Pilates: Beginner Level 1

Beginner II

Kathi teaches a beginner level pilates mat class to take you forward from the Pilates Fundamentals: The Five Principles. If you are looking to understand how to engage your core properly, strengthen your back and connect your core strength to your shoulders, arms and legs, this class is perfect for that. It may also provide significant relief for lower back discomfort and pain, as well as help with other back and shoulder-related issues. If you feel you're ready to progress to the next step in Kathi's Pilates series you can have a look at Pilates: Beginner Level 1, Class 2. 

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Existing Comments

starflower
starflower
April 4, 2021
Comment:

How did you know you I closed my eyes when I was on my right side? haha! Thank you for this class!

SMZalokar
SMZalokar
February 7, 2021
Comment:

I've never felt successful in Pilates class, no more! I learned that I have unexpectedly developed some core strength already, and that mat longways supporting underneath the spine made that roll up exercise assessable to me. Thank you!

Mbot
Mbot
October 25, 2020
Comment:

Hi Kathy, thanks for such a wonderful intro class. One question about the leg circles while lying on our side: ideally are the legs straight or are they out a bit in front of the torso. I wasn't sure what we were shooting for and kept wobbling back and forth. ;) Thanks again!

Kathi Ells
Kathi Ells
October 25, 2020
Comment:

Thanks for the great question Mbot. In a perfect world the centre of the circle is you hip. Your gesture leg should therefore, move slightly forward, below, behind and above your hip bone. There is a little bit of balance required and therefore we use our hand on the floor in front of our belly for gentle support. This is where the 'wobbling' comes in. Remember also, a little bit of wobbling is a good thing. This means we have to engage our core to try to stabilize. Embrace the wobble! :)

seequinn
seequinn
November 17, 2020
Comment:

Hi Kathi, I just started this challenge today too. I'm guessing the hip circles are a bit trick for me as I am more of a small hourglass so have less torso support. I'm finding it quite sore balancing my weight on the hip bone, but if I lean more on the buttocks, it feels better but I am not sure that is the correct position. Any advice?

Kathi Ells
Kathi Ells
November 17, 2020
Comment:

Hi Seequinn. Thank you for your great question. Oddly, the more you do this one the less you feel it in your supporting hip. When i first did this move I was in great pain but now I don't feel any pain in my supporting hip. Everyone's weight is distributed differently however and you are correct to shift your weight slightly back to compensation for the pressure /pain but try not to crease at your hip. Remember however, to activate your bottom leg and keep all your muscles engaged. Think 'muscle to bone' on the bottom leg (and of course in the top leg too). Once you've done this move for a while you will be able to shift more to a hip-over-hip position. I hope this helps. :)

53114gal
53114gal
July 13, 2020
Comment:

Loved this class! I am looking forward to doing more of your classes, Kathi.

Phillip Humphries
Phillip Humphries
June 16, 2020
Comment:

sorry - this is beginner 1???? I felt like I was listening to the commentary on a horse race. I am off back to yoga :-/

thekchog palma
thekchog palma
May 16, 2020
Comment:

Thanks so much, Kathi! I gave birth 3 months ago, and was planning to do a postnatal pilates class (having never done pilates before), but with the pandemic, I couldn't. I am so delighted to discover your classes instead. The precision and power of the practice immediately felt great to my healing body., and my husband is taking care of the kids so I can keep following the classes. My core feels stronger already after just a couple of weeks!

Kathi Ells
Kathi Ells
May 16, 2020
Comment:

Thank you so much for the comment. Pilates is fantastic for a postnatal body. Your pelvis & hips are quite loose after giving birth and the Pilates movements are ideal for bringing them back into an aligned. It also helps to strengthen your joints and muscles surrounding your hips not to mention getting your core back quickly! Keep it up and you'll be back to your pre-pregnancy body in no time.

Gabriela Lopez
Gabriela Lopez
April 24, 2020
Comment:

I loved your class :)! at first I thought Pilates was going to be too slow for me, but I do feel my body loves it! thanks so much!!!

Kathi Ells
Kathi Ells
April 24, 2020
Comment:

So glad your body loves Pilates Gabriela! Pilates does tend to get addictive. I think a lot of people just think it's stretching but it's far from it. Alignment, breath, power, mobility & grace all wrapped up into one little package. Thank you for the comment. :)

estherggg
estherggg
April 5, 2020
Comment:

Excellent class. Very enjoyable. I am a woman over 70 with pelvic floor issues. My gynecologist told me that many yogis experience pelvic floor issues as a result of all of the cues directed at pulling it up and holding it. Is this your understanding as well? Another related question: I'm able to hold a plank for a seemingly indefinite period of time, but I've heard recently that plank position is actually harmful for women with pelvic issues. Is there anything to this? Finally, I'd love a class that's focused on the pelvic floor if at any time you can do one. Thank you so much for your wonderfully clear instructions!

