Each of the Pilates classes that you attend; you will notice the Pilates instructor following a particular routine. Reminders to bring your awareness and concentration to better posture, improving flexibility, proper breathing and the focus on the mind-body connection.
Pilates is a super exercise for your body, as superfoods are for your diet. There are just some things that make sense and give specific results and benefits. Pilate’s exercises are one of them, focused on strengthening and conditioning a balanced body with core strength, body awareness and coordination in your range of motion.
This uniformity within Pilates is down to the guiding principles which coordinate how Pilates is taught and the outcomes for each class. These principles of Pilates are what give the workout such a robust feeling when practising. Even if you change the Pilates class, you will still find that you gain the same quality of lesson. This is one of the reasons that Pilates continues to grow as one of the most popular forms of exercise even today.
What Is Pilates?
Pilates is a full body workout and exercise system that focuses on key core areas to create and promote wellness within the body and mind. Pilates is great for anyone who wants to practice from beginner to Pilates teacher.
The History Of Pilates Training
Joseph Pilates was born in German to a family who was conscious about health and fitness. At a young age, his sickly health limited his life choices, so he started to study exercise, the human body and the mind. Through exercise, he was able to heal his body and remove his limitations. This is was the foundation of his idea for Pilates.
As he gains notoriety in fitness circles, he was able to travel around the world for work. It was while working with law enforcement in England that he was able to develop the idea. As the First World War erupted, Joseph Pilates was held in a camp by the English as an enemy of the country due to his German nationality.
But although this seemed like an unfortunate turn of events for a rising star. It was, in fact, a blessing for Joseph, as it was within this English Detainment camp that ‘Pilates’ was born. Joseph used his time to create the structure of Pilates and the guiding principles.
Once released Joseph moved to the United States of America and set up his first studio in New York City. Joseph first called the method Contrology and saw it as a way to balance the body mind and spirit.
Pilates was first adopted by the dance community with dancers like those practising ballet becoming the first fans of the program. But it later made its way into the media and with such uniform results experienced by Pilates practitioners. It became an instant success, and 100 years later it is still gaining in popularity.
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The Benefits Of The Pilates Exercise Program
The benefits of pilates are vast, it helps with so many things within the body but also within the mind. Unlike a cardio workout, Pilates doesn’t just help with body control or body fitness. Although the physical results of Pilates are vast and very pleasing, the discipline of Pilates takes a step further. With the aim to coordinate the body and mind. Whether you practice at the gym, have private training, follow a Pilates DVD or do a home workout. You will have access to the benefits of Pilates.
Here Are Some Of The Top Benefits Of Pilates
- Pilates moves will improve your posture over time.
- Pilates can increase and transform your energy levels.
- Pilates promotes weight loss, a leaner physique and better muscle tone.
- Pilates focuses on improving your flexibility.
- Pilates will build your core strength giving you flat abs.
- Pilates is suitable for everyone even the injured or
- Pilates can be personalised to suit your level and grow with you as you improve.
- Pilates doesn’t create a bulky appearance, just toned lean bodies.
- Pilates classes reduce stress and motivate the individual.
- Pilates workouts create balance, correct posture and
- Pilates works to connect your body and mind creating full body wellbeing.
- Pilates helps with rehabilitation whether you are recovering from injuries or aches and pains within the body.
- Pilates is a kind of resistance training rather than aerobic, so the movements are slow and precise this means everyone can reap the benefits.
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What You Need To Get Started With Your Pilates Workout
Although Pilates was created to be accompanied by a wide variety of equipment. The majority of Pilates equipment is actually optional and not using equipment won't hinder the benefits that you reap from your practice. All you really need to be able to practice Pilates successfully is yourself, an open mind, a yoga mat, and comfortable clothing.
- Make sure to have enough room around yourself so that your movements won't be hindered by touching other people or furniture if you are doing a home Pilates workout.
- Invest in a good quality yoga mat; you want it to be thick enough to protect you from the floor and with a good resistant surface that will prevent you from slipping and sliding while doing your workout.
- If you have limited flexibility, it can be beneficial to buy a fitness band which can help to support you gently to complete the postures.
- If you are prone to having aches and pains having a cushion with you in practice can support while you complete variations of the exercises.
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The Principles Of The Pilates Method
Pilates is built upon a foundation of structured principles, which is what gives it such a great robust reputation. As the exercise program that is overflowing with benefits, it is these principles which guide all practitioners through the postures and help them to secure consistent results. No matter what their goals or reasons for practising Pilates. They will always be pleasantly surprised that they always get more than they wished for.
The guiding principles of Pilates were created by Joseph Pilates in the first half of the twentieth century. He was a qualified fitness professional and had studied Eastern and Western fitness concepts. He then brought together the best of his findings along with his own ideas and experience, to create what it is that we know as Pilates today.
Although these principles may appear to be a little abstract, when they are applied to your practice they ensure that you receive the maximum benefits possible from your practice.
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6 Pilate’s Principles
Alignment And Precision
While practising Pilates, you will be continuously reminded and aware of the necessity for proper posture and precise placement of your body. To help you achieve this principle, Pilates is often done at a very slow pace. This supports you to get the position correct and also allows you to become more aware of your body. You will be able to connect the movements of your spine, pelvis and head in perfect alignment. While this principle has a focus on the physical, it also has benefits of improving your concentration and your connection to your mind.
Your practice will be full of deep breathing exercises to help transport oxygen around your body which provided your muscle with the energy needed to maximise your practice. Proper breathing while you practice Pilates is essential to clean the body of stress and toxins and replace it with fresh, clean oxygen. Adding the breath to your practice will make your connection to your practice stronger and lower any stress that you may be feeling which may distract you from being aware in the class.
If you hope to master your alignment and postures, you must concentrate and remain present in your practice. While being precise, you must be aware of what it is you are doing and using this focus aim to stay connected with your movements. When you are fully aware of your Pilates workouts, you will increase your body awareness and gain mental strength.
The powerhouse also known as the core is the central area from which all movements are taken. With this being the centre of the body it is the origin of power behind all postures. Developing your centre has many benefits including having better abs, a flatter stomach, even achieving a six pack is possible should that be what you desire. As you look within you, bring calm to your practice and power to your core.
This principle is fundamental in your practice; this is the heart of awareness and mindfulness as brought into your practice. The method that Pilates uses to provide this full body workout says that you must be aware of what each part of your body is doing and you should be in control of what you want them to do next. No movement is accidental or lazily placed. This allows the correct form and gives you access to the maximum benefits of Pilates.
The flow that runs through your Pilates practice is gentle, calming and full of a slow grace and precise movement. All of the postures are tied together by a strong fluid movement that makes conscious body awareness appear elegant and full of vitality. This principle is the string that ties all of the postures together and is the vibration that lifts the veil of basic movement and adds the essence of continuity and fluidity into your practice. It is within this beautiful of motion that the mind-body connection is strengthened and reconnected.
I hope when you take your next Pilates class or attend your first class that you bare these principles in mind and integrate them into your active practice. This integration of the principles into the workout will guarantee that you will receive the maximum benefits the Pilates can provide.