What is Pilates ?

"It's the most efficient form of exercise because you are building strength and flexibility at the same time... Pilates is also highly personalized."

Created by Joseph Pilates, a German-born circus performer and gymnast whose childhood illnesses (asthma, rickets, and rheumatic fever) sparked a quest to overcome his physical limitations. During World War 1, he began fitting hospital beds with springs and straps to help rehabilitate wounded soldiers. Pilates' motive was to devise a series of controlled movements that engage the mind and body in developing strong, flexible muscles without building bulk. He designed 500 exercises that demand concentration and focus on developing abdomen strength and flexibility to ensure proper posture and to reduce the risk of injury, Pilates came to America after the war and opened an exercise studio in New York City in 1926. Shortly thereafter, famous dancers, including Martha Graham and George Balanchine, became devotees.

Pilates bonds body and mind through two principal components: posture and breathing. By centering around the abdomen, Pilates strengthens the muscles in the back, hips, and stomach to support the spine. The method works the deepest layer of abdominal muscles (as opposed to the outer, more visible layer), which helps build a "girdle of strength" for the spine. It lifts your belly and your backend while it tones and strengthens all your other muscles, but best of all, it reminds the body of its natural, ideal posture and strengthens all the muscles that help the body stand and move in gravity. You will look different after just 10 sessions - taller and slimmer with decidedly improved posture.

The second most important aspect of Pilates is the breathing. All the movements are based on moving through your breath. At the beginning of a movement, air is inhaled through the nose and the stomach is pulled into a deep tuck. This causes the chest to rise and fill to capacity. Air is expelled in a forceful manner. It is audible and heavy. When done correctly, these deep breaths activate and exercise the abdominal muscles; they also help expel stress, another frequently cited benefit of the method. Somehow as you breathe out you are able to expel all that has built up during the day, and in turn you breathe in all these positive energies. You use your mind, your body, and your spirit, and breath is so important. You have to think about your body and the movements.

"It's time away from the busy world, a quiet time alone that leaves you energized."

Pilates bonds body and mind through two principal components: posture and breathing. By centering around the abdomen, Pilates strengthens the muscles in the back, hips, and stomach to support the spine. The method works the deepest layer of abdominal muscles (as opposed to the outer, more visible layer), which helps build a "girdle of strength" for the spine.

"It lifts your belly and your backend while it tones and strengthens all your other muscles,"

 "But best of all, it reminds the body of its natural, ideal posture and strengthens all the muscles that help the body stand and move in gravity.

you will look different after just 10 sessions - taller and slimmer with decidedly improved posture.

The second most important aspect of Pilates is the breathing. "All the movements are based on moving through your breath

 At the beginning of a movement, air is inhaled through the nose and the stomach is pulled into a deep tuck. This causes the chest to rise and fill to capacity. Air is expelled in a forceful manner. It is audible and heavy. When done correctly, these deep breaths activate and exercise the abdominal muscles; they also help expel stress, another frequently cited benefit of the method."

Somehow as you breathe out you are able to expel all that has built up during the day, "And in turn you breathe in all these positive energies. You use your mind, your body, and your spirit, and breath is so important.

 

you have to think about your body and the movements. "It's time away from the busy world,"

"A quiet time alone that leaves you energized."