What is Pilates?

Learn the history of Pilates and how training Classical Pilates regularly will improve the joy of life

Pilates is a method of exercise using Pilates apparatus (equipment) or an exercise mat together with various props to improve strength, flexibility and body awareness. Classical Pilates was invented a century ago by Joseph Pilates. Together with his wife, Clara, they developed the classical Pilates method at their Pilates studio in New York City until the end of the 1960s. Joe drew inspiration from dance, bodybuilding, yoga, martial arts, gymnastics and even animal movements.

Pilates Models Reformer Breast Stroke
The Pilates Method

Classical Pilates has six basic principles that are the foundation of the Pilates approach to exercise the way Joe developed it. Classical Pilates is what classical ballet is compared to contemporary dance.


Each movement should be initiated from your center and work out toward your extremities. Your center or “powerhouse” includes the abdominals, buttocks, hips and inner thighs. By initiating movement from your core, your body will function more efficiently.


Your body will achieve greater results with Pilates by bringing full attention and commitment to each exercise. This method requires both thought and action. Learning to be mindful and focused on the task at hand improves concentration and will enhance performance.


Control, rather than intensity or repetition, is the key to executing Pilates correctly. The exercises should be done with complete muscular control and no body part should be left to its own devices.


It’s all about the details! Form and alignment are everything. Work for quality instead of quantity. It is better to execute 5 repetitions of an exercise with great form than 20 with sloppy, careless form.


In Pilates exercises, all movements are coordinated with breath. Joseph Pilates encouraged people to use their lungs to powerfully pump air completely in and out of the body. Breathing deeply helps to activate your deep abdominal muscles, release unwanted tension, and keep you focused.


The system is designed to flow seamlessly from one exercise to the next. Fluidity, grace, and ease are goals applied to all exercises. Transitions should be integrated into the work so that movement is continuous.

Pilates in Stockholm Twist
Why is Pilates great?

Pilates improves your strength, flexibility and mind-body awareness by bringing attention to your posture and which muscles you are engaging at any given moment. Pilates is good for everybody regardless of your fitness level, age or body type. Pilates improves the movement quality for a wide range of activities including walking, running, soccer, golf, cycling, skiing, tennis, dancing and more! You get renewed energy from the Pilates method so you can enjoy more of all the things you love doing.

Athletes and Pilates

For professional athletes it is even more important to have correct posture and strength in the core muscles because the pressure on their bodies is much greater than in everyday recreational sports. Using the Pilates method, you will learn the basic approach of centering and control of the body from the inside out. You will have better opportunities to reach and maintain peak performance without unnecessary injuries.

Dance and Pilates

Whatever level or style of dance you prefer, it requires precision, flexibility and strength to perform well. With a strong core, you reduce the risk of injuries due to overloading your spine and joints. In addition, dancers gain stability at their center and in turn improve the mobility of their limbs. The Pilates method was invented in close cooperation with top Broadway performers and has been used to improve their agility and strength of movement for many years.

Pregnancy and Pilates

Both during and after pregnancy, it can be challenging to find a form of exercise that is appropriate. Joints, muscles and other tissues are exposed to a great deal of stress and sometimes trauma. Pilates can be easily adapted for pregnant women and new moms and is the perfect low-impact workout. The exercises activate the deepest layer of your abdominal muscles, which are necessary for stabilizing your back and pelvis. In addition, pilates aids in balance, flexibility and posture.

Back Pain and Pilates

We all experience back pain at some point in life. Habitual poor posture is one of the most common causes, mainly because we spend a large portion of everyday life sitting down. In this position, we compress our spine, causing our disks to degenerate. The Pilates method focuses on correct alignment of the spine and creating space in between the discs. Improved core strength and body awareness help to heal existing back pain and prevent new injuries from occurring.

Arthritis and Pilates

Arthritis, one of the most common chronic conditions today, can cause pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints. The symptoms are often frustrating and uncomfortable, and can lead to loss of function in the affected joint. While there is no treatment to stop the disease process, physical activity has been proven to have a positive impact on increasing joint mobility. Pilates exercises can help reduce the pain, increase the range of motion and improve overall strength.

Fatigue and Pilates

Today’s world is often over-stimulating and fast-paced, leading us to feel overwhelmed and stressed. This can point us toward fatigue, exhaustion and irritability. Pilates can counteract these feelings by encouraging you to focus, with no distractions, on your body and your movements. Concentrate, breathe, and you will achieve a sense of well being. Joseph Pilates said, “Contrology (Pilates) develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind and elevates the spirit.” You will leave your session or class feeling full of energy!

Janneke J.
Janneke J.
Stockholm, Mama Pilates

I highly recommend Stephanie’s Mama Pilates class. I was totally new to Pilates and I’ve done 2 courses now. I think it’s a good and safe way to reconnect to your body and start exercising after giving birth. Stephanie is a great teacher who pays attention to your posture very well – and let me say, little adjustments can make a huge difference in Pilates.

