Pilates is a form of low-impact exercise that aims to strengthen muscles, improve postural alignment and flexibility, and reduce physical and mental stress. To learn Pilates, it is recommended to attend one-on-one sessions with a qualified teacher. Pilates focuses on joint movement and congruence, and helps to correct muscle imbalances. Weights can also be added to a Pilates workout, which will increase the amount of calories burned resulting in weight loss benefits. Eight core principles in Pilates are relaxation, concentration, coordination, alignment, breathing, flowing movement, empowering the core, and stamina. A typical Pilates session lasts 45 minutes to one hour. Common moves include The Hundred (breathing exercise that targets core strength and stability), The Roll Up (a slow and controlled move that stretches the spine, the back of the body and strengthens the abdominals), Rolling like a Ball (massages the spine and opens up the back), Series of 5 (moves that strengthen the abdominals and back muscles). There are two different kinds of Pilates classes, though they are essentially the same: mat classes and reformer classes. The reformer is a machine, which is a sliding platform complete with stationary foot bar, springs, and pulleys that provide added resistance. Other pieces of equipment used in Pilates are the Wunda, a low chair with padding and springs; the Cadillac (similar to a bed with a canopy frame); the spine corrector; the high chair; the Magic Circle (a ring placed between the legs to create resistance). Pilates is commonly endorsed by physiotherapists, physical therapists, osteopaths, surgeons and GPs. In short, Pilates is about improving strength and flexibility using slow and controlled movements. It is suitable for all age groups and levels of ability and fitness, from beginners to elite athletes.