Have you ever wondered what Pilates is all about?
Yogalates, Boxalates, Reformer, Barre Pilates, Classical, Contemporary, Clinical, Mat Pilates and the list goes on.
Are you confused yet?
I'm not talking another language, these are just different styles of Pilates. If we keep it simple, Pilates is about working the left and right and front and back of your body using Pilates principles. A session of Pilates will work through controlled movement developing strength, mobilizing your joints, stabilizing and aligning your body whilst focusing on core control to enable all of this to happen.
Traditional Pilates aims to preserve the teachings of Joseph Pilates and his wife Clara.
Josephs original work was to perform the same sequences of exercises in the exact same order each time. His six main principles were Concentration, Centering, Control, Breathing, Precision and Flow.
Over the years Pilates has evolved into many varieties but generally follow the same principles and outcomes. Traditional Pilates is still taught today exactly how Joseph had taught, but in many cases it has been modernised and adapted to the class or individual it's being taught to.
So why Pilates you ask?
It doesn’t matter whether you are an elite athlete or an office worker, through our daily bad habits and any physical activity we do, we put our bodies through the 'ringer'. We push our bodies to their limits with sport, we stand and sit with poor posture, we get older and potentially do less functional movement. Consequently, with all of this in mind, we may feel a reduction in flexibility, soreness and stiffness which can therefore affect the range of movement in our joints resulting in a poor functioning body. Pilates is practised to help minimise this through alignment, mobilization, stabilization and correction of these muscle imbalances.
Many people are under the impression that Pilates is only a rehab based activity provided by a physiotherapist or for middle aged women at the gym. Yes, Pilates is an excellent form of rehabilitation but I believe Pilates is a great way to practise "prevention is better than a cure".
Look at Pilates as a bit of Yin in your Yang; a way of staying fit and healthy, keeping mobile and functional, strong and toned and having a strong core for any activity your body needs.
There are many styles of Pilates out there to suit all ages and all levels of fitness. Its about finding the right instructor and right session that suits you. You may say its not for everybody, but I believe its for EVERY BODY.