Mania G.
Manja G.
Stockholm, Pregnancy Pilates

Stephanie’s pregnancy pilates class has just the perfect tempo for me. It is helping me stay active and fit during pregnancy. She is really focused on students, explains every detail of movement clearly, checks we are doing everything properly and corrects us accordingly. I am planing to continue with classes after delivery 🙂

Ana-Linda F.
Ana-Linda F.
Stockholm, Mama Pilates

I am so glad I came across Stephanie’s Mama Pilates classes in Stockholm after quite some trial and error elsewhere. I appreciate her knowledge and that she carefully keeps an eye on us and focuses on our individual needs during classes. She is very professional. The variety of exercises was great as well and I always felt so good afterwards. The set up where I can train and take the little one with me was just perfect for me too and also a good chance to meet other mums. My diastasis recti is recovered and I now can visit normal classes – which I definitely will as I absolutely found pleasure in the Pilates method.

About Pilates Via

We help both beginners and experienced Pilates aficionados improve strength and flexibility with a graceful smile. Pilates Via was founded by Stephanie Fjalestad in 2016. Pilates Via Odenplan | Studio S (Surbrunnsgatan 60), a fully equipped Classical Pilates studio, opened in the spring of 2018. Studio H (Hagagränd 2) and Studio O (Zoom) opened in the spring of 2020. The saga continues…

Progressive Pilates Reformer
Your Instructors

You train with international instructors educated in Classical Pilates by Pilates Via and certified by The Pilates Standard. Classes and sessions are taught in English unless otherwise stated. For sessions, it is possible to choose one of the languages that your instructor can teach in.

Stephanie Fjalestad Pilates Instructor

Pilates Instructor

A Classical Pilates instructor from Unites States. Teaches in English.

Stephanie is a certified Professional Classical Pilates Teacher (2nd generation) by Romana Kryzanowska, Joseph Pilates’ protégé. A former dancer and teacher in dance and health at PACE University, NYC. She brings years of teaching experience, always positive, motivating and ready to challenge her clients. Experienced teaching people of all ages, body types, athletic abilities, prenatal and postnatal, and able to modify exercises for various challenges. Exhibits patience with new learners and is an effective communicator. She loves nothing more than when a client experiences a breakthrough moment as a result of doing pilates.

Victoria Pilates Instructor

Pilates Instructor

A Classical Pilates instructor from Sweden. Teaches in English and Swedish.

Victoria is a certified Professional Classical Pilates instructor (4th generation). She is also educated in classical and modern ballet, in both Sweden and England. The love of pilates comes from a fascination with the anatomical body and the joy that this form of exercise brings. Now she hopes to pass this on to all her clients!

Boaz Pilates Instructor

Pilates Instructor

A Classical Pilates instructor from Israel. Teaches in English, Swedish, Hebrew and French.

Boaz is a certified Professional Classical Pilates Instructor (4th generation). Most of his professional life, he has spent moving; for 24 years as a dancer in Israel and then in Stockholm. He began his journey into the world of Pilates after a lower back injury and started as a Pilates instructor in 2005.

Pilates Via Instructors
How To Start?

Essential Pilates classes are the foundation if you are a beginner of Classical Pilates. Once you know the essentials you’re welcome to book Progressive Pilates classes where we challenge you further with new exercises and a faster pace with flow. We also have Private / Duet / Group Sessions for all levels with additional Classical Apparatus (ex. Ladder barrel, Small Chair, High Chair, Spine/Foot/Toe Corrector and Pedi Pole).

Most people start with an Essential Pilates | Mat class or a Studio Session. For pregnant and new moms we recommend Pregnancy Pilates and Mama Pilates. If you are 60+ or have chronic fatigue syndromes (ex. post covid, POTS etc.) and have not exercised for a while, we recommend you start with a Vintage Pilates class.

Remember, Classical Pilates is not something you learn in one day. It is a progressive journey without an end. It takes approximately 10 classes or 5 sessions before you discover how much you have learned about your body and what Classical Pilates can do for you.

After your first class or session, your instructor will follow up with recommendations what you should continue with.

To book, you create a FREE account at my.pilatesvia.com. There you get 1 Via Credit to book a 25 min Matwork class at no cost to you at Pilates Via Odenplan or at Studio O (Online) if you prefer to train remotely. Welcome!

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Questions & Answers

Contact us if you have more questions.

How much does it cost?

First. No membership fees or other frills.
Here at Pilates Via you use Via © Credits, our training credits when you book.

How much is a Via © Credit?

1 © Credit costs SEK 195 including 6% VAT.

Do you have discounts?

