What exactly is Pilates?
Unlike most traditional methods of exercise, such as aerobics or weight-training, Pilates is an intense workout that incorporates a combination of both the mind and body. The specifically designed sequence of movements focuses on the powerhouse of the body, lengthening muscles and supporting bones. It also emphasizes the discipline of movement, precision, optimizing postural alignment and muscle balance. You learn to move with maximum efficiency while minimizing stress and impact on your body.
Benefits of Pilates:
- Lose unwanted inches from hips, abs & thighs
- Increases strength, flexibility & balance
- Shapes, tones and lengthens all muscles without weights or strain to the joint
- Improves posture
- Improves coordination and physical abilities in all other sports and activities (such as tennis and golf.
- Improves concentration, increases mental acuity and relieves stress
- Improves your overall level of fitness and provides a sense of well-being
- Post-pregnancy reconditioning
- Long-lasting results
Thoughts and Philosophies
Imagination/Intuition. Listening to our bodies is something we rarely do. We tend to take the power of natural intuition for granted. Most of us push our bodies through pain, sickness and exhaustion, often resulting in discomfort and injury. The Pilates method is based on the ideal of well being and is not another mind-numbing quick fix solution to fitting into a bikini by summer!! If something hurts, stop. Constantly search inward for signs of over training, pushing too hard and moving in the wrong direction. A good Pilates instructor will help you use your imagination to facilitate your movements and give you a visualization that is analogous to the move. Here are two examples: “With chin to chest, peel your body off the mat sequentially, as if it were a fruit roll-up peeling off its wrapper.” “Imprint your spine down on the mat with your low back leading and put each vertebrae down sequentially, just like a strand of pearls.” Pilates, intelligent exercise, profound results!
Integration. This is the ability to see the body as a whole and use it as an integrated unit. In Pilates every muscle in your body is involved, from your fingers to your toes, in each and every exercise you do. Pilates never isolates muscles, the thought being that isolation breeds imbalance and impedes flexibility and coordination. Integrated movements in Pilates lead to balance and uniformly developed muscles. Working the body as a whole and integrated unit leads to good posture, suppleness and natural grace of movement.
Inside Out. In Pilates we work the small often neglected inside muscles. Although the large outside muscles will be working hard at all times very often it is the weaker inside smaller muscles that need attention and focus. As strength increases in the smaller muscles, the balance between the larger outside muscles and smaller inside muscles becomes evident as “teamwork” of the muscles leads to the fluid coordination of Pilates.
Stretch and Strengthen. Pilates is a wonderful form of conditioning exercise because of its ability to strengthen and lengthen the muscles at the same time. Each movement is designed to oxygenate, stretch and strengthen all your muscle groups. The principles strength, flexibility and control helps to achieve a long, lean looking, toned body without injury, so common to other forms of exercise.