Regular practise of pilates offers a wide range of health and fitness benefits:
improved posture, muscle tone, balance and joint mobility.
relief of stress and tension.
development of whole body strength and flexibility, thus reducing injury risk among sportspeople, elite and amateur alike.
there is some evidence that it can help with the relief of lower back pain.
by strengthening the muscles it may help with weight management.
Practitioners of pilates are also unlikely to get injured because it is a very low impact activity. However, it is absolutely vital to choose a qualified pilates instructor as it is not illegal for anybody to call themselves a pilates instructor and practice without any training or qualifications.
Pilates and yoga are completely different, contrary to popular belief. Whilst yoga is heavily dependent on static poses and focuses heavily on the meditative aspects, pilates relies on the flowing nature of the movement, under perfect control, for its results. The six main principles are; concentration, control, centering, flow, precision and breathing (especially proper exhalation).
History of pilates
Pilates derives its name from its founder, Joseph Pilates, a German-born Greek. His method of fitness, called ‘contrology’, which he began in the early twentieth century, may have some of its roots in the physical fitness cultures of these two countries.
He designed the 34 matt exercises which are the basis of pilates today. The controlled movements are designed to improve flexibility and build strength to develop control and endurance in the whole body. Great emphasis is placed on alignment, breathing, co-ordination and balance, as well as the development of a strong ’powerhouse’ in the middle of the body, along with a healthy spine.
Joseph Pilates strongly believed that our mental and physical health were inextricably linked.