What is Pilates?
Pilates is one of the most popular exercise systems in the world today. It is a complete body work system developed by Joseph H. Pilates. He came to the United States from Germany in the early 1900s and set up his studio in New York City with his wife Clara Pilates. It was there that he met George Balanchine, director of the NYC Ballet. Mr. Balanchine felt that his dancers would benefit from Joseph’s work so they could continue the rigors of the dancing profession. The form, Joe referred to it as “Contrology,” remained popular among the dance community. The elders and practitioners of the elders are responsible for bringing the training to the general public. Although Joseph Pilates and his wife Clara worked for more than 40 years to bring this exercise system to the United States, he never saw the work become widespread as it is today. He died in the 1960s. Today the Pilates equipment and the exercise format continue to evolve and expand as it gains more popularity. This work has received much recognition and success because of the effectiveness as a fitness component as well as a rehabilitative component.
Some of the benefits of Pilates:
- Sculpts and tones the entire body
- Enhances flexibility
- Greater body awareness and body alignment
- Improved posture and balance
- Overall muscle toning
- Stronger abdominals and back
- Understanding of neutral spine
- Proper breathing with movement
- Stabilize and strengthen the deep core muscles
- Mind body connection
- Complete integration of body movement
- Lose inches, burn fat
- Pilates will improve your game whether it’s golf, tennis, equestrian, all sports activities will benefit from Pilates.
Should I Take Mat Classes or Equipment Classes?
Most people start with mat classes because of the availability of these classes and hundreds of videos to choose from. It’s easy to start off this way and not necessarily get the best understanding of what Pilates is all about. With the popularity of mat classes in the gyms and clubs, not all mat classes are authentic or taught by a qualified instructor who has gone through the rigors of Pilates training.
We feel that it is safer for you to start your understanding of Pilates on the equipment where you are supported and assisted by the springs and apparatus. You will also be coached on what muscles to use and how to safely execute the exercise.
Some of the exercises can be compromising and inappropriate for certain individuals and this is not something you will learn in a large group class.
Although the mat format–if properly taught–is a powerful workout, it’s important that you have a good, strong foundation before you start. Seek out a beginner class if you are new to Pilates.
How Do I Get Started?
If you are new to Pilates equipment classes, your safety comes first. That is why we recommend at least 3 private sessions or shared sessions with someone who is also new to gain a better understanding of the work, the equipment and what you will be doing in the group classes.
Once you have completed your introductory sessions you may choose the type of classes you want to continue with. Rose Pilates offers private sessions, group equipment sessions, duo or trio sessions or mat classes.
What Makes Pilates Unique?
You will find the Pilates workout different from any other type of workout. Many people think that Pilates is just about the “core” or abdominal muscles but we believe that Pilates addresses the core of every muscle or the entire body.
Correct alignment is emphasized so as to work the body in the most efficient and results oriented manner.
At Rose Pilates we consider Pilates to be functional work focusing on building a stronger foundation that will benefit you in all facets of your daily activities.
At Rose Pilates we teach the Pilates principles.
Proper form and spine imprint: How to properly execute the exercise, proper alignment, getting in touch with the deeper movement and muscles.
Breathing: Using your lungs and not allowing your belly to expand. Understand proper breathing and initiating movement with the breath.
Stability: Integrating the body before we move, moving from the inside out, you will gain an understanding of why you are doing certain moves in a specific way.
Flexibility and mobility: Creating a more flexible body without compromising your joints or spine.
Imagery: A unique way of feeling and understanding movement with the mind/body connection.
Evolution of movement: It is important that you understand the principles of Pilates in order to move into the more challenging Pilates exercises. The basic principles prepare you for the more challenging moves, creating an evolution of movement.
Understanding our bodies is a life time of learning. Pilates is the avenue that can take you down the path of lifetime learning and understanding the ever-changing system of the body.
How Often Should I Take Pilates?
Like any exercise system, the more often you participate the more benefits you will gain. It is recommended that you take at least 2 to 3 sessions a week. In combinations with a cardio program like walking or cycling, you will have a complete body work out.