What is Pilates?
Pilates is a movement system designed to stretch, strengthen and balance the body. This method can be beneficial for virtually all ages, fitness levels and body conditions. Practiced faithfully, Pilates yields numerous benefits. Increased lung capacity and circulation through deep healthy breathing is a primary focus. Strength and flexibility, particularly of the abdomen and back muscles and coordination - both muscular and mental - are key components in an effective Pilates Program.
Posture, balance and core strength are all heartily increased. Bone density and joint health improve, and many experience body awareness for the first time. Pilates teaches balance and control to the body which spills over into other area's of ones life.
"With body, mind, and spirit functioning perfectly as a coordinated whole, what else could reasonably be expected other than an active, alert, disciplined person." (Joseph Pilates).
What can Pilates do for you?
Philosophy / Principles
The pattern of breathing is connected with the pattern of movement. All exercises are done with a rhythm and a dynamic related to the heartbeat and respiration, ensuring a free flow of oxygen throughout the body. This improves circulation and helps avoid unnecessary tension in the muscles.
All work is initiated and controlled through the center, or "Powerhouse" – which includes the deep abdominal muscles, the gluteal muscles, inner thighs and the back muscles closest to the spine. All exercises are done with proper alignment to maintain balance in the body.
Exercises are performed with focused concentration, paying attention to how the individual executes the exercises. The mind guides the body, and they work together as a team, with every exercise requiring the full attention of the participant.
When performing the exercises properly, you are in control of all of the movement of your body. Momentum has no place in Pilates, and habit does not guide the execution of the exercises.
All exercises are performed with a clear structure and precise form. The work emphasizes quality, not quantity in order to reach the full benefit of each exercise.
The full workout is designed for one exercise to flow naturally into the next. There is a minimum of movement between exercises to create a maximum flow. In combination with deep and relaxed breathing, the flowing movements in Pilates reduce stress on the body and the risk of injury.