What Is Pilates?
To me as a teacher and student of Pilates I feel that it is a thoughtful selection of flowing exercises that enable the body and mind to progress towards it's natural full capabilities. Enabling strength, range of motion and ease of movement, flexibility and coordination, plus focus of the mind.
Born in Germany Joseph Pilates was originally a circus performer and professional boxer. During World War 1 he was interned at a camp in the Isle of Man and it was during this time that he trained fellow inmates in physical fitness and developed rehabilitation exercise for those that were injured.
He later moved to America where in 1926 with his wife Clara he opened their first studio in New York. Training in this method was known as Contrology, which we know today as Pilates.
"Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness" Joseph Pilates - Return to Life Through Contrology.
Benefits of Pilates
Pilates has so many benefits but here are just a few!
Better mobility and flexibility
Helps to create a stronger centre and tones muscles
Ability to reduce tension and pain
Reduce back pain
Increased balance and coordination
Rehabilitation from injury and illness
Improved mental clarity and focus
Improve sports performance
Pilates is a unique system of 34 controlled movements where the body is retrained to work efficiently and the spine is allowed to lengthen and become more mobile. Focusing on attention to detail means each move is carried out in the correct alignment, promoting good posture and strengthening the muscles supporting the spine and centre of the body.
The Six Principles of Pilates
One of the reasons I love Pilates so much is the use of these principles that you will find in each class that you attend.
Breath, Flow, Control, Centring, Concentration and Precision
"Breathing is the first act of life, and the last. Our very life depends on it." J. Pilates