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What is Pilates?

In 10 sessions you’ll feel the difference, in 20 sessions you’ll see the difference, and in 30 sessions you’ll have a whole new body.
— Joseph Pilates


You’ve heard it’s awesome for core strength and a kick-ass, sweat-free workout, but you may be wondering what Pilates really is.

Originally called Contrology, Pilates is a form of exercise created by Joseph Pilates in 1918. Focusing on strengthening both the mind and body through awareness of breath, alignment of the spine, and strengthening the deep torso and abdominal muscles referred to as the core, Pilates is a full mind-body workout. Over time, several different styles of Pilates have emerged.  

At Emerald City Pilates in Seattle, we teach contemporary Pilates, which means that all of the original Pilates exercises have been adapted and modified according to the most up-to-date information about the body and movement.

For a detailed history of Pilates, watch this animated video. 


Our team of Pilates instructors are some of Seattle's finest and are ready to provide you with excellent Pilates instruction and outstanding customer service. 

All of our instructors are trained in STOTT PILATES, which is based on the original teachings of Joseph Pilates, and that have been updated by a team of physical therapists, sports medicine and exercise professionals to incorporate modern exercise principles.  This style of Pilates applies biomechanics, rehabilitation and athletic performance enhancement to the exercises ensuring you are using your body the way it was designed to move. 

The STOTT PILATES instructor education is often considered the "Ivy League" of Pilates, with hundred of hours of coursework and close supervision by instructor trainers, completing the certification is a serious commitment that takes years to finish. Fully certified instructors are experts at movement with a deep and thorough knowledge of human biomechanics enabling them to create Pilates workouts that are challenging and restorative.  

We are pleased to offer you instructors who boast a wealth of experience, along with a passion for holistic wellness through Pilates. Our coaches are now tiered into Senior and Junior-Level Instructors.

All of our instructors consider the individual needs of our clients and tailor each program to your needs.

Our Instructors


Junior Instructors are Certified Pilates Instructors who are working on specializations in their area of choice and keep abreast of their continued education course requirements.


Passionate, Detailed & Mindful

My passion:  Integrating mind-body connection into daily life. 

Specialties:  Pre & post natal, Balanced workouts, Improved posture &  movement


Creative,  Focused & Flowing

My passion: Helping clients improve their mind-body connection. 

Specialties: Movement studies, Assisting those with dance and other related injuries, Functional anatomy


Thoughtful, Eclectic & Supportive

My passion: Helping others move with ease and awareness.

Specialties: Improving balance, Pilates-yoga fusion, Osteoporosis and back issues


Senior Instructors have over 10 years of training experience, are fully certified in all apparatus, and have completed over 60 hours of continued education courses in Pilates. Additionally, they are well-versed in training special populations, as well as clients with multiple injuries.

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Attentive, Practical & Knowledgeable

My passion: Helping you reach health and fitness goals.

Specialties: Elderly and sedentary clients, Pain reduction, Functional Movement


Witty, Progressive & Detailed

My passion:  Making fitness fun and easy to understand.

Specialties: Franklin Method, Athletes, Holistic Health, Wellness Coaching

Interested in joining our amazing team? We'd love to hear from you.  Click here to tell us more!

Wellness Team


At Emerald City Pilates of Seattle, we believe wellness begins from the inside out. This is why we have two massage therapists and a nutritional wellness coach on staff. Learn how this incredible team can assist you on your path to wellness. Our Belltown location is easily accessible from the Queen Anne, South Lake Union, Denny Triangle, Capitol Hill and other Downtown Seattle areas.  Contact our specialists today to learn more about nutritional services, massage therapy, and private pilates instruction to help create your best body through comprehensive wellness!

Our Wellness Team



Ashley Reese







Our Seattle Fans


Our Seattle Fans


    After starting my full time desk job, I noticed at the end of the day I felt so stiff and hunched. I am a dancer and thought that a dance class or joining a gym might help me loosen up but my uncomfortableness still persisted. Plus, I ended up being more sore after dance classes and grossed out after using the communal machines and being with the grunting weight lifters at the gym.

    Emerald City Pilates was a perfect fit for me. I found the experience to be exactly what I needed. A private session with a great instructor that customizes your workouts to provide relief, better alignment, and adding tone. I would definitely recommend it to any young professional that is looking for a refreshing interactive way to exercise."


    I started practicing Pilates to build strength and increase flexibility. This work helped me manage my back and shoulder alignment. Jessica has also convinced me to change my diet. She uses various tools to assess sensitivity to food and cajoles me to reduce my sugar intake.

    These changes have reduced inflammation and have helped reduce weight. All this work combined has increased flexibility and has ended back and knee pain. I actually enjoy our time together. She is entertaining to say the least. After an hour of laughing through a session I leave ready to face my week.


    I'm a competitive swimmer, and I came to Pilates with the goal of improving my swimming. Working with Jessica has been wonderful for that, especially with her background in triathlon and swimming.

    In particular, she's designed and implemented a Pilates plan that's specific to swimming and specific to my personal races within swimming. I was able to improve my personal record in the 200 meter breaststroke by 2.80 seconds. I can't recommend her enough.

Make sure to check out our Yelp Reviews!

Pilates FAQs


Pilates/Studio FAQs

Who can do Pilates?

Pilates is great for everybody. Whatever your fitness level is — from total newbie to trained dancer — we can create a personalized workout that will improve your strength, flexibility and posture. We’ve worked with all types of clients and their goals, like preparing for a special event such as a wedding or a race, to people just wanting to feel better and more confident in their bodies on a daily basis. 

Do you offer classes?

Our studio caters to private and duet sessions only, so we do not offer group classes. Duets are a good option if budget is a concern for you, however, we ask that you bring your own partner, friend or co-worker since we do not pair people up. 

What is your cancellation policy?

We have a 24 hour cancellation policy for all reasons except sickness. In the event that you are sick, you need to cancel by 9pm the day before your session to be able to reschedule it.

Do you have parking available?

Our clients typically find street parking on 5th Avenue within a block or two of our studio, usually right on our block.

How often should I do Pilates?

We recommend doing Pilates at least once a week. Most of our clients work with us once, twice or three times a week, but depending on your budget and goals, you could easily do Pilates everyday. 

Will Pilates help me lose weight?

Pilates is most often a low intensity exercise, so you are not likely to get a strong enough cardio workout to lose weight. However Pilates will definitely increase your muscle tone, especially in your abdominal area so you will look skinnier. We also find that committing to a fitness routine helps our clients make better diet choices and helps them stay committed to living a healthier lifestyle — which in turn, helps them shed some extra pounds. We also have an amazing nutrition coach available to help determine the most ideal diet for your body. 

Can I do Pilates if I have an injury?

Absolutely! We love helping clients with injuries and have tons of success getting people back to doing what they love. We have also been trained to work with pregnant women, and those with scoliosis and osteoporosis. 

Can men do Pilates?

Pilates was created by a man, so yes, men can do Pilates. In fact, numerous NBA, NFL and other professional athletes, both male and female, love doing Pilates.  Pilates lovers include: Tom Brady, Lebron James, Kobe Bryant and swimmer Natalie Coughlin.

Need an answer to your question? Feel free to contact us at [email protected]