The last decade has not been kind to the art of Pilates. The new corporate model is mass marketed as a kind of horizontal aerobics. They use the machines but ignore the original goals of the work. The focus on breathing technique is missing. Body awareness is not taught alongside the exercises. Learning to protect the body from repetitive stress takes a back seat to intensity.
All of this plays into the sales concept that your time at the gym should be a fun break from using your mind.
Real Pilates has always rejected this concept! It was a designed as a system of corrective exercises to promote bodily awareness in life. Joseph Hubertus Pilates (his real name) created a limited system of movements before his death in 1967. Most of the movements are intended to be performed in a specific order. These sequences or routines were first to be learned by the client, then understood through practice, and finally mastered. This creates clients who are better able to protect themselves from any kind of exercise or physical challenge.
Real Pilates demands leaning and practice. We do not burn before we learn. We do not deepen injuries in a rush to get skinny tomorrow. Not only do injuries set us back but the more focused and informed client progresses faster and is happier with their long-term results.
Folks who embrace the principles can legitimately expect the feel changes in their body in weeks. If they put the principles into practice, their progress will be satisfying and encouraging. They can learn to go back to the physical pursuits they enjoyed or stay to master higher levels of Pilates itself.
Pilates is composed of adult techniques for adults with adult goals. There is a lot of learning involved. If you need to be distracted while exercising, it is not for you right now.