Pilates is a method of exercise designed to strengthen, stretch and bring balanced tone and equilibrium to the body. Employing a systematic practice of exercises with focused breathing patterns done on a mat or unique apparatus designed by Joseph Pilates.
The Pilates method is a tried and tested form of body conditioning, which has been around for nearly 90 years. So well recognized that it is now a household name and even has an entry in Webster’s dictionary. It is well known for its whole-body integrated approach; core strengthening properties and is used extensively as an adjunct to professional sports training and physical rehabilitation of all kinds. Its fundamental principles are applicable into life and exercises can be adapted to suit any level, making it appropriate for all ages and capabilities.
What isn’t so widely known is that Joseph Pilates had a larger vision of healthy living, based on a daily intentional practice towards overall vitality and wellbeing. At a physical level, it strengthens the body, increases flexibility and structural mobility, improves posture and general body awareness. At a deeper level it enhances wellbeing and reduces stress with its focused mindful approach and emphasis on breathing.
Group Pilates Mat classes are now available everywhere, but another dimension of the work involves unique apparatus designed by Joseph Pilates. Pilates equipment uses resistance provided by springs, which create graduated tension and mimic the elasticity of muscle. They require the body to engage fully and find its own stability, thus building strength and coordination simultaneously.
Pilates was originally designed to be taught one-on-one, supported by at home exercises to be engaged in between sessions. Sessions are one hour in duration, and it’s recommended to do two or three sessions a week (which can include a one-to-one and at home exercises).
“Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness. It is the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed
body as well as a sound mind, fully capable of naturally, easily and satisfactorily performing our many varied daily tasks with
spontaneous zest and pleasure.”