My response to this question is always that it’s better to do some Pilates than none at all! Of course, the more regularly you practice, the faster the results will be and as it’s all about changing habits and correcting muscle imbalances, this all takes time and patience.

Adding cardiovascular activity (eg. walking, cycling, swimming) to your regular Pilates workouts makes for an optimal fitness programme that addresses all fitness components.

It is best to do Pilates in comfortable clothing that doesn’t restrict movement in any way. Most people wear T-Shirts or sweatshirts and leggings or tracksuit bottoms. Footwear is not required. You can do the exercises barefoot or wear socks, if you prefer. Please do not wear stripes or 'busy patterns' as they tend to make me feel dizzy - plain clothes are best!

Although you should always consult your doctor, chiropractor or physiotherapist before starting any fitness routine, a Pilates workout is gentle and controlled with no sudden jarring actions. A well designed Pilates Rehabilitation programme assists in developing pelvic, spinal and shoulder girdle stability as well as joint mobility. There is an emphasis on developing core strength and restoring optimal range of motion. Pilates does not replace treatment provided by your doctor, chiropractor or physiotherapist but rather compliments it.

Fear of pain, resulting in avoidance of exercise can be a major obstacle to recovery for those with lower back pain. Be patient! Small but steady steps will send you in the right direction towards full recovery and a better quality of life.

Establish how much you can do without the pain flaring up and work gradually. Over time, further progressions can be made which will begin to make a significant difference. Pace yourself and set realistic goals.

Many health professionals recommend Pilates as a suitable form of exercise for those recovering from injury or have a specific on-going medical condition.

Even if optimal posture may never be achieved, due to the severity of an injury, Pilates will certainly help you move more freely, increase your range of motion and experience less discomfort.

Pilates instructors are highly trained professionals who have invested a considerable amount of time and money in their training. Hundreds of hours are spent studying the technique. They learn the philosophy and theory behind each movement, spend a significant amount of time observing and mastering proper form and sequences, and fine-tune their teaching skills prior to taking a rigorous written and practical exam. They learn more than just a series of moves, they learn how to assess their students' posture, how to adapt exercises for various conditions, and how to customise an optimal Pilates programme for each individual.

Clients are screened and given individual advice and attention throughout the class. Class numbers are limited to enable close observation and attention to detail.

Classic Pilates is often done with the legs turned out but Modern Pilates usually has the legs in parallel as this is a more functional alignment. Sometimes outwardly rotating the legs can aggravate sciatica so because this is such a common problem it is probably safer to work in parallel. Furthermore, with the legs in parallel it is harder to over-recruit the gluteus maximus so, as a result, the abdominals work better.

Click here for further help and advice regarding Pilates exercise in general.