In the 1920s, Joseph Pilates introduced his method of exercise to help injured athletes and dancers return to fitness and health. In today’s fitness world, many places offer Pilates, but may not appear to offer the foundation that J. Pilates had in mind.
It is overwhelming with the number of studios, boutiques and formats to choose from. Pilates is for people of all ages, backgrounds, and is as much a mental workout as it is a physical one. Concentration is important, as is form while slowly repeating the movements.
I have found Pilates to create awareness of the body in ways that other formats of training do not. With slow and controlled movements, it is easier to notice imbalances in the body or recover from an injury. With concentration comes breath work. While you practice Pilates, it is important to be mindful of how your breath plays a significant role in your workout and your life.
One of my students here at the J told me her doctor prescribed her the two P’s for the rest of her life, pool and Pilates. To this day she takes the aquatic group fitness classes and Gentle Pilates classes to make sure her body stays in tip top shape.
A few of the other health benefits include:
- improved flexibility
- increased muscle strength and tone, particularly of your abdominal muscles, lower back, hips and buttocks (the ‘core muscles’ of your body)
- balanced muscular strength on both sides of your body
- enhanced muscular control of your back and limbs
- improved stabilization of your spine
- improved posture
- rehabilitation or prevention of injuries related to muscle imbalances
- improved physical coordination and balance
- relaxation of your shoulders, neck and upper back
- safe rehabilitation of joint and spinal injuries
- prevention of musculoskeletal injuries
- increased lung capacity and circulation through deep breathing
- improved concentration
- increased body awareness
- stress management and relaxation
(Source: www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au )
At the J we offer both mat Pilates classes, which range in difficulty from Gentle to “Boot Camp” style. We also offer Reformer Pilates which utilizes an apparatus invented by Pilates himself to enhance the benefits of the exercise.
If you are new to Pilates, I recommend coming to our Pilates Reformer Basics and stretch class held Tuesdays at 12:00 PM (beginning June 25) with Unique in the Reformer Studio.
We also offer classes on Sunday at 11:00 am, Monday evenings at 6:00 PM and 7:00 PM, Tuesdays mornings at 5:00 AM, 6:00 AM, 9:00 AM and Wednesday mornings at 5:00 AM, 6:00 AM, 9:00 AM and 10:00 AM.