The art of Pilates – why do pilates?

The Art of Pilates

As I am about to celebrate 20 years of teaching Pilates and a new 10 year lease, I can’t help reflecting on the past and looking to the future.

I started teaching fitness full time in 1992, enjoyed the fun but always found it rather superficial. In 1994 I discovered Pilates and it was a revelation! I started incorporating it to my ‘legs, bums and tums’ classes. Clients loved it. No music, just you and your body! I started the training in 1997, got qualified and started teaching Pilates in 1999 when very few people knew what Pilates was. I had to convince potential clients that Pilates was the way forward and that it was different from doing fitness classes. 

Pilates starts with building a balanced body frame with solid foundations to allow well coordinated movements that can be challenged safely. It doesn’t involved mindless repetitions, focussing on strength for the sake of strength, not particularly paying attention to how the body is build or checking the foundations are solid enough to accept an often too heavy load. Over loading an unbalanced frame with no foundation is a recipe for injury, not health and fitness…

Pilates works with the body not against it. Pilates requires effort not strain. Muscles contract without compressing the joints and stiffening the body.

Pilates creates space in the body freeing the joints so the body moves and functions better, which is even more relevant nowadays as we tend to sit for too long The Pilates class is the only time you get to move all your joints ensuring every one of them is functioning well in all planes of movement. 

We often think we are not strong enough, when we actually lack of movement. Our stiffness creates an unnecessary resistance that makes us feel weak. Release your tension and you’ll find your ’strength’ back.

Pilates is about connecting the entire body. All body parts are involved in movement and work as a team. The entire body works from top to toes. There are no dead bits in Pilates!

Pilates pays attention to the body requirements. Not one body is the same. Developing body awareness and mindfulness to identifying weaknesses and strength is essential to Pilates. Pilates exercises are intelligent and adaptable, challenging the body progressively and precisely.

As Joseph Pilates stated, “a few well-designed movements, properly performed in a balanced sequence, are worth hours of doing sloppy callisthenics or forced contortion”

The discovery of fascia as the largest sensory organ in the body, has made Pilates even more relevant. Creating space, mindful movement and focused breathing all contribute to the rehydration of fascia, allowing better communication, circulation and energy flow throughout the body, which boost the natural healing body mechanisms. 

I just love Pilates! And love sharing it! Pilates keeps your body healthy, young and alive so you can enjoy life to the full.

I’m in for ten more years!