Pilates has Style

Beth sitting on Pilates mat with chin on hand and small smile.

Written by Beth Sandlin

September 22, 2022

More than once I’ve been told I’m not teaching “real” Pilates. From classes being too challenging and fast to sessions being too slow and easy. What I’ve realized is that always calling Pilates, Pilates doesn’t give people enough information about the session. 

Typically we’ve labeled classes by the equipment we use: Mat Classes, Reformer Classes, Mixed Equipment. Or by level, Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. A lot of people who I work with noticed that some intermediate classes didn’t feel as challenging as some classes that were marked as beginner. 

It’s not always the level or equipment that determine the experience in a session, but the style is equally as important if not more. 

Focusing on the style of Pilates class helps people to understand the overall experience of the session. As a mover it helps someone choose a class based on their mood, energy, or objectives. For a Pilates teacher it helps to ensure that we’re offering different experiences for our clients. 

I think we’ve all had times when we just don’t feel like working out. This is totally valid, and at the same time when people understand that Pilates Classes don’t always have to be challenging to be a valuable movement experience, it often makes them more motivated to move with Pilates and aids in fostering a more consistent practice. 

As we develop an authentic movement practice we align our goals with how we move with Pilates. 

Below is a summary of the different Trifecta Pilates Styles of Classes with the color codes.*


Feel Good Flow, teal gradient

Membership & YouTube Class

Gentle stretching or very slow moving sessions. Focusing on unwinding tension and resetting the nervous system.

Good for all levels, as an evening routine or for active recovery days.


Studio Style Pilates

Membership Exclusive Class

Slower paced classes fostering more awareness for a deeper connection to the Pilates method and your body.

Wonderful for all levels, when you want to refine your Pilates practice and start to engage the body more fully.  (Featured in many Pilates Series)


Energize Pilates, purple gradient

Membership & YouTube Class

Rhythmic Pilates routines moving from one exercise to another with quicker transitions, turning the space between the primary exercises an exercise too.

Good for people who are familiar with Pilates exercises, and want to focus on mind-body connection without overthinking.


Mini Power Flow, orange gradient

Membership Exclusive Class

Vigorous Pilates sessions that challenge the body. These are your sometimes Pilates workouts.

Suitable for people who have a strong foundation with Pilates and know how to optimally move their body with Pilates. 


Balanced Body Breathing, yellow gradient

Membership Exclusive Class

These classes focus on your breathing practice from the mechanical aspect to meditations. Deep breathing benefits the core and pelvic floor, can lower blood pressure and reduce stress.

Good for all levels, and can be used any time during the day. 

As a Pilates Mover, next time you think about moving with Pilates consider what style of class you’re in the mood for. If you had a challenging workout scheduled, but you’re not motivated to workout, check in. Is it that you’re not motivated to workout or is it that a different style of Pilates class would be beneficial for you. 

As a Pilates Teacher, consider the style of classes that you usually teach your clients. It’s not uncommon that movers and teachers lean towards one style of class. If someone has a strong foundation with Pilates and is moving with Connect Style sessions, consider adding more flow to the session. It can even be flowing between a few exercises rather than the entire class.

From “easy” and nourishing classes to strong and intense classes, it’s all Pilates. It’s a matter of focusing on the style of classes that is optimal for your movement experience. 

Join me on the mat in the Membership or for a free Pilates Challenge.

*Note: Over 400 classes within the Membership are designated by Class Style. We began implementing this on YouTube a few months ago. All of the newer YouTube Pilates classes are color coded based on class style. 

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