Yes, it will be cheaper if you buy more Via © Credits at the same time.
1-19 © no discount given
20-49 © you get our Get Started Price, i.e. 5% discount
50-99 © you get our Get Moving Price, i.e. 10% discount
100+ © you get our Get Results Price, i.e. 15% discount
We do not offer any other discounts to new clients.

How do I book?

We have no reception so you book your private session by yourself.

To book other sessions or if you have any questions please contact us and we’ll help you get started.

Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Can I try a class?

Absolutely! When you sign-up at my.pilatesvia.com, you get 1 Via © Credit absolutely FREE from us to book any 25 min Matwork class. If you’d rather try a 50 min Matwork class or an Apparatus (Reformer / Tower) Class, you can absolutely do that, but you need to buy an additional 1 © for a Matwork Class (50 min), Apparatus Class (25 min) or 2 © for an Apparatus Class (50 min).

How many Via © Credits do you need to train classes and privates?

  • Matwork (1-8 people) Class (25 min)—1 ©
  • Matwork (1-8 people) Class (50 min)—2 ©
  • Apparatus (1-6 people) Class (25 min)—2 ©
  • Apparatus (1-6 people) Class (50 min)—3 ©
  • Duet/Trio/Group (2-4 people) Session (25 min)—3 ©
  • Duet/Trio/Group (2-4 people) Session (50 min)—4 ©
  • Private (1 person) Session (25 min)—4 ©
  • Private (1 person) Session (50 min)—7 ©

How do I buy Via © Credits?

Sign-up on my.pilatesvia.com. We give you 1 Via © Credit for FREE which you can use to book any Matwork Class (25 min). Then you top up your account with additional Via © Credits using your card or invoice.

  • Up to SEK 8,780, you pay by card (Visa, Mastercard, AMEX) from our secure partner Stripe.
  • Over SEK 8,780, you pay by invoice.
When can I start using my Via © Credits?
  • If you pay by card, your Via © Credits are added to the account as soon as the payment goes through.
  • If you pay against an invoice, your Via © Credits will be added to the account when we have received the money in our bank account.

Do you have monthly or annual memberships?

Nope, we do not offer monthly or annual memberships.

We only have Via © Credits which you use to book.

Can I use my employer health benefits and train Pilates?

Yes. The Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) approves Pilates training as a tax deductible exercise and wellness benefit activity. You will receive a receipt approved by the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) via email after we have received your payment. The receipt contains all the details that the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) requires from your employer.

I have a disability, can I train Pilates?

It depends on your disability. We currently have clients with prosthetics who train, but we are unfortunately not able to host people who have mobility, hearing or visual impairments for safety reasons. This is something we evaluate during fall 2021 and we soon hope to be able to offer this in the future as Pilates is really good for everyone. If you are uncertain, please contact us to assess your challenges.

Can I do this?

Yes, provided you can stand, sit and lie on the floor you can do classes. If you have been recommended by a physiotherapist, doctor or have a known injury then we recommend at least one private lesson first where we go through your conditions together and how you can adapt your exercises in a class.

How often should I exercise?

To promote health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, prevent premature death and to maintain or improve physical capacity such as fitness and strength the following is recommended for all adults from 18 years and up:

  1. Be physically active in total at least 150 minutes a week. The intensity should be at least moderate. At high intensity recommended at least 75 minutes per week. The activity should be spread over at least three of days of the week. Moderate and high intensity can also be combined. More physical activity provides additional health effects.
  2. Muscle strengthening physical activity should be performed at least twice a week for the majority of the body’s large muscle groups.
  3. The elderly (defined here as adults over the age of 65) should also practice balance.

Source: The Public Health Agency of Sweden, Rekommendationer för fysisk aktivitet och stillasittande (Swedish)

Joseph Pilates was ahead of his time and he recommended exercising 3 times a week. We believe you will see development with at least one private session or class per week as a complement to other physical activity to stretch and strengthen your entire body. If you can exercise two to three times a week, you will feel results much faster.

Pilates can be experienced as slow to high intensity depending on the your fitness level and experience from Pilates. All types of sessions and classes in Classical Pilates trains the whole body. Our Vintage classes (for 60+ and people recovering from illness) are slow to medium intensity with additional exercises to improve balance.

How late can I book / cancel?

You can book a class up until 1 hour before your class start.
You can cancel a class up until 6 hours before your class start.

You can book a session up until 12 hours before your session start.
You can cancel your session up until 12 hours before your session start.

How do I change a booking?

You sign in at my.pilatesvia.com and cancel within 6 hours for classes and 12 hours for Privates (new from 2023) before training starts.
PS: Don’t forget to change any calendar event in your calendar to the new date/time.

Pilates Via in Stockholm

We have two fully equipped Pilates studios at Pilates Via Odenplan, Studio S (Surbrunnsgatan 60) and Studio H (Hagagränd 2) in Stockholm, as well as our Studio O (Zoom) where we run interactive classes and sessions using Zoom.