Frequently asked questions


What is Pilates?

Pilates is a form of exercise that is performed on a mat or on specialised apparatus and aims to improve flexibility, strength and stability in the body. Originally developed by Joseph Pilates in the 1920s, Pilates emphasises proper postural alignment, core strength and muscle balance. It focuses on mind-body connection and teaches you how to move your body correctly, which is why it is helpful in the rehabilitation of injury and can improve performance in sport. Pilates is suitable for all ages and abilities.


What is Yoga?

Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in ancient India. It is the practice of ‘asanas’, a series of physical postures, breathing techniques and meditation that bring harmony to the body. Yoga improves strength, flexibility, coordination and balance whilst also relaxing the body and mind. Classes can range from gentle and nourishing to challenging and sweaty.


What is reformer?

The reformer is a traditional piece of Pilates equipment which is a sliding carriage with springs of varying resistance, ropes and pulleys. Like other styles of Pilates, reformer is a phenomenal workout for your body’s “powerhouse”, your core, back, hips and glutes. It is heavily focused on alignment and accurate muscle engagement, which can lead to improved posture, better balance and more stability, especially when in motion.


What is the difference between Pilates and yoga?

Yoga is a holistic discipline originating from ancient India, while Pilates is a more recent physical practice developed in the 1920s, but there is much cross-over, hence the confusion. Both practices are celebrated for their numerous health benefits, from providing stress relief, to improving flexibility, strength, balance and posture. There is a spiritual element to yoga with the adoption of meditation and breathing techniques that bring peace to the mind and body. In Pilates the focus on breath is to help strengthen the core from within. There are countless interpretations of both disciplines meaning there is something for everyone. Come and see which is the best fit for you!


Where should I start if I am a beginner?

Pilates: mat Pilates is the basis for the entire Pilates system of exercises. Beginners often start with mat classes to learn fundamental principles, and build a strong foundation to their practice. We also do 1:1, duet and small group private classes, which can be a great place to start if you’d like to build up into classes. Click here and scroll down to view our clinical pilates prices.

Yoga: Our Slow Flow yoga classes are a perfect place to start your yoga journey.


Can I do reformer if I’ve never done Pilates before?

We encourage you to start with mat Pilates to learn the fundamental principles without over complicating things with a moving carriage. However, our Reformer Foundations classes are suitable for beginners.


Is reformer Pilates more challenging than mat?

It is a common misconception that reformer Pilates is more challenging than mat. The resistance created by the springs on a reformer can provide a more challenging strength and endurance workout than mat classes. However, on the mat, your body weight provides resistance against gravity and the exercises require you to be in full control of your body, rather than relying on assistance or support from the springs on the reformer. Small equipment like resistance bands and hand weights are used to make the exercises more challenging.


How often should I do Pilates to see results?

We recommend doing 3 Pilates classes per week to see results. It is normal for classes to start to feel easier after a few weeks. One of Joseph Pilates’ most famous quotes is “in 10 sessions you will feel the difference. In 20 sessions you will see the difference. And in 30 sessions you will have a whole new body”.


What is HIIT Pilates?

HIIT Pilates combines High Intensity Interval Training with Pilates. Combined they make great companions and complement each other in their impact on the body. HIIT provides a quick and effective cardio workout which is an excellent way of improving fitness, whilst Pilates works on core strength, muscle balance and posture. When they are combined you get an amazing calorie burn, endurance, core and a full body workout.


Can I bring my baby/child to the class with me?

Babies are welcome to any of our postnatal classes that state ‘babies welcome’ up until they are on the move. You are welcome to stop and feed/settle at any point during the class. We have quiet areas in the studio for feeding, and a change table in our change rooms. Once they are crawling, they are welcome to come if they are happy in the pram (please be aware we are up a flight of stairs, so lighter prams are best). Older children are welcome to join you in the studio for classes, if they are happy to quietly entertain themselves next to you, or in the waiting area.


I’m pregnant, which classes are appropriate for me?

