Other Practices

“Breathing is the first act of life and the last. Our very life depends on it.” – Joseph Pilates

 

 

About Pilates

Pilates is a total body exercise, developed almost one hundred years ago by Joseph Pilates, to rehabilitate injured WW1 soldiers and later, for strength and conditioning of dancers. It became a favourite exercise option of the elite in New York in the 1960s, but has now become more widely available, with a huge range of styles, from classic to contemporary and a number of hybrid classes, combining Pilates with everything from yoga to boxing.The traditional method 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.

The two basic forms of Pilates are:

  • LMat-based Pilates – this is a series of exercises performed on the floor using gravity and your own body weight to provide resistance. The main aim is to condition the deeper, supporting muscles of your body to improve posture, balance and coordination
  • LEquipment-based Pilates – this includes specific equipment that works against spring-loaded resistance, including the ‘reformer’, which is a moveable carriage that you push and pull along its tracks.

Health benefits of Pilates

The health benefits of Pilates include:

  • LImproved flexibility
  • LIncreased muscle strength and tone, particularly of your abdominal muscles, lower back, hips and buttocks (the ‘core muscles’ of your body)
  • LBalanced muscular strength on both sides of your body
  • LEnhanced muscular control of your back and limbs
  • LImproved stabilization of your spine
  • LImproved posture
  • LRehabilitation or prevention of injuries related to muscle imbalances
  • LImproved physical coordination and balance
  • LRelaxation of your shoulders, neck and upper back
  • LSafe rehabilitation of joint and spinal injuries
  • LPrevention of musculoskeletal injuries
  • LIncreased lung capacity and circulation through deep breathing
  • LImproved concentration
  • LIncreased body awareness
  • LStress management and relaxation