There are many reasons to take up Pilates, from increased strength and flexibility, to mental health.
Pilates is Stretch and Strength with Control.
Originally called the “Art of Contrology” and there are over 500 original exercises in the Pilates System, all of which follow the Pilates principles of Centering, Concentration, Control, Precision, Breathing and Flow.
At The Pilates loft we teach the original Pilates system, the one created by Joseph Pilates.
Pilates is a system or method of exercises, where each exercise is done for a reason, not just for exercise sake. Pilates move from one exercise to the next for specific reasons, which results in total body conditioning.
Pilates uses all the muscles of the body, not just the larger ones. It opens and closes each major joint, moves the spine safely in all directions, flushes out lymph nodes, increases blood flow, develops lung capacity and increases mental capacity.
And as Joseph Pilates said "...and this by no means, is the end"
The Pilates Method was derived from what Joseph Pilates originally called Contrology. In 1945 Joseph Pilates published his first book Return to Life Through Contrology. Joseph Pilates recognised that the motor functions of the brain controlled the mobility of the body.It wasn't until the early 1980's that two students of Joseph's protege Romana Kryzanowska (Philip Friedman and Gail Eisen) published The Pilates Method of Physical and Mental Conditioning. It is this work that defined the six key Pilates principles.
Pilates requires focus. Concentration combined with physical exercise can improve brain functions, memory as well as build new neural pathways to assist with ongoing mental development.
Practiced well each Pilates movement requires control of the entire body. There are no superfluous actions or breaths.
All movements in Pilates start from the Powerhouse/Core, which is the centre of the body.
Pilates sequences are designed to efficiently use energy and smoothly transition from one to the next.
It is considered better to perform one movement perfectly than to perform multiple repetitions of an action poorly.
Oxygen intake and blood circulation have the ability to improve almost all physical conditions.
Pilates is great for both men and women, young and old. We cater for everyone, from beginner to advanced. From the robustly fit to those coming back from surgery. Pilates will benefit those with existing training schedules as much as it will someone just starting to improve their body.
Please see both our FAQ's for more specifics and our Client Stories which give a good overview of our diverse client base and the equally diverse reasons they do Pilates.
Your body becomes firmer and sleeker. You will move more easily and acquire new physical skills and better prevent injury. Your physical and mental strength and endurance will increase, making it ideal for those leading stressful lives or recovering from injury. Most back pain will be relieved. Muscle flexibility and joint mobility and stability are improved. Strength is added without bulk. The body's coordination, posture, balance and alignment are corrected. Even an increase in sexual enjoyment and better sleep.
Pilates will increase muscle strength and tone, particularly of your abdominal muscles, lower back, hips and buttocks - these are the core muscles of your body.
One of the most fascinating subjects yet to be fully explained by sciences is the "mind-body" connection.
What is accepted is that people who are physically fit have been shown to be better adjusted and more able to deal with stress.
It is thought that the continued dialogue and relationship that the brain and the body must maintain as the brain sends messages down the spinal cord and to the neural pathways of the body to perform Pilates makes it ideal for addressing everything from memory issues to depression.
Pilates is designed with rehabilitation and injury prevention as a key component. That stated it is not physiotherapy and shouldn't be used as a substitute for physiotherapy.
Pilates will certainly help with rehab and works well for those who have had, or are preparing for, surgery of the hip, knee, shoulder or spine.
If you are considering giving Pilates a go, we've got a great introduction offer for our new clients.