Pilates is a whole body workout that aims to improve the quality and quantity of our movements and our control over them. It has proven so efficient that is used equally by top sporters and dancers as well as those with a fragile condition and/or injuries. It is performed mainly on the specially designed Pilates equipment.
All the body is addressed equally and it improves strength, elasticity, balance, posture, concentration and performance. Through control, strength and stretch we achieve power and ease.
The idea is to move better, as you want, when you want, reducing at the same time the amount of discomfort that you may be experiencing.
The best way to describe Pilates is: Movement. All kinds. But always well done. Pilates is an extremely varied method. The usual client will learn more than 500 exercises, without counting modifications and variations, performed on various pieces of equipment -or none at all. The range of exercises goes from quite easy to extremely advanced. From smaller moves to big expansive ones. For those who become adepts there are even more exercises and variations so one never really feels bored or unchallenged.
Most people think of Pilates as floor exercises performed on a mat and while it is true that they are an important part of the Method they only form 10 to 12% of it, being mostly equipment based.
Pilates works the whole body and does so equally: because of it, it usually re-balances it. The idea is that you move, and you move in a particular and precise way: movement is both the exerciser, what makes you strong, loose and even, and ultimately, movement is the healer. Because you involve yourself in the way you move -both with control and purpose- the mind and the imagination are engaged. Your mind will even change the way in which you move. Eventually the process becomes intuitive and therefore it restores natural, normal movement. Usually that is what we are trying to do, -and good Pilates should produce it- elegant movement and poised individuals.
Rather than passively repeating exercises, you usually focus your mind and its imagination as you go, resulting in having to do less repetitions, since your focus makes it efficient. You achieve a wider range of benefits and general awareness of your body and the way it moves. Because of the amount of exercises and equipment, Pilates offers varied routines and a more involved and fun way to get you body where you want to. You also learn to guide your own breath and then follow it in a natural fashion: “moving with the breath”.
Just about everybody: young, elderly, out of condition, athletes, dancers, any one requiring top form. The work is tailored to the individual, so it can be as gentle as needed or as challenging as desired. Though generally we will guide towards improving your whole fitness level.
Why has it become so popular?
Simply because it delivers very good results. Over 80 years of success stories. And it is very accessible: you can be 10 or 90 years old, and in just about any condition.
What are the benefits of Pilates?
The idea in general terms is that you get looser, stronger and gain control over your movements. Using and exercising THE WHOLE BODY (not just your tummy…)
It also has “added” benefits: mental and muscular coordination, better posture, increased joint mobility, better circulation, improved body image, increased flexibility, injury prevention, increased lung capacity, better focus, increased bone density, improved self esteem, lumbar flexibility, abdominal strength, increased stamina, proper alignment, body awareness, improved concentration, better balance, control and coordination, larger range of motion and increased heights… The list goes on, and those improvements have a great positive impact in other areas of life.