By now you may have heard about Pilates.
Before you even think to say it, Pilates is not Yoga!
Whilst they are both forms of exercise that do require a focus on the development of the mind body connection, that is where the similarities stop.
So what is all this talk about Pilates?
Pilates was first developed in the 20th century as an exercise system to strengthen both the body and mind. It was originally used by it’s founder Joseph Pilates to help rehabilitate soldiers who had been injured in war, with spring pulley systems attached to hospital beds.
This enabled bed ridden solders to perform assistive and or resistive exercises, this improved their recovery and prevented them from developing other illnesses such as influenza.
Having a healthy body strengthens your immune system which builds your resistance to infections such as colds and flus.
Check out this cool video about Joseph here:
The key concepts of Pilates relate to restoring health, through creating healthier bodies, strengthening, restoring natural alignment or posture, and working the muscles uniformly to improve the overall health of the body.
However Pilates is not just a form of exercise that improves our body strength. Whilst Pilates does improve our core strength, posture and fitness. Pilates provides us with whole body integration. It connects our mind to our body. It helps us build stronger neural pathways. Pilates acts like a manual for your body helping you achieve complete control.
“In 10 sessions, you will feel the difference in 20 sessions you will see the difference in 30 sessions you will be on your way to having a whole new body” Joseph Pilates
Through Pilates exercise you are able to achieve muscle tone quickly, and through classes you carry the concepts of intelligent movement into your daily life. This means you stand taller, you look slimmer, and you move with minimal effort.
Developing core strength it is an integral part of Pilates. It helps us increase our strength and stability during exercise, whilst also helping us reduce the risk of lower back injury. Our core refers not only to the abdominals it also refers to our deep muscles that include the pelvic floor and transverse abdominals. The challenging part of Pilates like any new skill, is that conscious control of our deep core can take some time to master.
Pilates is also about developing a mind body connection as we align our thoughts to our breath we are automatically calm our body. It provides us with an ability to be present in the moment.
Through synchronising our breathing to our movement, we become more intuitive to our bodies needs. This automatically leads to us becoming more conscious of our posture.
Pilates focus on the correct alignment of movement, reduces stresses on our joints. This promotes efficiency of movement, meaning that we are able to move easier whilst activating the right muscles.
When our posture is correctly aligned we reduce the strain of our accessory muscles. The best example of the importance of alignment is seen in our necks with a forward head posture. This posture is often adopted when we are working on computers. Our head should naturally look like a golf ball sitting on a tee, but what we often see is that our head which is more the weight of a bowling ball sitting forward of the neck. This misalignment causes the small accessory muscles in your neck to work harder. When this happens we end up with tight muscles and a sore neck due to restricted blood flow and strained muscles.
So what are you waiting for? We look forward to seeing you in the Pilates studio soon.