What exactly is Pilates…. It’s a great question and one that all of us, as Pilates Instructors at The Studio are often asked to explain. You will find that there is no single answer to what Pilates is, as with just about any exercise Pilates means different things to different people. For some it is a way of life, for others a brief moment to themselves. However, for everyone and indeed the Pilates method itself one thing cannot be denied. Pilates is an evolution of movement, the repertoire, apparatus and programs are constantly seeing subtle changes to suit the needs of present lifestyles.
Originally based around ‘Matwork’ repertoire Joseph Pilates guiding principles were to bring about an innate understanding and appreciation of the inter-connectedness and importance of ‘body-mind & spirit’. Pilates was, by design made to work and effect the entire body by not only impacting our muscular and skeletal systems through challenging physical exercises but also our endocrine and neuro-muscular systems. Through specifically sequenced movements Pilates goal was to send fluids and nutrients around our entire body, massaging internal organs and tissue to improve our movement to enable us to achieve whatever we wanted in life. His philosophy that movement problems are really just habits that are only able to be corrected by replacing them with improved and more sustainable habits, was so far ahead of it’s time that exercise science is only just catching up now.
As he developed his own method Joseph began inventing his own exercise machines, many of which are commonplace in any Pilates Studio today. The Reformer is probably his most well-known invention and remains to this day one of the most functional and diverse machines for strength and mobility. There is quite literally a never-ending number of exercises or repertoire that are possible on a Reformer and despite many peoples perceived idea of the Reformer it is proven to be one of the most universally effective strength based machines available.The secret to the power of Pilates is its adaptability. Each exercise can be modified to cater for individual levels of expertise, we can add or reduce load, progress or regress an exercise to make it more or less challenging and choose from any number of similar exercises if an individual has a specific need or desire. The reason so many elite sports people and teams, celebrity trainers and celebrities, old and youthful people flock to Pilates is because each and every person experiences the same level of challenge relative to their individual abilities and with consistent application to the method see amazing results and benefits through every facet of their lives.
The ability to both lengthen and strengthen muscles, tissues and psychology make Pilates not only the most unique and functional exercise method but one of the most rewarding as well. While the rest of the fitness industry is starting to talk about an ‘Holistic Approach’ to our health and fitness the Pilates method has and will always be based around this principle and the older the method becomes the more and more refined Joseph Pilates original ‘Holistic Application’ becomes.
If you would like to hear more or find out for yourself all of the amazing benefits that Pilates has to offer browse our ‘Pilates’ section for more articles or make an appointment with one of our amazing Instructor team here.