Once the core is engaged, the spine aligned, the Pilates moves mastered using the deep thoracic breathing technique, the exercises can begin to flow from one to other to build strength and stamina for the entire body.
Quality and bodily precision is essential to correct Pilates. The focus is to perform a few precise quality movements, rather than many using poor form. Classes are kept small so I can ensure every participant is monitored and re-positioned where necessary throughout the session.
Pilates is an exercise method which focuses on the muscle systems supporting the spine and pelvis. It is used to improve posture and re-dress muscular imbalances caused by today's lifestyle which can cause aches and strains particularly in the back. We do this by increasing core strength, working on spinal alignment, increasing joint mobility and stability and improving flexibility. It can be done using body weight alone in mat work classes, or by using small equipment like balls and bands.
Each exercise flows naturally into the next and we use breathing to guide each move. It is this controlled sequence of moves which makes Pilates not only a functional class, but also a de-stressing mind-body workout.
Poor posture causing faulty movement patterns can result in aches and pains, particularly in the spine. In Pilates each move starts with ideal body alignment and that means better posture. In time this should become second nature both in and out of the class.
Originally called 'Controlology'; the coordination of mind, body and spirit, the exercise method was developed by Joseph Pilates and was popular with dancers, gymnasts and athletes and taught in New York from 1926 - 1966.
Today the moves have been adjusted in line with modern research but retain the early exercise principles. Many dancers and well-known personalities of New York depended on Pilates method training for the strength and grace it developed in the practitioner, as well as for its rehabilitative effects. Until exercise science caught up with the Pilates exercise principles in the 1980s and the surge of interest in Pilates that we have today got underway, it was chiefly dancers and elite athletes who kept Joseph Pilates' work alive.
In order to control movement the body must have a starting place: the ‘Powerhouse’ or ‘Centre’. The centre is the focal point of the Pilates classes. All movements in Pilates begin from the powerhouse and flow outward to the limbs. Strengthening the core muscles is one of the main aims of these Pilates classes and results in increased spinal stability, a stronger pelvic floor and better bodily alignment.
When breathing, engagement of deep abdominal and pelvic floor muscles should be maintained. Pilates coordinates this breathing technique in time with the moves, this helps to control the exercise.