what is pilates?
Pilates is a holistic system of exercise designed to integrate mind and body, elongating, strengthening and restoring the body back to balance. It improves strength, flexibility and postural balance. It is so much more than just a strong core or perfect posture. With commitment to a regular Pilates practice you can expect to...
Improve the way your body looks and feels.
Balance any postural alignment issues to help get rid of pain and allowing the body to move more efficiently. This makes the body less prone to injury.
Improve joint health by increasing mobility and strength.
Improve muscle tone and flexibility.
Find relief from back pain and joint stress.
Integrate mind-body awareness, to increase relaxation and joy.
Pilates can be adapted to meet the needs of all, whatever their age or abilities. Exercises involve the use of the whole body and are performed on spring assisted apparatus or on a mat.
I will take you for your initial assessment where I will look at your alignment and discuss any particular needs you may have. Everyone no matter how much Pilates they have done will need an initial One to One with me. At the end of the session, we will then discuss whether you want to join a machine Pilates or mat Pilates class, with our specially trained Pilates Foundation teachers.
The Joseph Pilates Story
Joseph Pilates was born near Düsseldorf, Germany in 1883. Little is known about his early life, but he appears to have been a frail child, suffering from asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever. His drive and determination to overcome these ailments led him to become a competent gymnast, diver and skier.
In 1912 Pilates lived in England working as a circus performer, boxer and self-defense instructor. During the First World War, he was interned with other German nationals. During this time he developed his technique of physical fitness further, by teaching his fellow internees. During the latter part of the War, he served as an orderly in a hospital on the Isle of Man where he worked with patients unable to walk. He attached bed springs to the hospital beds to help support the patients' limbs, leading to the development of his famous piece of equipment known as the 'Cadillac'. Much of his equipment, although slightly adapted, is still in use today in many Pilates Studios.
Pilates emigrated to the USA in the early 1920s with his wife Clara, and together they developed and taught the method in their 'body-conditioning gym' in New York in 1926. In 1932 Pilates published a booklet called 'Your Health' and followed this with another called 'Return to Life Through Contrology' in 1945. Through these writings and his students, his method was passed on after his death in 1967 at the age of 83. During his lifetime this method of exercise was called Contrology. It was only after his death that it became known as the Pilates Method.
While Joe is the man behind the method, it was his wife Clara that became the real teacher in the studio and allowed the method to be passed on to apprentices. The 'Pilates Elders' (the handful of people who trained directly in the first NY Studio) talk of Clara being the nurturing force behind the man; Clara established the tradition of evolving and adapting the Pilates method to suit the individual needs of clients. This is a tradition Pilates Foundation Teachers are proud to continue.
Principles of Pilates
Joe Pilates based his work on three principles: Breath, whole-body health and whole-body commitment; with the whole-body encompassing mind, body and spirit.
It is in the honouring of the Pilates Principles that the depth of the work is achieved. These Principles are traditionally cited as:
"Above all, learn how to breathe correctly."