Pilates is a complete exercise method developed by its founder Joseph Pilates over the course of his lifetime and dedicated to improving physical and mental health.
Pilates builds strength from the inside out by targeting the deep postural muscles. By correcting muscle imbalance, faulty muscle recruitment patterns and bad habits, it rebalances the body and brings it into correct alignment. It helps to reshape your body, which will become longer, leaner and more toned. It will also improve your posture, achieving the perfect balance between strength and flexibility, and it’s a great way to relieve unwanted stress and tension. Its slow, controlled approach means that it gives much longer-term results. Pilates is especially recommended by medical specialists for those with back problems. It is perfect for athletes looking to enhance their performance and avoid the risk of injury and is also ideal for first-time exercisers.
Pilates goes far beyond your core muscles however, and not only provides a complete body workout but it encourages you to think about how you perform everyday movements. It heightens your body awareness which in turn improves your overall agility, flexibility and strength. It helps you ensure your body is working at its optimal level all the time.
"Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness. In order to achieve happiness, it is imperative to gain mastery of your body. If at the age of 30 you are stiff and out of shape, you are old. If at 60 you are supple and strong then you are young." Joseph Pilates
How will Pilates benefit you?
- general fitness
- improves your posture
- improves mobility and flexibility of your spine
- delivers muscle tone and flexibility
- promotes a more efficient and supportive core
- increases stability for the pelvis and shoulders
- fosters the health of joints through improved mobility and support from the surrounding musculature
- complements training for athletes
- helps improve health conditions
- facilitates injury prevention and physical rehabilitation
- builds better balance and coordination, particularly for the elderly
- offers a safe and excellent form of exercise for ante and post-natal women
- alleviates aches and pains
- helps maintain and can improve bone density
- develops the function and efficiency of the lungs with improvement in circulation
- offers a safe and beneficial form of exercise for a wide range of medical conditions, including Scoliosis, Osteoporosis, Arthritis, and Multiple Sclerosis
- improves overall well-being
- makes you look and feel better
- relieves stress and tension and promotes a feeling of well-being
- expands body awareness
- integrates mind, body and spirit
- improves your quality of life
When practised regularly, pilates can help you achieve your optimum personal body shape, a flatter stomach,leaner legs, a strong back, beautifully poised shoulders and neck.
You will look taller and more slender, move more gracefully and feel healthier. With the body in perfect balance and alignment, the immune system is stimulated and the level of general health very often rises because the internal organs can now sit and function correctly.
Wherever you learn Pilates, you should make sure that your teacher is properly qualified, since Pilates taught by someone without the right training can do you more harm than good. Yet, many exercise teachers in gyms and elsewhere now include Pilates exercises in their classes, despite themselves never having had any training at all.
Our instructors at Body Reflexions have all gained their Level 3 Pilates Teacher qualification with either Body Control Pilates or Pilates Union UK, both are endorsed by Skills Active and the Register of Exercise Professionals and are recognised by the European Health and Fitness Association.
Why not try adding some resistance to your Pilates with the Pilates Machine Class. A small class of 4 which involves working on the Pilates Reformer Machines, the Core Fitness Roller and other apparatus.
NEW TO PILATES?
If you have never done pilates before you must first learn the basic technique before you join a class. If you are not familiar with the technique, at best you will not be doing the exercise effectively, at worst you could actually injure yourself. Learning the basic technique can be done one of two ways. The most popular (and cheapest) way to do this is to attend a Pilates Beginners workshop. This is a oneoff introductory workshop introducing you to the basic essentials of pilates. These workshops are held approximately every 6/8 weeks just prior to a new term starting.
In the workshop you will learn:
- location and engagement of core muscles and the Powerhouse
- pelvic stability
- scapular stability
- lateral/thoracic breathing
- posture assessment
- segmental control of the spine
- sample exercises that you can expect to find in a typical class
Once you have either attended a Beginners Workshop or taken a couple of private lessons, you may join a Pilates class.
It is recommended that after learning the basics you join a beginners class for at least one course, but if these times are not suitable for yourself, you may join an existing class. All classes are of a mixed level. Many Pilates exercises can be amended to make them easier for the beginner or more challenging for the more advanced client. Clients work with guidance to their own level, listening to their own body. Layered instruction and close supervision ensure that all exercises are executed safely, but with a challenge.