What is Pilates?
Pilates was developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates and was originally known as Contrology. Pilates is not just exercise or a random choice of particular movements. Pilates is a system of physical and mental conditioning that can enhance your physical strength, flexibility, muscular endurance, balance and coordination as well as reduce stress, improve mental focus and create an overall sense of well being. Pilates can be for any age, ability and fitness level.
“In 10 sessions you will feel the difference, in 20 you will see the difference and in 30 you will have a whole new body” Joseph Pilates
Principles of Pilates
Breath is the essence of life itself. The importance of breath and its numerous implications can be observed far beyond the fundamental and crucial role of respiration. Learning to breath more effectively within movement helps both the mind and body to relax, recharge and focus. In Pilates we breath in deeply through the nose allowing the rib cage to expand.
Movement radiates from your “powerhouse” which consists of the abdomen, low back and pelvis. Centring means bringing your awareness to this powerhouse during the Pilates moves.
If you bring full attention to the exercise and do it with full commitment, you will obtain maximum performance. Checking in with your body periodically can help to develop your concentration. If you find yourself thinking about something other than your workout, scan your body, especially those places you are working to retrain, and notice if they are engaged, relaxed, stabilized, or moving as they should be in the exercise. By bringing your awareness and concentration to a particular muscle you can facilitate the firing of that muscle.
Every exercise is done with complete muscular control. When great control is achieved there will be high quality alignment, co-ordination and balance. No body part is left to its own devices. It is all a conscious, deliberate movement that the mind is controlling.
Achieved by clearly moving, directing and placing the body and its parts. Every movement has a purpose and the small corrections to alignment and execution are really felt.
A Pilates session should flow and the movements within the session should appear fluid and effortless.