What is Pilates
‘Pilates’ is a physical fitness system developed in the early 20th century. Based on the methods of German-born Joseph Pilates (1883 – 1967), the original system was used to improve the performance of dancers and gymnasts (and police officers) by improving their flexibility, strength, control and endurance. It emphasises posture, breathing, co-ordination and balance and developing a strong ‘core’ (the muscles of the abdomen, lower back and hips).
The modern Fitness Pilates I teach extends these principles but is also informed by more recent research and knowledge about fitness and exercise.
Pilates methods are popular in many countries beyond the UK, especially in North America, Europe and Australasia. The methods shares some of its positions and techniques with Yoga but it does not have the same focus on spirituality or emphasis on flexibility. Pilates is based on principles of relaxation, postural alignment, stamina, plus controlled, precise and flowing movements mixed with breathing exercises. One distinctive feature of Pilates exercise is a concern with ‘Centering’ – based on awareness of the muscles at the centre of the body (the abdomen and pelvis, back, hips and inner thighs).
What Does Pilates Involve?
Pilates involves low impact stretching, stability and conditioning exercises, which focus on building the body’s core, creating muscle balance, improving posture, balance, flexibility, body alignment and stability in the joints. It uses exact and controlled movements and seeks to develop an awareness of how the body works
Pilates is not about increasing muscle mass (body building) or expanding cardio-vascular fitness (aerobics)!
“After class I go home and have the best night’s sleep of the week”
“Pilates is working wonders for me. Diana is very attentive with all of us”
“If I didn’t come to class I’d stiffen up and never be able to move!”