Pilates is a philosophy of movement which is comprised of over 500 exercises. Pilates is named after the inspirational Joseph Pilates, who developed his own particular style of body conditioning from his background of yoga, ballet, martial arts, boxing and gymnastics. The aim of Pilates is to improve flexibility, strength, balance and body awareness.
Originally Pilates was designed to rehabilitate soldiers during the war. Post-war, Joseph introduced it to America where it’s primary purpose was to help injured athletes and dancers safely return to exercise while maintaining their fitness.
Since then, Pilates has been developed to suit people in the general community, thus allowing it to cater for everyone, from the beginner to the advanced, in a safe environment.
Joseph’s six principles of Pilates are; breath – centering – concentration – control – flow of movement – precision; and with each exercise these six principles are constantly in play, this is referred to as being the mind-body connection.
Using gravity and your own body weight to provide the resistance, we aim to condition and develop the deeper, supporting muscles of the body to improve posture, balance and coordination. From time to time we introduce aides such as therabands, circles, balls and rollers to challenge your workout and develop your practice.
Each Pilates session is 60 minutes and combines exercises and stretches, which are performed with attention to proper breathing techniques and abdominal muscle control. It is the quality of each movement that is important, not the number of repetitions or how energetically you can move.
To gain the maximum benefit of Pilates, you should do 2-3 classes a week. Postural improvements may be noticed after 10-20 sessions. Pilates is a slow, gradual process of retraining the body and mind which have accumulated many habits over time.