Pilates is an innovative system of exercises which work the mind-body connection, physical strength, flexibility, posture and breathing. The exercises are done on the Mat (floor) or using a variety of specially designed apparatus.
The system was originally called Contrology, and was invented by a german man named Joseph Pilates. He was inspired by boxing, gymnastics and weight lifting. He observed how animals move, and through his method he tries to help us to find the most natural and efficient movement the human body can have.
Pilates dramatically transforms the way we look, feel, and perform. It helps to build strength without bulky and disproportionate muscles. Instead it builds long, lean muscles, and we literally grow taller when we practice pilates!
All exercises originate in the “power house” or center of strength, which includes all abdominal muscles. This is the reason that pilates is so good for back pain. When you work from your power house, all the postural muscles which envelope the spine are awakened, creating more stability and helping to eliminate pain.
Pilates is for everyone, no matter what age, sex, or physical shape. It can help athletes to perform better, and it can also help people with injuries or chronic pain. It is low impact and easy on the joints, nevertheless it can be a very challenging workout. When you finish a good pilates class you should definitely be sweaty!
By practicing pilates we learn about our own body. We learn how to have better posture, how to breathe well, and how to move with maximum efficiency.
If you haven’t already tried it, I urge you to give it a shot. Joseph said that “After 10 sessions you will feel a difference, after 20 sessions other people will see a difference in you, and after 30 sessions you will have a totally new body!”