This is what the man who developed the principles and techniques of Pilates had to say on the matter:
"In ten sessions, you will feel the difference, in twenty you will see the difference, and in thirty you'll have a whole new body." -- Joseph H. Pilates
It does take a few sessions to grasp the techniques and principles of Pilates. Getting the breath, core engagement, alignment, focus, control, co-ordination and flow all working at the same time requires practice, but it's not really all that difficult and it really pays off.
A few tips for practising some of the different principles outside of a session:
- Practise engaging your core muscles (the 'corset' or 'belt' muscle Transversus Abdominis and the Pelvic Floor muscles) anywhere you are! For example, as you wait for the train or cue at the supermarket: think about gently contracting the core muscles every time you breathe out
- Think about moving with the breath when performing daily actions, for example you can think about breathing out as you open a door, and breathing in as you close it
- Try to keep your body in alignment throughout the day, especially if you spend all day sitting in front of a computer. Try to check regularly: what's happening with your shoulders? your chin? your lower back? Visualise a string pulling you from the crown of your head towards the ceiling and placing your chin on a shelf