+ How does Posture Studio Pilates differ?

At Posture Studio Pilates, we teach to the student, not to a general class. What this means is that you will never hear our instructors use general sets of cues (like “get your shoulders down and back” or “draw your belly into your spine”). What’s good for one student may not be so for another, and learning from instructors who can see this and convey it makes all the difference. Our functional-based training approach is unique and focused on each person, individually, whether in a private or a group setting.

+ What is Functional-Based Training?

Functional-based training strengthens our bodies for what they do daily. Our daily tasks ARE exercises but most people don’t think of it that way. We squat, lunge, bend, twist, flex and extend our bodies all day long. Practicing movements that we use in every day life allows us to move more efficiently and keeps our bodies mobile and strong.

+ How is Pilates good for athletes?

For those who are athletic, you know that most forms of training tend to be linear and are geared towards shortening and tightening muscles followed by attempts to stretch out those tight muscles. Pilates is different in that it isn’t “stretching”. Rather, it strengthens muscles in length. This is an important difference. Shortened and tightened muscles have a limited range of motion. Over time, this decreases ability. Maintaining the length of your muscle (without overly stretching) is literally a game changer.

+ Why is Pilates good pre/post PT?

When you have a chronic injury, the injury often leads to changes in movement patterns. Pilates is great for movement retraining. It helps strengthen weakened muscles, lengthens tight muscles, helps you regain balance, stability and mobility, and allows your body to even out.

+ I’m expecting a baby. Can I do Pilates?

Yes. Pilates is wonderful for those who are expecting. Pilates will strengthen your body and also allow you to have better balance as your body begins shifting due to weight changes. Pilates is wonderful for relaxation and stress reduction, and is a safe alternative to other forms of exercise that may overly stretch your body at a vulnerable time.

+ I’m postpartum. When is it safe to come in? What if I have diastasis recti?

The typical time to come in after having a baby is around 6 weeks. If you want to come in before then, we do ask for permission from your medical team. Depending on whether you had a natural delivery or a c-section, or if you have diastasis recti, our approach may vary. For all returning new mothers, we start slowly, making sure that we strengthen your core as your body is ready. Patience is key and often trying to get back too soon can cause issues. We will walk you through this process safely with a focus on strengthening from the inside out.

+ I hate to exercise. I’m not fit enough. I’m too old. I’m not coordinated.

We hear one if not all of these sentences on a regular basis, and the truth is that none of this matters. Honestly. Pilates is perfect for those who hate to exercise because it’s not like any “exercise” you’ve ever experienced. You might just find that you like to exercise - you just never knew that exercise could feel so good. One of the beauties of Posture Studio Pilates is that there are no age limits or particular body types that are a prerequisite. There is a place for everyone.

+ Why smaller class sizes?

Even though we know that larger class sizes benefit the studio financially, we are dedicated to maintaining a smaller class size as it adds so much value for the client. In large classes, the instructors cannot see everyone in the class, let alone offer cues for individuals. As the class size goes down, the instructors ability to offer instruction goes up, and this makes a huge difference in the progress of the student.

+ Why sign up for classes in advance?

By signing up for classes in advance, the instructor has time to best prepare for the people who are showing up to the session. Over time, classes evolve into a core group of clients which is great for class instruction and for the client. People get to know one another, friendships form, commitment to the sessions increase.

“Exercising is enjoyable again.”

I went to Posture Studio throughout my pregnancy and did not experience many of the physical discomforts, not even sciatica or back pain. The day before delivering my son, I biked 3 miles and swam for 30 minutes all pain free.”

— Melanie Dorion, Nurse Practitioner, retired professional cyclist, mother


The Pilates Chair is a perfect way to work on functional fitness. This class is for anyone, really. From those rehabilitation and injury to the elite athlete, the Pilates Chair is a favorite of instructors and clients alike

Carla Shifflett discussing why we love the Pilates Chari

Carla Shifflett, owner of Posture Studio Pilates, and Heather Hightower recorded content for Heather’s upcoming podcast “Finding Your Voice” which will be on all major platforms hopefully by the end of January.

Watch the Video - full screen

Studio Locations

Posture Studio Pilates is located at 218 West Market Street, on the downtown mall in Charlottesville, VA. There are two unique studios:

Posture Studio’s Equipment Based Studio is a fully-equipped Pilates studio with 6 Pilates Reformer/Towers, 6 Pilates Chairs, and other Pilates based equipment. We offer classes, privates and duet in this studio, located to the left of the Artful Lodger when walking towards the downtown mall.

Posture Studio’s Open Studio is a beautiful space where we offer Pilates/yoga fusion, Pilates/barre fusion, Pilates mat, Primal Movement and Breathing/Meditation Classes. Educational and movement workshops are also offered in this studio. This studio is located on the Market Street side of the building, next to Dinner At Home.