Kathi Ells
Kathi Ells
April 5, 2020
Comment:

Hi Estherggg, thank you so much for your feedback and questions. I agree with your gynaecologist and believe the best way to increase pelvic floor strength is to lift your pelvic floor first, hold it during the intense part of the exercise and then fully relax it. I also agree that in order to protect your deep pelvic floor the plank, and some other exercises on your hands and feet like push ups, are not ideal. Also avoid: high impact exercise, abdominal exercise with a heavy weight and intense abdominal crunches . Stick to gentle Pilates, lower intense abdominal contractions, low impact cardiovascular exercise and a focused 3-dimensional breath (into the back and sides of your rib cage) while relaxing your buttocks. I hope this helps. Thank you for the suggestion for a Pelvic Floor class. I will look into this. :)

LucyHB
LucyHB
February 4, 2020
Comment:

This was so helpful, thank you! I've been doing vinyasa classes on here for years but am a pilates novice, I really felt this in my core and the neck stretches were wonderful. The 21 Day Pilates challenge brought me here, this was Day 2 so I'm looking forward to learning lots more!

Adishion
Adishion
January 12, 2020
Comment:

Please more beginner classes with Kathi! I love this video! Core and pelvic floor videos would be amazing.

Deborah Lilly
Deborah Lilly
May 15, 2019
Comment:

Hello Kathi - thanks for the pilates class - I need more abdominal work. Would you (or someone) be willing to give a class focussing on the pelvic floor? I sometimes wonder whether hard work on the abs puts stress on the pelvic floor, and how to work with both, especially as I'm 70! Cheers.

Kathi Ells
Kathi Ells
May 21, 2019
Comment:

Thank you for your question, Deborah. A pelvic floor class is a great idea. Will consider for the future. Pelvic floor muscles play an important role in breathing and movement. Weak pelvic floor muscles can cause incontinence and chronic pain in your lumbar spine, pelvis, and /or hips. If done correctly, Pilates will increase strength in your deep pelvic floor muscles in improve the above-mentioned issues. Really honing in on the cueing and muscle recruitment will help. When 'engaging' your abdominals ALWAYS engage your deep pelvic floor muscles FIRST, then zip it up from there to your navel. Lots to learn. Stay tuned for a Pelvic Floor class.

Ladylobo76
Ladylobo76
March 6, 2018
Comment:

I really loved this class since I haven’t done Pilates in years. I’m also glad to know I wasn’t the only experiencing video problems with this video.

dianeb
dianeb
February 12, 2018
Comment:

Hi! Super class -- I'm an advanced Pilates practitioner with an injury, and this was a terrific class for me. Only problem is that about a third of the way into the video, the visual part stops for about 1-2 minutes. Kathi's voice goes on, but not the picture. Otherwise, fabulous!! Thanks!

lchandlernh
lchandlernh
January 29, 2018
Comment:

I'm trying to click on the video to watch it and there is no video to click on. Help.

AB-DK
AB-DK
January 18, 2018
Comment:

Super fine video and program for a beginner,. Thanks a lot. to Kathy Ellis for Pilates for beginners.

FutureGhost13
FutureGhost13
January 16, 2018
Comment:

Thank you a million times over for this class! It (and the five principles class) is the best introduction to Pilates I've encountered. I loved the level of instruction, and it really helped me stay focused and enabled me to keep the proper form! Kathi is really amazing instructor, and I can not wait to see more pilates classes from her. The next stretch at the end of this class was the cherry on top that I didn't know I needed. I struggle with clenching my jaw, and this stretch felt so wonderful it brought happy tears to my eyes. Will be doing this class again!

Nyamyj
Nyamyj
January 11, 2018
Comment:

Please continue the reminders. It is so necessary and makes it easier to practice without constantly coming out of position to look at the screen.

Dusty Cobwebs
Dusty Cobwebs
January 9, 2018
Comment:

Thank you for this lovely class. I really enjoyed it and will continue to practice pilates alongside yoga.

mary_c_coyle@msn.com
mary_c_coyle@msn.com
January 8, 2018
Comment:

I know this is a beginner class but the constant stream of instruction during every repetition of a movement is overwhelming. I just can't listen that fast.

David Procyshyn
David Procyshyn
January 9, 2018
Comment:

Yes, I felt that way too when I started with pilates. Those in the yoga world usually consider there to be too much instruction in a pilates class, but I now think it's an essential part. There are so many subtle movements that it's difficult not to provide reminders to make sure that the student is paying attention to the important details throughout the class, which ends up requiring more talking.

catherinebowles@yahoo.com
catherinebowles@yahoo.com
January 9, 2018
Comment:

Mary, I agree that at first the instruction is a lot to take in - I was SO overwhelmed when I started. However, as a student of Kathi's and I wholeheartedly encourage you stick with it. You WILL get it and it's so worth it. Her classes are some of the most effective I've ever taken. Worked miracles on my tired and weary back.