If your spine is inflexibly stiff at 30, you are old.
If it is completely flexible at 60, you are young.
-Joseph H. Pilates
What Is Pilates?
Developed in the early part of the twentieth century, Pilates is a system of physical fitness that unites body, mind, and spirit. Joseph Pilates originally called it ‘Contrology’. The objective of his method utilizes the power of the mind to control the muscles of the body. In his own words he describes this workout “Unlike traditional exercise regimes, which isolate muscles, the system is a total body workout, preparing the body for the activities of daily life.” Pilates is challenging enough for everyone and every body, stimulating the most athletic, yet gentle enough for the mothers-to-be. Through proper breathing and a strong mind/body connection, the Pilates method can reverse years of damage caused by improper alignment, poor posture, repetitive movements, and the stress of day-to-day living.
The Pilates method’s primary focus is on the ‘Powerhouse’ also referred to as the core, which includes the muscles of the abdominals, glutes and the lower back. As the core becomes stronger, these muscles assist in stabilizing the spine and the trunk through movement of the extremities, arms and legs. This workout combines a mind-body connection that engages the core muscle groups to facilitate movement with control, flow and balance. The Pilates repertoire contains over 500 exercises on 11 original pieces of apparatuses.
Pilates is for everyone and ‘every body.’ Thousands of Pilates’ enthusiasts range from all levels of fitness. Those who are novice to those who are conditioned athletes are put through the method. Anyone new to Pilates should master the principals through an introductory level. As the principals are mastered, then the evolution through the intermediate and comprehensive work will follow.
Studying Pilates in a private setting allows workouts to be tailored to the individual body. These sessions are conducted to meet individual needs which will produce desired results. Since Pilates conditions the body from head to toe with a non- to low-impact workout. It requires patience and practice, but results will follow!
Here are just a few of the benefits of Pilates:
Tones and builds muscle without bulk
Increased energy and stamina
Expands body awareness
Develops balance and coordination
Builds core strength
Improves total body flexibility