Pilates is an exercise method which focuses on the muscle systems supporting the spine and pelvis. It is used to improve posture and re-dress muscular imbalances caused by today's lifestyle which can cause aches and strains particularly in the back. We do this by increasing core strength, working on spinal alignment, increasing joint mobility and stability and improving flexibility. It can be done using body weight alone in mat work classes, or by using small equipment like balls and bands.
Each exercise flows naturally into the next and we use breathing to guide each move. It is this controlled sequence of moves which makes Pilates not only a functional class, but also a de-stressing mind-body workout. Pilates works.
In order to control movement the body must have a starting place: the ‘Powerhouse’ or ‘Centre’. The centre is the focal point of the Pilates classes. All movements in Pilates begin from the powerhouse and flow outward to the limbs. Strengthening the core muscles is one of the main aims of these Pilates classes and results in increased spinal stability, a stronger pelvic floor and better body alignment.
Poor posture causing faulty movement patterns can result in aches and pains, particularly in the spine. In Pilates each move starts with ideal body alignment and that means better posture. In time this should become second nature both in and out of the class.
When breathing, engagement of deep abdominal and pelvic floor muscles should be maintained. Pilates coordinates this breathing technique in time with the moves, this helps to control the exercise.
Quality and bodily precision is essential to correct Pilates. The focus is to perform a few precise quality movements, rather than many using poor form. Classes are kept small so I can ensure every participant is monitored and re-positioned where necessary throughout the session.