What is this Pilates everyone keeps talking about?


Joseph Pilates - Classical Mat Routine

Picture from Joseph's Pilates book "Return to Life Through Contrology"

"The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning develops the body uniformly, corrects posture, restores vitality, invigorates the mind and elevates the spirit." Joseph Pilates

Fun Facts:

- Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates in the 1920's.

- Joe called his method Contrology, coordination of the mind, body, and spirit.

- He believed that "modern life-style", bad posture and inefficient breathing were the root to poor health.

- Joe lived his life by following a holistic approach, a correlation of corrective exercises, mental discipline, proper nutrition, positive thinking, rest, and sunshine.

Picture from Pinterest under "ALELA Pilates"

So what is Pilates?

Pilates is an exercise that is designed to improve physical strength, flexibility, posture, and mental awareness (body, mind, spirit).

- Deepening the powerhouse (stronger core)

- Articulating the spine (better mobility of the spine)

- Opening the chest (better posture)

What is the Powerhouse?

- The powerhouse is the center point of the body.

- All movements in Pilates should start from the powerhouse.

- Pilates is design to strengthen the powerhouse.

- Powerhouse includes: abdominal muscles, low back muscles, pelvic floor, muscles around the hips, and glutes.

Pilates Principles:

These six principles when applied holistically are what makes Pilates so unique:

- Concentration: Deep focus leads to mastering the movements.

"Concentrate on the correct movement each time you exercise, lest you do them improperly and thus lose all the vital benefits of their value." Joseph Pilates

- Centering: Focusing in the Powerhouse.

"A unique trinity of a balanced body, mind, and spirit..." Joseph Pilates

- Control: Movements are done with control. You most control every part of the body to master Pilates.

"Mastery of the mind over the complete control of your body." Joseph Pilates

- Breathing: Delivers oxygen to the muscles been used. Focus on exhalation to deepen the powerhouse.

"To properly deflate the lungs is an art in itself, and this final step in correct breathing is least understood." Joseph Pilates

- Precision: Every movement has a purpose. Precision is achieved by concentration and control.

"Contrology is not a system of haphazard exercises designed to produce only bulging muscles." Joseph Pilates

- Flowing Movement: Pilates is light and fluid when performed correctly.

"It was conceived to limber and stretch muscles and ligaments so that your body will be as supple as that of a cat." Joseph Pilates

Everyone can benefit from Pilates, the exercise is concentrated in whole body health, whole body commitment, and breath.

Visit "8 reasons why you should try Pilates" to learn why so many people are including Pilates in their routines .

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