FAQ

Our sessions give us time to listen to our bodies, focus on our movements, and retrain good alignment, strength, and flexibility to help us move through our daily lives safely, strongly and with renewed confidence. It’s also a great way to meet new people and laugh along the way. We hope you will find answers to your questions here but if not, or if you prefer to chat, just contact Sharon.

Before starting any exercise programme you should consult your health care professional and make the instructor aware of anything you feel they should know to ensure your session is safe and productive for your individual needs. Never exercise into pain or discomfort, or if you are feeling unwell.

Pilates is a form of exercise that aims to strengthen the body in an even way, with particular emphasis on core strength to improve function and wellbeing.

Pilates was first developed by German-born Joseph Pilates, during his internment in the UK during World War I. Plagued by childhood ailments himself, he believed mental and physical health were closely connected. Joe trained himself in gymnastics, boxing, wrestling, and worked for a time as a circus performer. A keen observer of movement (he said the intuitive movement of cats inspired many aspects of his fitness regime), Pilates trained his fellow inmates in fitness and exercise. He went on to develop a minimal-equipment, methodical system of exercise and rehabilitation, collaborating with experts in dance and physical movement.

In 2000, Glenn and Elisa Withers, the founders of the Australian Institute of Physiotherapy and Pilates (APPI), were awarded funding to research, review, and revise each of Joseph Pilates’ 34 original mat-based movements. The continued aim is to make Pilates available to everyone through ‘motor relearning’ – breaking down whole movements into smaller parts.

At West Dorset Pilates, our programmes focus on mat work with the use of small equipment to provide variety, resistance, or support, depending on your needs.

Pilates is taught in one-to-one and group sessions and should always be led by an experienced and qualified instructor. Pilates can be recommended by the NHS and other health care professions as part of a life long well being programme. Read the NHS guide to Pilates here

Whether you are a complete beginner, experienced athlete or anyone looking to try something new, the first thing you can expect is a warm and supportive welcome!

Sedentary lifestyles, age, and injury can all lead to reduced balance and increased risk of falls-related injury. This can happen gradually, almost unseen. Regular Pilates sessions may develop improved balance, greater confidence, stability and safety. 

New-found fitness and confidence leads to new-found fun and new-found friends. We know that starting anything for the first time, joining a new group, or working with a new instructor can often be the biggest step. We also know that it makes no difference where you start, only that you do.  

We hope you will join us – you never know where it may lead! 

Group and master classes are held at the Dorchester Yoga and Therapy Centre and at Wyke Regis Women’s Institute Hall unless otherwise stated.

The venue for one-to-one sessions is agreed individually.

We strongly advise you bring your own exercise mat, a small head cushion or folded towel, socks for work on the balance pads, a drink, and any small apparatus you may use such as bands or spiky balls.

Equipment is available at the centre, to be used at your own risk. There is also equipment available to purchase/order. Please read our updated safety recommendations.

Clothing should comfortable. You are likely to be standing, sitting and lying on your back, side, and front. Socks are useful for work on the balance pads and an extra layer is helpful as you warm up/cool down.

We take your well-being seriously. Before starting any exercise programme, it is your responsibility to consult your health care professional and to make the instructor aware of anything you feel they should know to ensure your session is safe and productive for your needs. To help with this, we ask you complete a registration form prior to attending your first session.

Weekly group mat work and small equipment sessions 60 minutes

These sessions are progressive and suitable for most. Regular attendance helps muscle and cognitive memory, as our bodies and minds retrain posture and functional movement, as well as set aside that all-important bit of regular ‘me’ time. 

If you are unable to make your session, you may be able to attend another session that week, subject to availability. Class sizes are kept small to enable everyone to get the best experience from their session. 

Drop in sessions are not available but anyone joining us for the first time is welcomed with a pre-booked complimentary session.

Sessions are block booked. We ask for payment or notice if you are not returning 10 days before the start of term. This is greatly appreciated, as it gives us time for planning and to accommodate the wait list. 

Cost:

  • £7.50 per hour (paid termly).
  • £8.00 per hour (paid half-termly)
  • Away for three or more consecutive weeks? Not a problem – simply block book the sessions you can attend at a slightly higher hourly rate.  Contact Sharon to find out more.

More about our Programmes

More about our make up policy

The great news is that because there are several progressions within each exercise, everyone can feel part of the group whilst working at the level best suited to individual needs. This means that all levels are most welcome in all our standard classes! The use of small equipment to add assistance or resistance means that you move at your own pace within a supportive environment.

