WHAT IS PILATES?
Pilates “develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind, and revives the spirit” (Joseph Pilates).
Pilates is a method of exercise and physical movement that is suitable for people of all ages & abilities, and is designed to strengthen, stretch and balance the body.
There are many benefits of doing Pilates, including:
- Improved core strength
- Improved posture
- Relief of pain, including back & neck pain
- Rehabilitation and recovery from, & prevention of, injuries or conditions (acute & chronic)
- Decreased stiffness & improved flexibility
- Improved alignment of the body
- Improved muscle tone and strength
- Improved breathing quality & control
- Improved balance
- Prenatal conditioning & postnatal recovery
- The ability to translate over to other activities, exercise or sport, resulting in improved performance
- A full body workout!
Joseph Pilates was born in Germany in 1883, and from an early age he developed a fascination with the classical Greek ideal of a man balanced in body, mind, and spirit. Joe began to develop his own exercise system based on this concept, and believed that our modern lifestyle, bad posture, and inefficient breathing were the roots of poor health.
At the outbreak of World War I Joe was interned in England, and during this time began to develop his concept of an integrated, comprehensive system of physical exercise, which encouraged the use of the mind to control muscles, and focused attention on the core postural muscles that help keep the body balanced and that provide support for the spine. The system of original exercises known today as “matwork” (exercises done on the floor) thus took form. During his internment, Joe also rigged springs to the hospital beds of bedridden patients in order to enable them to exercise against resistance. This innovation led to his later equipment designs, & is what much of the modern day spring-based Pilates machines such as the Reformer & Cadillac are based on.
Today Pilates has been adapted to encompass many different forms, however Joe’s underlying ideas and original philosophy still remain.