How Pilates on a mat works Pilates mat work is often done in live classes, which are much easier to find than reformer sessions. Even gyms without full Pilates studios often offer mat classes, usually at no additional fee for members. Many Pilates experts recommend mat classes as the best bet for beginners. Average students typically add reformer work after three months of once-a-week mat classes. Dennis Clark, instructor and owner of Body Language Pilates and Yoga Studio in Florence, Italy, insists objective type questions and answers in mechanical engineering new clients acquire a foundation on quesfions mat before launching into apparatus work.