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Why Pilates

The benefits

Life can have a big impact on our bodies and we grow more imbalanced in the course of daily living. Being right or left-handed, sitting for long periods, carrying shoulder bags and children on one shoulder or hip, swinging a golf club or tennis racquet, postural demands when horse riding, cyclists hunched over handlebars etc. These habits cause us to consistently overuse some muscles and underuse others causing pain, injury and poor posture, affecting our longer term health and mobility.

Pilates is a great antidote to this, restoring natural muscle balance and allowing the body to function efficiently.

The many benefits include:

Improves general fitness

Increases lung capacity & circulation

Strengthens, lengthens & tones muscles

Enhances flexibility & mobility

Strengthens deep postural muscles

Corrects body alignment & posture

Increases body awareness

Improves balance & coordination

Provides relief from aches & pains

Pre & post-natal conditioning

Low impact on joints

Relieves tension & stress

Helps prevent injuries

Everyone can benefit from Pilates regardless of fitness skill, age or injury

About Pilates

Pilates is a body conditioning method of controlled strengthening and stretching exercises developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 1920s and works in a different way to other exercise techniques.

Where many exercise techniques isolate muscles and build them individually, Pilates works the body as a whole, so that muscles work together. Weak muscles are strengthened and overused or tight muscles are released and lengthened.

Targeting the deep postural muscles to stabilise the torso, Pilates works by building strength from the inside out, rebalancing the body and bringing it into correct alignment. It avoids muscle and ligament damage, sometimes associated with other exercise techniques, and in fact, plays a key role in many injury rehabilitation programmes in sport, dance and general practice. Pilates has gained a high reputation for making a difference in people’s lives and clinical practitioners, such as osteopaths, chiropractors and physiotherapists, increasingly recommend Pilates as part of the rehabilitation of their patients.

Pilates is typically taught either on a mat or using a Reformer and other equipment such as the Wunda Chair.

The essence of Pilates is to teach you to be aware and in control of your body and to restore normal natural movement through precise, specialised exercises.

Joseph Pilates

Joseph Pilates was born in 1880 in Dusseldorf, Germany. A frail and physically challenged child, suffering from asthma, rheumatic fever and rickets he turned to studying different exercise disciplines to overcome the effects of his poor health. These included weight training, dance, yoga, circus training, self defence, diving, skiing and gymnastics. Drawing from each of them, he formulated a series of exercises that worked for his own body. This became known as the Pilates method and the influences of each discipline can be seen in many of his exercises today.

After moving to New York in the 1920s, he set up a studio there which attracted athletes, dancers and actors finding that his exercises perfected and complemented their traditional exercise regimes. They found that the method catered for their individual needs – building strength without adding bulk, balancing strength with flexibility, preventing and treating injury, achieving the perfect harmony between mind and body. He continued to teach and refine his method until his death in 1967.

Joseph Pilates believed that our modern day living, bad posture and inefficient breathing were the roots of poor health. He also believed that in order to achieve happiness it is imperative to gain mastery of your body. If at the age of thirty you are stiff and out of shape, then you are “old”. If at sixty you are supply and strong, then you are “young”.

It is the mind itself which builds the body ”  Joseph Pilates