Why try Pilates?
"I wish I would have started this sooner."
- top quote from almost every Pilates client after they try Pilates for the first time
The best way Emily has come to explain it:
Pilates fills in the blank.
Strength, flexibly, meditation, stress relief, balance improvements, rehabilitation, athletic training, improved respiration and breathing mechanics, neuromuscular rehabilitation and training, active recovery...
Whatever an individual is needing or wanting when they are considering trying out Pilates, it helps them achieve that goal.
The Pilates method of exercises and the equipment used today was created and invented by Joseph H. Pilates.
Joseph Pilates was born in 1883 in western Germany. In 1926 he moved to America and opened his first studio, the 'gymnasium' on Eighth Avenue in New York City.
Growing up, Pilates was inflicted with respiratory and health ailments. He spent much time outside and practicing breathing techniques, which created the foundation for his method used today.
He originally titled his method "Contrology" as he felt fewer repetitions done well, with control, using the entire body, coordinated with the breath, was more impactful on the body than high repetitions with poor form and no intention.
What makes Pilates unique
The use of spring resistance with the equipment creates work on both ranges of the muscle movement - meaning that your muscles are working the entire time during an exercise. This creates not only a rehabilitative, balancing effect for pain management and tightness, but also can create a challenge with certain exercises to maintain control of the springs throughout a more advanced movement.
Intentional, Full-Body Exercises
Each exercise Joseph Pilates created is unique in its intention and how it works with the equipment and your body. All exercises are considered "full-body," so you are always balanced at the end of a class or session. Even with rehabilitative exercises or sessions focused on an area of pain or limited movement/strength, the entire body will be taken into consideration.
The Classical, original method of Pilates exercises is the foundation of the method and ultimate goal for a Pilates student or client to achieve and practice.
However, the exercises can prove challenging to both new and very well practiced cleints.
Throughout the years, modifications have been made to the original method of exercises to allow for individuals to build their strength and confidence up for the Classical and Advanced work.
Modifications to an exercise does not always mean "easier" or "harder," it will be based off the intention for that client and what the instructor wants your body to achieve.
Spring changes, set-up changes, props, or even working on a different piece of equipment are some examples of how we could modify an exercise.
A movement practice that changes with your goals
Regardless of our attempts to control it - our bodies change. We age, experience injuries, have surgeries, experience hormonal and body changes, job changes, family/life changes...etc.
The unique, intentional approach of the Pilates method and exercises provides a consistent outlet for movement regardless of what may be happening outside of the studio.
Many clients will have days where they feel stronger and ready for a challenge.
Other days, more restorative, mindful work may be needed to help manage stress or emotional challenges.
Injuries or surgeries may require some time with more rehabilitative, supportive, and healing work to work back into the typical class routine.