Benefits of Pilates
Practiced faithfully, Pilates yields numerous benefits. Increased lung capacity and circulation through deep, healthy breathing is a primary focus (breathing oxygenates our blood, increases circulation, allows relaxation, restoration, and rejuvenation). Strength and flexibility, particularly of the abdomen and back muscles, and coordination - both muscular and mental, are key components in an effective Pilates program. Posture, balance, and core strength are all heartily increased. Bone density and joint health improve, and many experience positive body awareness for the first time. Quality of movement is valued over quantity of repetitions. Pilates teaches balance and control of the body and mind by being fully present while emphasizing proper breathing, correct spinal and pelvic alignment, and concentration on smooth flowing movement.
- Develop core strength and stability; flat abdominals and a strong back
- Gain long, lean muscles and improve flexibility while decompressing the joints and improving circulation
- Create an evenly conditioned body, which will improve sports performance and prevent injuries
- Learn how to move efficiently and improve coordination
- Enhance mind-body awareness and get a challenging workout that is gentle on your body
- Reduce anxiety and depression, minimize stress, improve mood, boost self-esteem, enhance cognitive funcitoning
Who Is Joseph Pilates?
Joseph H. Pilates was born in Germany, in 1880. A sickly child who suffered from asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever, he dedicated his entire life to becoming physically stronger. Joe studied body building and gymnastics and by the age of 14 was fit enough to pose for anatomical charts. In 1912 he moved to England earning a living as a boxer, circus performer and self-defense trainer. During World War I he was interned with other German citizens in a camp near Lancaster where he trained other inmates in fitness and exercises. It was here that the beginnings of the True Pilates Method began to take shape. After the War, Pilates emigrated to the United States. On the ship to America he met his future wife Clara. The couple founded a studio in New York City and directly taught and supervised their students well into the 1960’s. Pilates and his method, which he and Clara called "Contrology", soon established a following in the dance and the performing arts community. From their point of view, "Contrology" is the complete coordination of the body, mind and spirit. Well known dancers George Balanchine and Martha Graham became devotees and sent their students to them for training. Pilates practiced what he preached and lived a long healthy life. He died in 1967 at the age of 87. Today, Pilates is practiced around the world by athletes, dancers, fitness professionals, as well as the general public.
“Change happens through movement, and movement heals” - Joseph Pilates