Pilates is low impact, safe yet challenging, focusing on both your body and mind. It is non-aerobic and moves gently to lengthen and strengthen the muscles. It then focuses on improving core strength by strengthening the body’s core postural muscles, deep within the body that holds the skeleton upright. It is vital for the spine and especially the lower back. It can help you recover from injury or operation, helps with flexibility of joints therefore helps your body move more efficiently and helps you relax and ease tension.
We all know the benefits of Pilates for your abdominals, core strength, balance easing back pain, good for your joints, helps your concentration and focus, can improve your breathing and pelvic floor muscles for your personal life, but it also improves your sports performance, power and flexibility, it can help you isolate a muscle that is weak so prevent injury and prevents / delays improves osteoporosis, and help rehabilitate a joint replacement or spinal surgery. But the one I feel really helps me is the breathing wide and full as it stretches my upper back, helps calm me. Come and try a class to find out more! HOW PILATES BALANCES YOUR BODY
Pilates balances your body with exercises that isolate the muscles to help them move correctly and in the correct order. Our smaller and weaker muscles get less use and our larger and sometimes tighter muscles dominate our movements. You can tell this by looking at your posture so we work on balancing the body out, your flexibility and mobility on both sides of the body to lengthen /stretch the tighter muscles so they do not get overused. Improving your posture will help your body awareness and helps tackle muscle deterioration, improves alignment and core strength – giving you more energy, less pain. It will help you do more challenging tasks for longer, that require greater strength and mobility, from standing, to sitting for long periods or to gardening and sports.
BENEFITS OF PILATES
Pilates is non-competitive, being geared to an individual’s needs and their degree of commitment. It balances muscular strength and flexibility asymmetries while working at the individual’s own pace. It’s main benefits are:
- Tone and improve your body shape
- Reshape abdominal muscles and flatten stomach
- Rebalance – mind and body work together helping you focus and increasing your energy
- Realign – increase flexibility and mobility
- Posture – improves posture and muscles strength and coordination
- Balance – Stabilises core muscles and can help prevent falls and injuries
A HISTORY OF JOSEPH PILATES
“Pilates is complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit. You first purposefully acquire complete control of your own body and then through proper repetition of its exercises you gradually and progressively acquire that natural rhythm and coordination associated with all your subconscious activities.A few well-designed movements, properly performed in a balanced sequence, are worth hours of doing sloppy calisthenics or forced contortion.”
Joseph Pilates was born in Germany in 1880 and he died in New York City in 1967 at the age of 87. He developed his work from a strong personal experience in fitness. Unhealthy as a child, Joseph Pilates studied many kinds of self-improvement systems he drew from Eastern practices and Zen Buddhism, and was inspired by the ancient Greek ideal of man perfected in development of body, mind and spirit. On his way to developing the Pilates Method, Joseph Pilates studied anatomy and developed himself as a body builder, a wrestler, gymnast, boxer, skier and diver. He went on to establish his studio in New York and his wife Clara worked with him as he evolved the Pilates method of exercise, invented the Pilates exercise equipment, and of course, trained students.
Joseph Pilates passed away in 1967. He had maintained a fit physique throughout his life, and many photos show that he was in remarkable physical condition in his older years. He is also said to have had a flamboyant personality. He smoked cigars, liked to party, and wore his exercise briefs wherever he wanted (even on the streets of New York). It is said that he was an intimidating, though deeply committed, instructor. Clara Pilates continued to teach and run the studio for another 10 years after Joseph Pilates death.
Joseph Pilates talked of eight principles that underpin each exercise:
- Flowing movements