Pilates is an exercise method created by Mr. Joseph Pilates.
It is used to increase overall physical strength and reduce stress.  Combined with deep, coordinated breathing, Pilates will help you to stretch and strengthen muscles without stressing joints and ligaments. 
Mat Pilates are exercises performed on a mat that focus on the core or abdominal muscles (we call them the power house) creating awareness of neutral alignment of the spine and strengthening the deep postural muscles that support the back.  Pilates improves strength, flexibility and range of motion.  Pilates promotes weight loss and increases energy.  It can also relieve tension due to tight or stiff muscles, and give you an enhanced sense of well being.
Many people think that Pilates is only for women.  Nothing is further from the truth.  Aside from being created by a man, there are many men who practice and teach Pilates throughout the world.  Furthermore, many doctors and rehabilitation specialist include Pilates exercises in their practices and have seen positive results.  Patients suffering from injuries and spinal and joint degeneration can benefit from a Pilates exercise program. 
Many dance companies use Pilates
exercises to improve strength and flexibility.
Elastic Body Bands are used in this
class for many of the pilates exercises.
Exercises like this increase ab strength.
Body band execises like this help students get stronger.
Stretching exercises help to improve flexibility.