Class sizes are kept small to insure individual attention. All sessions incorporate weightbearing and balance positions in standing, side, prone, supine, four-point kneeling, with individual adaptations as needed to help everyone work safely and progressively.

A typical session will include a warmup, cool down, strength, flexibility, 3D focus (using Pilates principles in more functional upright positions), cognitive stimulation, and fun.

So, whether you are recovering from injury, find it difficult to work on the floor, want to improve/challenge balance, increase your standing weight bearing activity, or scaffold your current fitness programme, we have something for you! 

All participants must complete and return a West Dorset Pilates Registration Form prior to attending their first class. One-to-one introductions, including postural analysis are available upon request and advised for anyone with complex needs or for beginners who feel they may benefit from an individual session to enable them to get the most from their group session.

We take your well-being seriously. Before starting any exercise programme, it is your responsibility to consult your health care professional and to make the instructor aware of anything you feel they should know to ensure your session is safe and productive for your needs. To help with this, we ask you complete a registration form prior to attending your first session.

We welcome the opportunity to work with health care providers, community groups and individuals. You can read the NHS guide to Pilates here

Care and residential homes

In addition to Pilates, Sharon is a creative and experienced wellbeing and CST (cognitive stimulation therapy) facilitator. Find out more about Referrals here

Please contact Sharon Morgan if you would like to know more or to discuss how Pilates and/or CST may have a place in your learning plans.

Our one-to-one introductions include a consultation about your individual goals and challenges and an in-depth introduction to the five key elements. 

You will also be given some appropriate level one exercises to do at home.

One to one sessions are ideal for:

  • Beginners or anyone who feels they may benefit from an individual session prior to joining a group session
  • Anyone with more complex needs
  • Anyone requiring a more individually structured programme to work to during their group session
  • Anyone who may not ‘trust’ what their body can do or is unsure following injury or illness.
  • Anyone who does not want to take part in a group session. This may be due to existing conditions, if you are in recovery from recent injury, or wanting to focus on a specific area

Sessions are available as a one-off or bundle and can be purchased as very lovely gift for yourself or a friend.

Cost: Initial 60 minute consultation: £35

Focus sessions anchor around one theme. Would this interest you?

From time to time we take a deep dive into a specific are of focus. These sessions are usually held as a one-off or short course on a Sunday.

They are ideal if you are looking for a second Pilates class, want to give yourself a bit of additional focus, or try something a bit different. 

Previous focus sessions have included: balance, endurance, flexibility, menopause and explore sessions for anyone new or returning to Pilates.

January 2023 sessions

We take your well-being seriously. Before starting any exercise programme, it is your responsibility to consult your health care professional and to make the instructor aware of anything you feel they should know to ensure your session is safe and productive for your needs. To help with this, we ask you complete a registration form prior to attending your first session.

Sunflower Sundowners are a perfect way to end a summer’s day! Sunflower Sundowner details

Sharon Morgan is an experienced  APPI Pilates instructor, British Gymnastics coach, massage therapist, and outdoor learning educator. She is a wellbeing and cognitive stimulation therapy (CST) facilitator with AgeUK. She believes in retraining and strengthening movement over time, bigging up the little steps, laughing lots – and enjoying the journey. You can find out more about Sharon here.

Health and well-being is a priority for us all.

Before starting any exercise programme, you should consult your health care professional and make the instructor aware of anything you feel they should know to ensure your session is safe and productive for your individual needs.

Not all vulnerabilities are visible. Please be considerate of others by ensuring your hands are clean before and after using equipment, consider wearing a mask when moving around the centre, and do not attend if you are unwell. 

Never exercise into pain or discomfort or if you are unwell.

We want to make our classes available to as many as possible, to ensure everyone has the best possible experience, and to give priority to our existing students. For this reason, fees and class sizes are kept low.

Drop-ins are not available to ensure that when possible, there is a floating space in each class. This means that if there is a class you can’t make, students may be able to attend another session that week, subject to space availability. Make-up sessions must be taken within the current block of sessions and as a general rule, refunds are not given. In the unlikely event of a class cancellation, every effort will be made to offer an additional session within the current block and where this is not possible, a refund will be offered.

Complimentary taster sessions are offered to anyone joining us for the first time.

Click to find out more about all our Programmes

Sunflower Sundowner

It's happening - just waiting on the weather and the sunflowers!

Sunday Shorts

It's Planning time ... tell us your after-Summer targets!

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Group sessions