What is Pilates?
Pilates (pi-LAH-teez) is a form of body conditioning developed by Jospeh Pilates in the early 20th century. The method has more then 500 exercises that simultaneously stretch and strengthen muscles. Pilates is based on the principal that true stability and strength of the body lies within the ‘Powerhouse,’ the deep abdominal muscles, pelvic floor, glutes and hamstrings. Finding your power here is where the body begins to re-shape itself from the inside out. Through regular sessions on the specialized equipment and mat, clients seek to develop an equal balance between abs and back musculature to improve strength, flexibility, posture, and stamina. Over time, this approach creates a strong foundation for the body and our organs. Along, with emotional well-being and balance.
Pilates is based on 6 fundamental Principals that we teach you to incorporate into your workout and everyday life movements:
Centering: every movement begins here
Concentration: being mindful in your body during each exercise
Control: during movement utilizing total muscle control
Precision: awareness of body in each movement, for it has purpose
Breath: exercises are coordinated with breath allowing for deeper connection to muscles
Flow: movements flow from one exercise to another fluidly and gracefully
You may find that Pilates is the anit-aging drug you have been looking for, when practiced two –three times a week. If you open yourself to become a true student of the method, the promise of Pilates can happen to your body.
Benefits of Pilates
- Improves Posture and Flexibility
- Increase Balance and Energy
- Tones and Strengthens
- Reduces Stress
- Facilitates optimal function of internal organs
- Increase lateral rotation and flexion (twisting or bending at waist)
- Reshape and Elongate muscles
- Prevent Injury (golf, walking, running, daily life)
- Build stamina
- Live pain free
- Burn fat
- Firm your thighs, lift your seat, and flatten your abs!
Pilates seeks to develop and equal balance of the abs and low back musculature in order to build strength, flexibility, and muscle tone. Movement in one direction is lengthened and controlled into the next, while oppositional muscles stabilize. This allows Pilates to lengthen and strengthen muscles simultaneously. Helping to create an energized, pain-free, flexible and strong body.
Mind body connection during Pilates is as lucrative as physical discipline. When a mind – muscle connection to the body is made during an exercise, we call this a “WOW” moment in your work, since that is exactly what you will say this first time you do it. When clients learn this connection along with precision and control during a movement, the body is in for a whole new adventure. Pilates is a way of life.
“A few well designed movements, properly performed in a balanced sequence,
are worth hours of doing calisthenics or forced contortion.”
– Joe Pilates, Return to Life Through Contrology
Born in a small town near Dusseldorf, Germany in 1880, Joseph Pilates was a small and sickly child. At an early age, Joe was given an anatomy book by a family doctor and this began his study of the human body. Using movement of his own body to learn and memorize every page of the book, by 14 he was modeling for anatomy books himself. His father a gymnast and mother a naturopath, Joe later became a skilled boxer, gymnast, circus performer, skier and diver; he also practiced yoga and Zen meditation. Through his own physical transformation, Joe came to realize the simple truth that Movement heals.
During WWI, Joe was interned in a camp for German nationals as an “enemy alien.” This is where he began to develop his system of original exercises that he later called ‘Contrology.’ He attached springs to hospital beds, allowing bedridden patients to move against resistance. Which later led to the design of the equipment used today. In 1918, a virus outbreak occurred, leaving thousands of people dead, expect for Joe’s trainees. This Joe claimed, testified to the benefits of his work.
Returning to Germany after the war ended, Joe trained military police and worked with personal clients. He left Germany and moved to New York and met his wife Clara. In 1926, they opened a fitness gym next to New York City Ballet. ‘Contrology’ – today known simply as Pilates – soon became a staple for dancers, used to strengthen, balance and rehabilitate them. Clara and Uncle Joe, as he lovingly came to be known, continued their training of both dancers and pedestrians for decades. Joe trained clients until he died at age 87. Clara continued to teach and run the studio until her death 10 years later.
Hollywood celebrities discovered Pilates in the 70s, and the Pilates boom began. The media started to follow Pilates in around 1980, and soon the West Cost was on the Pilates ride. “I’m fifty years ahead of my time.” Joe claimed. Today proves him right! Pilates continues to evolve with society, over millions of people practice, simply put Pilates is… Movement for Life.