Why you should try Pilates?
So many events or aspects of our lives create imbalances in ourselves, both in mind and body. Posture, work, injuries and even natural wear and tear can affect our ability to enjoy life, and Pilates aims to regain, fine-tune and maintain the strength and flexibility of ourselves as a whole. We aim to bring balance between strength and flexibility, between lower and upper body, between right and left, between front and back, inhalation and exhalation…
Pilates works the person as a whole. The mind is in control of the body (movement, posture and breath) and throughout the session the mind challenges the body and the body challenges the mind.
We aim to strengthen and stretch with control. Strengthen and stretch every single muscle on our body. Arms, legs, abdominals, back, shoulders, hips and even the deepest muscles in the body. No muscle is left behind as everything is interconnected.
Muscles used to move a certain joint will strengthen as they work against the muscles that are holding you from moving. These muscles holding you from moving will get stretched by the muscles trying to move the joint.
The movement is performed in harmony with the breath. Take a deep breath and notice what happens to your posture. As our breath can affect our posture and vice versa, most of the Pilates exercises are performed with the breath to either help you to move better and maintain good posture or to challenge and strengthen the muscles involved in the movement and breathing.
Posture and good movement are not only about abdominal and back strength. Lack of mobility on our toes, for example, would affect the way we move our feet, which would affect the way we move our legs when walking, which would affect the way we use our hips and ultimately would affect the position/movement of our spine. If the shoulders are not working as they should, for example, our body/mind will compensate with other joints (most of the time with our spine).
We aim to be aware of our whole body during Pilates. Posture, balance, breathing and control helps us to keep the connection between mind and body. We learn to listen to our body and this awareness during the session also helps to relax the mind. You could call it “me time”. We get to be aware and get to know ourselves better, as a whole, and session by session we can notice the strength, flexibility and control grow.
Joseph Pilates in his book “Return to Life Through Contrology” sums up quite well the intention behind his method when saying: “The acquirement and enjoyment of physical well-being, mental calm and spiritual peace are priceless to their possessors…” and “Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness. Our interpretation of physical fitness is the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind fully capable of naturally, easily, and satisfactorily performing our many and varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure.” – Joseph Pilates
Pilates can be adapted to anyone. It doesn’t matter the age, gender, medical history, etc. I’ve seen amazing transformations in all my years practicing and teaching Pilates. The only prerequisite is the intention and desire to improve yourself, being able to breathe and have a body. If you have that, then the next step is to join us and start your journey.