The Power and Passion of Pilates
The Pilates Method helps to optimize body mechanics through strengthening, lengthening and stabilization. It presents an alternative cross training and athletic training foundation which is rooted in the artistry of movement and the science of anatomy.
Created by Joseph Pilates in the 1920’s, the Pilates exercise method helps exponents achieve optimum balance between mind and body.In its 80 years, largely through his pioneering work, the system has become a favoured method of integrated exercise, particularly among elite athletes and performers, and those recovering from injury. Joseph’s astute observations of body movement quickly detected that, compared to animals, humans make less than optimum use of their physical capacity.
Pilates is based on a range of more than 500 exercises, often in conjunction with specially designed equipment. It uses the musculo-skeletal make-up of the human body as it’s platform, and blends breathing regulation and mental exercise into a program designed to deliver holistic benefits.
Importantly, the method teaches participants greater awareness of the form and function of their bodies. As a result, the discipline can be applied throughout daily life for boosted strength, stability and mobility. Because it combines a complex series of exercises involving multiple parts of the body, qualified instruction is essential.
Pilates offers valuable cross training to any exercise program. Core strengthening and conditioning is key to a maintaining a healthy exercise program.
Over the years dancers and elite athletes have used Pilates to build supple strength, coordinated alignment and symmetry in muscle development, resulting in improved performance and awareness, frequently taking the athlete to a new level.
Whether you are seeing general fitness, a way to improve your game (whatever your chosen sport), or you are recovering from injury.
Your Body and the Pilates Method
“Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness. Physical fitness can further be described as the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body within a sound mind fully capable of naturally, easily and satisfactorily performing our many and varied tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure”.
Joseph Pilates, 1945.
Underneath the visible, surface muscles that we use for lifting, pulling, pushing and reaching lie the deeper, foundational muscles that support those movements. The small, complex patterns of the deep “intrinsic” muscles that lie next to the bone function to stabilize the joints providing the foundation for all mobility. The nervous system provides feedback and works with the muscular system to keep the body balanced and aligned.
This kinetic chain of human movement is dependent on a “Tri-Core” system of alignment. It begins with the Lower Core and the muscles of the feet, ankle and lower leg. The Central Core follows with the muscular system from the pelvic girdle to the upper back and shoulder girdle and joint. The Upper Core includes the neck and cranium. This trinity of alignment must function as unit or the body becomes unbalanced. The unbalanced body is subject to foot and ankle pain, knee problems, pelvic and low back strain and finally shoulder and neck immobility.
The Pilates Method corrects muscle imbalances by utilizing an integrated approach to train the mind to move the body as a unit.
You will learn how to turn off the contraction of the larger, surface muscles that cause muscle tension and turn on the deeper muscles for whole body alignment and support. You will learn to develop breathing patterns that will work in concert with the deep muscles to reduce any tension and allow the movement to flow. You will learn how the Diaphragm lifts and lowers with your inhalation and exhalation creating a rhythm with the other muscle groups.
The progressive sequencing, breathing and fewer repetitions of The Pilates Method will build symmetry in your body. Your movement will become coordinated and intelligent. Each exercise in the Pilates Method is balanced between flexion, extension, opposition, energy and control. The quality of each movement increases circulation and eliminates muscle tension in the neck, back and shoulders.