Pilates - what is it exactly?
Pilates is a programme aimed to develop co-ordination of the mind and body to promote suppleness, muscular power, endurance and posture. Whilst practised in a class or a one-to-one setting, its principles can be integrated beyond these into your everyday life.
The practice was developed by Joseph Pilates, who originally used a series of resistance exercises (with equipment) to rehabilitate prisoners of the first World War. He was a great advocate of the mind and body connection (ahead of his time in many respects) as well as maintaining movement to keep the body ‘young.' His methods were brought to New York in the 1920’s, where dancers, through injury, quickly became aware of the benefits of his methods. He started to accrue a great following, and the rest as they say, is history.
Joseph Pilates implicitly believed his work was ahead of its time and could see that the modern lifestyle, poor postures and inefficient patterns of breathing were all factors that impaired people’s health (sound familiar)? He advocated the importance of the control of both mind and body to get the most out of a series of precise movements.
Perhaps you suffer from stiff joints, lack of mobility, or want to improve your core muscles? Perhaps you want to prevent injury and/or boost other activities you undertake, whether day-to-day bending and stretching, or further exercise such as running, cycling or golf? Or perhaps you need to learn how to reduce anxiety through the power of effective breathing and take some time to relax? Pilates can help.
What are the benefits?
When Pilates is taught correctly (with appropriate modification and progression) the benefits may include:
Greater joint mobility
Greater core strength/stability
Flatter stomach (especially lower abdomen)
Reduced stress levels
Stronger pelvic floor
Reduced lower back pain
Increased efficiency of respiratory and circulatory systems
Pilates encompasses key principles that include breathing, concentration, control, centring, precision and flow and we will develop these in our practice.