Congratulations! You are welcome to join our classes at any stage of pregnancy, if cleared by your LMC. If you are under 16 weeks of pregnancy, you’re welcome to join any of our Foundations Pilates classes, or any yoga classes. Please let the instructor know you are pregnant. After 16 weeks of pregnancy, it is recommended not to lie on your back to exercise, plus lying on your tummy may be uncomfortable then, so we recommend joining our pregnancy specific classes at that point onwards. We have several pregnancy options: pregnancy mat pilates, pregnancy reformer pilates, pregnancy yoga. All of our pregnancy classes are run by experienced instructors and maternity physios, so you know you’ll be working all the right areas, in a challenging but safe environment.


I’ve just had a baby, what classes are appropriate for me?

Congratulations mama, and well done for wanting to rehabilitate after pregnancy birth! We recommend a post-natal WOF appointment with one of our pelvic floor physios to start your journey. All of our postnatal classes are a perfect place to start. We focus on deep tummy and pelvic floor muscles, upper back and neck stretching, and glut and postural strengthening. When you feel ready to move on from these classes, our Foundation reformer/mat pilates classes is a great next step, as is our Slow Flow yoga class. It is recommended to be cleared by our physios before joining our more challenging dynamic pilates or vinyasa yoga classes.


Do you do student concessions?

High school and tertiary students can receive 20% off our class packs with valid ID. Discount is only available to redeem in studio, not online. Please call or email us for more info.


How do I book or cancel my class?

Via our app: visit your app store and search “Unity Studios NZ”. Once you’ve downloaded the app, you can manage your packs and bookings easily through the app.

Via our website: Click here to view our timetable, and click on the class you’d like to join. Follow the prompts to purchase the class/pack you wish. To cancel a booked class, click here or ‘Login’ at the top of our website. Once logged in, click the small person icon at the top right corner of the screen, then manage your bookings from there.


Do I need a referral from my GP/doctor before coming to see a physio?

No, you don’t need a referral to see a physio, you can book straight in.


What is a women’s, men’s and pelvic health physiotherapist?

A pelvic health physiotherapist is a physio who has extensive training in the pelvic floor. They may work with both women and men for pelvic floor dysfunction. A women’s health physiotherapist is a physio who has extensive training in dysfunction of the pelvic floor and musculoskeletal system that can arise in pregnancy, birth or the menopausal period.


What will the appointment involve?

Your physio will ask you lots of questions about your condition to get a thorough picture of the problem. They will then go on to assess the area. This may involve an internal assessment (either vaginal or rectal assessment). You have every right to decline an internal assessment and have an ultrasound assessment on your tummy. This gives us a very basic view of the pelvic floor. You will then be given exercises or products to go away and do/use to improve your dysfunction and reach your goal.


What is the difference between a ‘Physio’ and a ‘Senior Physio’?

All of our physios have post-graduate training in pelvic health and pregnancy/post natal physiotherapy. Our Senior Physios have over 10 years experience in their field.


How long is the appointment?

An initial appointment is one hour. Follow up appointments are either 30 or 45 minutes long, or one hour long if it is a complex problem.


Will my appointment be covered by ACC?

If your injury is caused by an accident, you may submit a claim to ACC with the help of your physio. ACC will review the claim and let you know if it has been accepted or not. This usually happens within 10 days. If your claim is accepted, ACC will cover approximately half of the appointment cost. Unfortunately, most birth related injuries are not covered by ACC. Speak to your physio for more information.


What should I bring to my appointment?

Any of the following:
-Your ACC number
-Any medical reports you may have
-Your hospital discharge summary or operation notes


How many appointments will I need?

This depends on your injury/condition. The majority of clients need between 3-8 sessions, but you may need more or less than that.


Does my health insurance cover the appointment?

This depends on what plan you are covered with. If you have physiotherapy cover with your plan, then they will often cover a portion of the appointment cost. Many plans need an additional package to be added to your plan to get physio cover.


Can I bring my baby to the appointment?

Yes absolutely! We are up a flight of stairs, so best to bring baby in a capsule or carrier

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Unity Studios
1a Rocklands Ave, Balmoral, Auckland
+64 21 246 4070
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