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How to Do Pilates for Free

Updated: Feb 6

Doing Pilates for free is pretty simple. First, decide you're going to learn Pilates.

Here's a few ways to learn and do Pilates for free or low cost:

Go to your local library - A teacher learned Pilates using VHS cassettes and books from her local library -- did she fall in love with The Pilates Powerhouse by the late Mari Winsor or discover the work of Ellie Herman? So many choices. If you like history, you also may enjoy reading "source material" like Return to Life by Joseph Pilates. (Or read from his student's perspective -- Caged Lion by John Howard Steele). To understand how the exercises progress and how to begin Pilates at any fitness level, I suggest The Complete Pilates Tutor by Alan Herdman. 

Watch and practice Pilates with Internet videos -- One of my client/students keeps a playlist of their favorite Pilates YouTube videos. (I’ve published more than a dozen free mat Pilates class videos on YouTube.) There are many amazing teachers putting free classes online

Find local community classes in Austin, Texas and beyond -- Mat Pilates ATX has offered free or donation-based in-person classes on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and at community events like a farmers market. Follow us on Instagram to learn about the next free Pilates class.

If you're practicing and learning Pilates at home, make sure to use a mat that is at least 1/2" thick and preferably sticky or that has a sticky side. Be careful of putting soft thick mats on wood or tile floors because they can slip. A rug pad can hold it in place.

When you are learning mat Pilates, remember that the exercises are organized to work together and are a progression. Simpler exercises prepare our body for more advanced ones. While you do not have to be strict about the order, you may discover that following a similar order creates familiarity, improves body awareness, and gives you benchmarks to observe how your body changes and responds to the exercises.

You also can learn Pilates by taking in-person classes with a certified Pilates teacher. In my experience, students who take group Pilates classes or work out with a private teacher progress and advance in their abilities because they share some similar traits:

  • They believe some exercise is always better than none.

  • They are curious and learn about what they are doing.

  • They are confident to practice Pilates exercises on their own.

  • They have a desire to be active and prioritize another activity – whether that’s a cardio dance class or tap dancing; walking, running and hiking; traveling; gardening; chasing grandkids; playing golf, pickleball, and more.

  • They experience the benefits of both movement and mindfulness, deepening the mind body connection between exercise and well-being. This is makes exercise more enjoyable and increases desire to do it.

You might be asking "what about the Pilates machines? Those aren’t free!"

In February 2024, you can do Pilates on a reformer for free in one of our 30-minute duet classes (2 people per class).

Mat Pilates ATX is offering 10 free 30-minute Pilates reformer classes that are open to  current and new students. See class times by logging onto our scheduling app at this link. You may reserve your spot with a credit card on file; no shows and late cancellations will be charged $15. A late cancellation is less than 12 hours before the scheduled class time. 

Our classes give you the personal attention of a semi-private setting so that you get the most out of your reformer workout. 

Curious? Let’s get moving -- for free in February.

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