Reason #2: Training on the apparatus with one-on-one attention is WORTH IT
It took me years to realize this. I started doing Pilates at Connecticut College in 2001. I was in a huge mat class of 50 plus people. I don't ever remember getting any corrections or personal attention. But I luckily had a classically trained, excellent teacher, and the work DID have a profound affect on me. Turning and balancing in ballet class after taking Pilates was drastically different. I fell in love with the equipment in San Francisco, and it wasn't until I became an apprentice instructor that I realized the enormous benefits of taking private lessons on apparatus.
The spring resistance apparatus, such as the reformer, cadillac, and wunda chair, to name a few, are the origin of the work that Joe Pilates created. They support your body to be able to access what you can't do without it. The resistance training and two-way stretch that you can get from the springs builds amazing strength and mobility. If I had spent all of my time in private lessons instead of group mat classes, or even duets, I would have been a LOT further along in the work that my body needs to do to become stronger and more efficient.
Cisco Pilates only has Gratz equipment. Gratz is the first company that started making the Pilates apparatus, and continues to make it closest to Joe's original designs. Collaborating closely with Joe Pilates and his protegé Romana Kryzanowska, Gratz is committed to preserving the quality and designs as created by Joe. Knowing your equipment when choosing a Pilates practice is important. The springs on Gratz are designed to be stronger, and the layout and quality of the equipment is extremely specific. Jay Grimes, a Pilates Master Teacher who studied with Joe says: "Joe Pilates developed his exercise method and his apparatus hand in hand. He was adamant about performing the exercises with precision, and was equally as adamant about the precision of the apparatus. For over four decades Gratz has been manufacturing Pilates equipment to these exacting standards, and for me Pilates and Gratz go hand in hand. To achieve the true Pilates experience, and to get the full benefit of these exercises, Gratz is the only way to go."
Additionally, having your instructor's eye on you, using hands-on cues, assists, and spotting is invaluable. You'll sweat more, lift more, feel more, get stronger faster, and learn more. You're getting more bang for your buck. And of course, the more private lessons you take per week, the faster you improve (this is particularly important when you are first starting out). We recommend private lessons 1-3 times per week. Pairing private lessons with mat classes is also really fun. We have a great package discount for people who do 1 private and 1 mat class per week.