What Is Pilates?
Pilates (or the Pilates method) is a series of about 500 exercises inspired by calisthenics, yoga and ballet. Pilates lengthens and stretches all the major muscle groups in the body in a balanced fashion. It improves core strength, mobility, flexibility, overall strength, balance and body awareness.
The traditional method of Pilates is low-impact, focusing on flexibility, muscular strength and endurance. The exercises are performed with an emphasis on precision technique; balanced postural alignment; core strength; controlled, flowing movements; and using breath to center the mind.
In Shape Pilates delivers gentle exercises suitable for everyone at any age or ability.
What are the benefits of Pilates?
There are many health benefits of Pilates and they include-
improved flexibility and mobility
increased core strength (abdominal muscles, lower back, hips and buttocks)
improved muscle tone and length
improved back and joint pain
balanced muscular strength on both sides of your body
enhanced muscular control of your back and limbs
improved stabilization of your spine
rehabilitation or prevention of injuries related to muscle imbalances
improved physical coordination and balance
relaxation of your shoulders, neck and upper back
safe rehabilitation of joint and spinal injuries
prevention of musculoskeletal injuries
increased lung capacity and circulation through deep breathing
increased body awareness
stress management and relaxation
The 6 Pilates Principles
There are 6 Pilates principles. The 6 things to keep in mind whilst engaging in the practice of Pilates
Breath- "is the first act of life and the last. Our very life depends on it...." "Above all, learn how to breathe correctly". “SQEEZE EVERY ATOM OF AIR FROM YOUR LUNGS UNTIL THEY ARE ALMOST AS FREE OF AIR AS A VACUUM” quotes from Joseph Pilates.
Concentration- pay close attention to the specifics of the details of every Pilates exercise-“EACH TIME YOU EXERCISE”... these exercises will reflect grace and balance in your routine exercises....” Joseph Pilates
Centering-" the act of drawing your mental and physical focus during the exercise to the core..." Joseph Pilates
Control- “be certain that you have your entire body under complete control....” Joseph Pilates
Precision- maintain and teach a conscious awareness of precision during each exercises movements.
Flow- the exercise should be performed in a flowing manner to enable energy to connect all parts of the body smoothly.
"Above all, learn how to breathe correctly." - Joseph Pilates
Who Is Jospeh Pilates
Joe Hubertus Pilatesgrew up in grinding poverty. Born in 1883, the second of nine children of Friedrich and Helena Pilates, Joe grew up in the industrial town of Gladbach (now known as Mönchengladbach) near Dusseldorf.
During the First World War, he was interned with other German nationals. It was at this time he developed his technique of physical fitness further, by teaching his fellow internees. During the latter part of the War, he served as an orderly in a hospital on the Isle of Man where he worked with patients unable to walk. He attached bed springs to the hospital beds to help support the patients' limbs, leading to the development of his famous piece of equipment known as the 'Cadillac.
After the war, from 1920 to 1923, Joe owned a boxing gym near Dusseldorf. He also helped establish an amateur boxing network in the area and even stepped into the ring as a professional himself at least six times.
Far more than a recent fitness craze, Pilates has been developed and practiced since the 1920's when Joseph and Clara Pilates opened their 'Body Conditioning Gym' in New York City.
While Joe is the man behind the method, it was his wife Clara that became the real teacher in the studio and allowed the method to be passed on to apprentices