Pilates is a total workout of mind and body. It can be a unique experience for every participant providing many benefits both mentally and physically. It provides the most essential elements of keeping our bodies healthy , which is breathing and good posture.
Goals of Pilates
Pilates is designed so it caters for your own personal needs. Through practising Pilates on a regular basis you will start to listen and tune in to your own body's requirements on a daily basis. Pilates will focus your mind on the way you move and support your body in every day life. With this awareness you will create a toned, supple figure, with natural grace and poise leading to resilience and greater efficiency of movement in your every day life.
Origins of Pilates
Joseph Pilates who was born in 1880 in Germany, was an unhealthy child suffering with asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever. He began bodybuilding as a young teenager to strengthen his weakened body and participated in diving, skiing, gymnastics and professional boxing. Joseph's development of the Pilates Mat work transpired whilst working as an intern in a British World War one camp, training camp members in his unique system of exercises. All these prisoners survived the flu epidemic of 1918 due to the strengthening effect of Joseph's workouts.
Joseph moved to New York and opened his studio, mainly working closely with injured ballet dancers to rehabilitate and heal their injuries. Fortunately today, we can all have access to the Pilates technique with the mat work classes, which are suitable for all ages and abilities from beginner through to advanced level workouts.
Principles of Pilates
- Flowing movement
The Pilates principles form the initial learning of Pilates and are consciously
practised throughout all workouts.
It is important to master the breathing technique to be able to initiate the abdominal control needed to create a strong core or centre. This breath control works in harmony with the concentration, co-ordination, alignment and precision of flowing movement leading to improved stamina.
The original 34 exercises developed by Joseph can be very demanding and are not necessarily performed in the original format. Modified versions of these exercises and adaptations more suitable to general levels of fitness and strength are used in a mat work class of today.