Pilates is a specific full-body conditioning method that promotes strength and flexibility while emphasizing preferred alignment, breathing and movement patterns that ultimately enhance overall health.  Founded by Joseph and Clara Pilates in the 1940s, the Pilates Method is widely utilized in the fitness and healthcare fields as a safe and effective tool for improving the well-being of people of all shapes, sizes and conditions.

We offer a variety of group classes and individual sessions to meet everyone’s fitness and rehabilitative needs. To see a full list of our reformer and mat classes, click here.

* Please note that clients must attend private sessions on the reformer before taking a Reformer class. The number of sessions needed will be determined by the instructor at the first private session (physical therapy sessions on reformer count). Exceptions will apply for clients with significant previous Reformer experience.



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Pilates Perks

Refer a friend to Pilates and get a $20 credit to use towards your next Pilates purchase!

All you need to do is tell your friends and family about Pilates. If they come and end up buying any Pilates class package, you will get a $20 credit. Just make sure your friend tells us who referred them.


Intro to Pilates

Saturdays, 11:00-11:30am, $13/person

Beginning May 5th, Essential Physical Therapy and Pilates will be offering an Intro to Pilates class for clients who are new to Reformer Pilates and would like to learn more about it. The 30 minute class will cover the basics of placement and breathing for Pilates as well as how to safely use the Reformer. After the class the instructor will assess whether each individual would benefit from a private session or is ready to join Reformer I Group Classes. Pre-registration through MindBody suggested as class are limited to 5 participants.


Prenatal Pilates Class

Thursdays, 11:00am

Register online or call for more information.

Click here for more details.


Pilates for Osteoporosis and Bone Building

Thursdays, 8:00am

Pilates Reformer for Osteoporosis and Bone Building is a class designed to work within the parameters of what is safe and recommended for people with either osteoporosis or osteopenia.These classes will emphasize spinal extension, development of posture muscles, core stability, and balance. The class is appropriate for beginners through intermediate clients and will still be a challenging workout.



The son of a gymnast father and mother who adhered to natrupathic methods of healing, Joseph H. Pilates was born in Germany on November 30, 1880.  As a young child Joseph experienced asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever, but with his pursuits of health and physical conditioning he developed into a vital young man with interests in boxing, gymnastics, wrestling, body building, skiing, diving, yoga and martial arts.  Joseph admired the Greek ideal of balancing the mind, body and spirit, and eastern philosophies of well-being, which eventually became the foundation from which the Pilates Method was born.

Joseph Pilates moved to England in 1912 and taught self-defense at police academies and toured as a boxer.  When Britain entered World War I, he was imprisoned as a German national in an internment camp on the Isle of Man and eventually was used to convalesce the prisoners of the infirmary.  During this time, Joseph developed his exercises and equipment that utilized bed springs for resistance.  Joseph returned to Germany after the war.

Returning to Germany, Joseph continued to teach self-defense at police academies and was even offered a job training soldiers of the German army.  In the 1920s Joseph opted to emigrate to the United States of America and en route met his future wife, Clara.  Once in the US, Joseph and Clara established their 8th Avenue studio in New York City, where they developed and refined the practice of 'Contrology', which later became known world-wide as the Pilates Method.

Joseph once defined Contrology as “the comprehensive integration of body, mind and spirit.” Joseph and Clara practiced at their Manhattan studio from 1926 through 1976 and taught many men, women, celebrities, dancers and choreographers, among which were such notables as Martha Graham and George Balanchine.  Dancers especially would go see “Uncle Joe” for strengthening, flexibility and rehabilitation from injury.  Joseph died in 1967, but Clara continued to teach at their studio for an additional 10 years.  The original students of Joseph and Clara Pilates are called Pilates Elders and have themselves continued the Pilates Method through instruction of second and third, and even fourth generations of Pilates disciples. 

Pilates Elders that still teach today are Lolita San Miguel.  Other notable elders who made invaluable contributions to the expansion of the Pilates Method are Romana Kryzanowska, Ron Fletcher, Eve Gentry, Kathy Grant, Carola Trier, Mary Bowen, Jay Grimes and Bruce King.

Six Principles of Pilates

  • Breathing: Breathing is integrated into every movement, in order to keep our awareness on what we are doing.  Breath is a common thread that runs through all the foundation principles
  • Concentration: Concentration is to be present and in control of the exercise at hand.  "When you work your body without engaging your mind, you are performing only half a workout.” --Joseph Pilates
  • Control: Being in control is to understand and maintain proper form, effort, and alignment during the course of an exercise.
  • Centering: Developing a stable, strong, and flexible center is a defining feature of Pilates exercise, since all movement radiates outward from this point.
  • Precision: Precision is understanding proper form and placement. Precision comes when practicing concentration, control, and centering.
  • Flow: Pilates is done with a sense of rhythm which allows a feeling of flow from one exercise to another.  Romana Kryzanowska describes the Pilates method as “flowing motion outward from a strong center.”


The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning develops the body uniformly, corrects posture, restores vitality, invigorates the mind and elevates the spirit. -Joseph Pilates

A body free from nervous tension and fatigue is the ideal shelter provided by nature for housing a well balanced mind, fully capable of successfully meeting all the complex problems of modern living.  -Joseph Pilates

Patience and persistence are vital qualities in the ultimate successful accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavor. -Joseph Pilates  

In 10 sessions you will feel the difference, in 20 you will see the difference, and in 30 you will have a whole new body. -Joseph Pilates

Contact Us


81 River Street - Suite 201
Montpelier, VT
phone: 802.262.1500

Pilates Classes

Please click the link to see a schedule of our classes.

Our Team

Find out more about our pilates instructors by clicking their name below.