What is pilates? The Pilates Method (aka Pilates), pronounced “Puh – LAH – Teez” is a unique system of strengthening and stretching exercises created in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates. Originally known as Contrology, because of the way the method encourages the use of the mind to control the muscles, the Pilates Method focuses on the core postural muscles which help keep the body balanced and which are essential to providing support for the spine. In particular, Pilates exercises teach awareness of breath and alignment of the spine, and strengthen the deep torso muscles, which are important to help alleviate and prevent back pain.
The Movement Principals of Pilates
Pilates is a physical fitness program that requires the control of the mind, strengthens the body’s core, and provides a self-confidence and well-being. The 8 movement principals are elements that are part of all the Pilates exercises. They are: Whole Body Movement, Breathing, Balanced Muscle Development, Concentration, Control, Centering, Precision and Rhythm.
Benefits of Pilates
Joseph Pilates stated, “Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness. Our interpretation of physical fitness is the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind, fully capable of naturally, easily and satisfactorily performing our many and varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure.”
The many measurable benefits of a Pilates program include:
- Increased coordination, strength and mobility
- Efficient movement
- Proper posture
- Mental and spiritual rejuvenation
- Increased self-awareness and self-confidence
- Integration of the mind, body and spirit
- Sense of well-being
- Enhanced quality of life
When taught correctly, Pilates can result in improved posture, a minimization of back pain, increased strength and flexibility, a sense of control and improved function in sports and daily activities.
“…In 10 sessions you’ll feel better
…In 20 sessions you’ll look better
…In 30 sessions you’ll have a whole new body” —J. Pilates