What is Pilates?

Pilates is an innovative whole-body system of exercises designed to balance one's muscles and create a flexible, strong body. It was created by Mr. Joseph Pilates and has been practiced in the United States since the 1920's. Now more than ever, people are seeking exercise that is more holistic and therapeutic than a standard gym workout.

Each exercise requires concentration and works the body and mind simultaneously. The exercises focus on the core muscles which support good posture, and bring ease and power to walking, lifting, dancing and sports activities. Pilates will also improve breathing and circulation to the internal organs. It stretches and strengthens the body without building bulk. Pilates is especially helpful in relieving back pain. A body with balanced strength and flexibility is less likely to be injured.

The benefits of Pilates

* Develops strong core abdominal and back muscles
* Improves flexibility, balance, coordination and stamina
* Relieves tension and stress
* Improves posture and spinal alignment, creating a long and lean physical shape
* Tones and firms muscles, yet low impact and gentle on joints
* Can be done throughout pregnancy and post partum
* Appropriate for people of all ages and abilities
* Pilates is also used to rehabilitate injuries. Physical therapists and medical professionals recommend it for retraining abnormal movement patterns and correcting biomechanical problems

The 6 principles Pilates named as the basis of his training:

Concentration
Control
Centering
Flowing movement
Precision
Breathing