What Is Pilates
First called Body Contrology, Pilates is a repertoire of now over 500 movements that help to realign the posture, improve flexibility and coordination and improve breathing.
Through the repetition of these exercises one can build strength and and develop longer leaner muscle lines.
At the heart of the method are 6 principles to follow:
The focus of the movements is on the “center” or “core” of the body. Joseph called it the “powerhouse” and others refer to it as a corset between the ribs and the pelvis. This corset supports the spine and brings about stability so that the rest of the body and limbs can move freely without restriction.
The other focus is spinal movement and articulation–moving the spine in every direction that it is capable of moving, e.g. Flexion, Extension, Lateral Flexion and Rotation. The spine and the nervous system thrive on this and it is important to note that “if you don’t use it, you lose it”.
The Pilates method minimizes stress in the joints and sets you up for success as you progress from the basics to more advanced movements.
In our fast-paced and always "busy" world, much of our modern-day exhaustion comes from over-working, not just in regards to time, but in how we use our bodies in our daily lives. The other source of dis-ease on the body is our sedentary culture and technologically influenced habits. Pilates teaches efficiency in movement and how to exert the right amount of energy and when. It helps to undo the effects of an ailing posture brought upon by long sitting times and computer wear and tear. By doing just a few repetitions of each exercise, you learn how to economize and how to center yourself right away, thus freeing yourself up for moving with less effort and strain.
Benefits of Pilates
- Increases lung capacity, encourages complete diaphragmatic breathing while enhancing a full exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide and therefore increasing energy and mental alertness.
- Increases the blood circulation.
- Encourages proper alignment and better overall posture creating space for the internal organs and improving their function.
- Improve and Increase Bone Density
- Increase stamina and muscular strength.
- Tones and defines the arms, back, buttocks, shoulders, legs and hips.
- Increased range of motion and flexibility in all of the joints
- Strengthen the abdominal muscles to improve chronic back pain.
- Calms the central nervous system and gives an over all sense of well being by the release of endorphins in the body.