What is Pilates?
Pilates is a form of movement originated in the 1920s by a man named Joseph Pilates. It is both a physical and mental conditioning system that develops strength and stability within the body. It strengthens and lengthens the body from the inside out. It changes the way that we move our bodies, how we walk, sit, stand and how we hold our static posture efficiently and correctly. It aims to improve the order in which our muscles work to create a movement, by restoring good alignment and encourage our bodies to move the way they were designed to move. As you become aware of the correct and more efficient way to move during your Pilates sessions, this then encourages you to carry that into your everyday activities.
Pilates has become a very popular exercise as a form of physiotherapy. People who have had injuries or have physical problems with their bodies find that Pilates is hugely beneficial. For example, those who are recovering from back or hip surgery often find normal range of movement is restored and they recover much more quickly.
Other benefits of the Pilates Method
- Stronger and leaner muscles, without compromising flexibility
- Improved core strength by working the deep abdominal muscles and muscles of the back, pelvis and shoulders (girdle of strength)
- Improved posture and appearance. Strengthening the deep abdominal muscles gives you a flatter stomach and smaller waist.
- Improved co-ordination and concentration.
- Reduced incidence of back pain
- Increased bone density, thus especially beneficial for people suffering from or at a higher risk of osteoporosis
- Improved performance for athletes, often resulting in fewer performance related injuries
- Reduce stress levels and tension and can be very relaxing for the mind
- Toned buttocks, thighs, arms and shoulder area
However these benefits will only come with time, your effort and dedication to Pilates practice.
“It is important that you understand the role you play in all of this. It’s all about you. What you put in, is what you’ll receive, no more and no less. Remember that with the power of the mind you can bring anything to light, so see your goal, and then work to achieve it.”
The Pilates Body, Brooke Siler