spine becomes abnormally rotated and curved sideways. In people who are diagnosed with Scoliosis, 85% have no idea how or when it developed, but they do know that they suffer from it, and know there is no cure.

The good news is that in most cases, Scoliosis is a manageable condition. If your doctor agrees after diagnosis and you have been released from the prescribed treatment (usually PT), I will help give you the flexibility and strength needed to keep your body upright and counter the curvature of Scoliosis. In Scoliosis, there is an imbalance where one side is tighter/more contracted than the other. Part of the challenge is to lengthen the tighter/contracted side while building overall balanced strength and body awareness.

Each person with Scoliosis experiences it in a way that is unique to them. It is important to understand your body's particular configuration, and choose the exercises that are right for you. In other words, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. I will carefully assess your overall movement and help you find your center or balance point for your specific condition. Pilates is a wonderful way to exercise and help you strengthen your overall body to support your curvature. I will support you as you learn the stretching and strengthening routines that will precisely target the particular curves that exist in your spine.
I have pelvic floor dysfunction. Can Pilates exercise help?
The pelvic floor is the group of muscles and tendons that support vital organs in the pelvis.

I have studied and taken courses for pelvic floor conditioning. The program consisted of neuro-muscular conditioning created by an American urogynecologist to provide a method of strengthening the pelvic floor. The program was a movement-oriented method of pelvic floor exercises that are incorporated into the Pilates classes. I will do my best to teach you the proper technique to attain optimal pelvic floor tone. A program of pelvic floor neuromuscular rehabilitation can make a big difference. In some instances, the problem has gone on for a long period of time and your doctor will diagnosis and recommend the proper treatment, after which time, Pilates can be beneficial.

At Energy Within Pilates, I have woven the pelvic floor connection into all classes. Ideal for new moms, improved partner intimacy, improved continence, and much more.
What can I expect from a beginners Pilates class?
The private sessions establish a foundation for all the exercises. In class, you will build upon this foundation to achieve your fitness goals. On the first day in a private session, all clients start on the mat for 15-30 minutes. There you learn how to apply the 5 principals of pilates to movement. These principals are: breathing and abdominal connection, head and neck placement, shoulder girdle placement, rib cage placement, and pelvic placement. Then onto the equipment as your new connections are applied to the Pilates exercises. This adds resistance for weight-bearing exercises. Once in class, and as your abilities improve, I will increase the intensity and difficulty of specific exercises to continuously challenge your muscles and provide ongoing improvement of your fitness level.
Those Pilates machines look scary. Will they hurt?
No. You will work at your own pace and learn to use the equipment as you increase control of your muscles and movements.
How do I get the most out of my Pilates class?
Be consistent in attendance. This will help build your inner strength. Apply what you are learning in class to your everyday movements, i.e. your posture, how you stand, move and even drive your car...

Your Pilates Class

Will you work with me to accommodate my schedule?
Yes, to the best of my ability.
I’m not a very fit person. Is there a class for me?
Yes. My years of experience enable me to work with everyone according to their fitness level and ability, no matter the fitness level of others in class.
Is there anything I should do to prepare for my first class?
No, just get dressed and show up. Almost everyone who starts Pilates has to learn to be in their body differently than they currently are. There is a learning curve for everyone. The beauty of Pilates and what sets it apart is that it's different from any other exercise. Be prepared to learn!
Are my children allowed in the studio?
Yes, depending on how well they behave.

Benefits of Pilates

Will Pilates help me to lose weight?
Yes. Pilates will help you tone your body and encourage you to maintain a healthy diet. When you start to feel your muscles and see the difference in your body, you will be more apt to stay focused on losing weight.
Will Pilates help with my back pain?
Yes, the majority of the time. However, in my experience, if pain could not be totally alleviated, it was greatly reduced and there was a better understanding of what irritated the back.
What if I’m pregnant? Is it all right that I do Pilates?
Yes. Modifications will be made as your pregnancy progresses. Many of my clients have been truly grateful they started or continued Pilates during their pregnancy.
Is it possible to be too old for Pilates?
Not in my book! I have had several people in their 80's. Two of my long-time clients were 80 when I moved from CA to VA. One had been with me for 25 years and the other for 15. Both were in excellent condition. No one would have guessed they were in their 80's!
1345 Duke Dr, Vinton, VA 24179