Pilates Fundamentals

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Practice the fundamentals of Pilates with Alisa Wyatt. You'll do exercises to understand how Joe Pilates wanted you to breath and how to feel whether your Powerhouse is engaged, what to do if your neck hurts, how to imprint your spine, and much more.

What Others Are Saying


  1. Warren 3 months ago

    How suitable are these beginner classes for Males?

  2. Jennifer Allen

    This video is so great as I try to get my head in the right place for teaching beginner workshops that I am starting next week with new clients. Thank you so much, Alisa!!

  3. RAMORAIS 2 years ago

    I love PilatesOlogy! I want to leave a suggestion! The videos have the option of subtitles in Portugues!

  4. Hiba 2 years ago

    Hello Alisa. When we squeeze the glutes for the powerhouse, doesn’t the back automatically tuck in? how can we avoid too much tucking in?

    • Alisa Wyatt Author

      HI Hiba!
      Sorry for my slow reply, we are currently on the road for a shoot.
      To answer your excellent question (one I wondered about myself as a beginner)–when you squeeze your glutes simply try not to overdo it to the point where it changes the position of your pelvis. You want a balanced strength that stabilizes your pelvis on the floor like an anchor. In this video I could have used a better word than ‘squeeze’ to indicate how the glutes assist, perhaps engage would be enough. Let me know if that helps!

  5. mbpilates 2 years ago

    Yes, yes, yes! I have been teaching for 8 years now and I am so enjoying going back to basics for my self-practice and for teaching my clients. Thanks and I love watching and listening to you 🙂

    • Alisa Wyatt Author

      🙂 so glad you’re enjoying the basics mbpilates! Doing them right makes all the difference in how you move.

  6. Kdrust 3 years ago

    I am in the “Learn the Basics” program, and I would like to to reply this video and retake the class, but I click on the video and it just shows me the comments. How can I replay it? Thanks.

  7. Gily 3 years ago

    Alisa, I just joined for my own personal use (ok and to help me as part of my plan to become more fit, lose weight, blah blah blah). I really appreciate your clear help on cues, tips, etc. You have a very pleasant and competent way about you!
    1, So, should I “tweeze” the glutes and inner thighs as I attempt most all of the exercises?
    2. When I try to “scoop out the stomach” and tighten the glutes, inner thighs I very slightly tip the pelvis (not off the ground, tail bone still on the ground.) Is this correct?
    3. Scooping out stomach….Is this basically tightening the stomach by pulling in toward the spine and having that contracted feel?
    4. And finally and least important but interesting…what is one situation or incident that really gave you the giggles?

    • Alisa Wyatt Author

      Hi Gily!
      Thanks for joining us and giving your health a boost. In answer to your questions:
      1. Yes, your inner thighs and glutes are part of your ‘powerhouse’ and engaging them provides stability.
      2. Yes what you’re describing is fine especially as a beginner. The goal at this stage in your practice is to develop strength in your powerhouse.
      3. I like to think of the scoop of the stomach as a way to lengthen my spine. It’s a bit hard to feel when you’re just getting started so don’t worry too much if you’re not sure exactly what it is–for me it became much more easy to feel after 15 lessons or so.
      4. Watching my husband do this makes me laugh every time I watch: https://pilatesology.com/classes/soaring-and-banking-eagle-archival-exercise/

  8. Ramya 3 years ago

    Thank You Alisa. As a new student/trainee teacher, this is so useful. I find your style of explaining and demonstration simple & super effective. Thank You and I will follow your videos here.

  9. Ann 4 years ago

    I put in a search for mat and checked Osteoporosis, this video came up. There is quite a bit of flexion C curve and head lifting. I believe this all contraindicated for Osteoporosis.

  10. mchohan 5 years ago

    Hi Alisa, I’m having trouble keeping my glutes and inner thighs engaged when doing the powerhouse exercise (extending right arm/right leg at the same time). Any tips?

    • Alisa Wyatt Author

      Hi mchohan, It’s more important that your back stays long on the mat than your glutes and inner thighs staying engaged. If you’re not used to using that area, it will take some time and it’s difficult for everyone to keep them engaged especially as you reach further away from your body. Practice getting them to work before you begin the reach, and then go as far as you can without losing the connection. If you lose it, no big deal. Make a mental note and keep working at it. If this stuff was easy the very first time, we wouldn’t need Pilates right?

  11. Jaime Cole 6 years ago

    Thank you Alisa, for these clear and concise Fundamental Tutorial 🙂 I will use this with New Clients, and give you credit! When explaining the glutes as part of the Powerhouse, how do you keep your client from “over gripping” their glutes? Thank you in advance!

    • Alisa Wyatt Author

      Hi Jamie! Thank you for watching, you can credit Romana for teaching me these fundamentals :)! For your question on the glutes, I find it rare that people ‘over grip’ this area if they are moving but if they do, I simply tell them not to be so tense or I find a way to make the whole body work more as a system so the glutes are doing their job instead of working alone.

  12. LKVB 7 years ago

    I love these simple clear tutorials. Great to direct new clients to who want homework. Thank you!

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