Pilates

Why Pilates?
Pilates is a form of exercise that helps mobilise, tone, lengthen and strengthen the whole body. Key to this is the control of the core muscles, found in your abdominal, back and pelvic areas. This improves co-ordination, posture and balance as well as easing pain and stiffness.

What is Pilates?
Developed by Joseph Pilates in the 1920s, Pilates was originally used to rehabilitate prisoners of war. Since then Pilates has evolved and gained in popularity. Initially adopted by dancers and athletes to enhance their training and performance, Pilates has now become well recognised by medical practitioners and rehabilitation specialists as a safe and effective way to improve how the body moves.

Pilates teaches you to take what you learn in the studio and apply it to your everyday life. It makes all your movement more efficient so it's the perfect compliment to other forms of exercise or just for making long hours at your desk more comfortable. Pilates is also beneficial for rehabilitation and can be practised during pregnancy.

Pilates is taught using 6 fundamental techniques:

  • Centering: Physically bringing the focus to the centre of the body, the 'powerhouse area' or core between the lower ribs and pubic bone. Movement takes place from the centre out.
  • Concentration: full attention is brought to the exercise and when done with full commitment, maximum value will be obtained from each movement.
  • Control: Every Pilates exercise is done with complete muscular control. No body part is left to its own devices.
  • Precision: In Pilates, awareness is sustained throughout each movement. There is an appropriate placement and alignment relative to other body parts at all times.
  • Breath: Joseph Pilates emphasised using a very full breath in his exercises. He advocated thinking of the lungs as a bellows -- using them strongly to pump the air fully in and out of the body. Most Pilates exercises coordinate with the breath, and using the breath properly is an integral part of Pilates exercise.
  • Flow: Pilates exercise is done in a flowing manner. Fluidity, grace, and ease are goals applied to all exercises. The energy of an exercise connects all body parts and flows through the body in an even way. Pilates equipment, like the reformer, are very good mirrors of one's flow and concentration as they tend to bang around and suddenly become quite "machine-like" if one loses ones control and