Pilates develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind, & elevates the spirit.
Pilates is a hugely effective mind and body method of exercise, and there are some very important elements to that which we work on in class and which form the basis of what pilates is all about:
The force of gravity can play havoc on our bodies, and so we begin looking at the structure of our skeletal system and how best to align ourselves to maximise our strength in movement and to oppose the forces working on our body as we move and therefore achieving more control of the movements we undertake with the least amount of wear and tear on the joints as we move.
Its wholly important to establish which areas hold tension and to learn to let go. To prepare our mind and body for movement and to enable us to recruit the muscles needed to work efficiently and build tone, we first need to release.
‘Before any real benefit can be derived from physical exercises, one must first learn how to breathe properly. Our very life depends upon it’.
Its important to learn how best to breathe in Pilates to maximise the control and stabilisation needed, as awell as active mobilisation as we move. We cannot breathe abdominally in pilates as we would lose the connection between the ribcage and the pelvis. Its all about breathing without disturbing the support structure needed to move well.
Its important not to force this, but realise that as you get used to the exercises you will develop this organically.
Establishing where and what the core postural muscles are, how they feel when we recruit them is cruicial. It is these muscles which support the frame in both standing, sitting and in our day to day movements.
The powerhouse forms the ‘‘centre’ of the body which, when strengthened, creates the foundation for all movement.
All movement begins from the powerhouse (centre) and moves out towards the limbs.
This combines movement of the limbs whist the frame of the body is fully supported by the Powerhouse.
‘For every action we undertake there is an equal and opposite reaction’.
Newtons 3rd Law
Pilates Opposition is used to further intensify the Powerhouse in movement. When we engage the core muscles of the powerhouse, complete with the correct method of breathing lengthening the spine in ‘opposition from the tailbone to the crown of the head, the moving muscles are able to move and work freely in their lengthened state.
All of these elements combine to form the basis of your pilates practice, these are crucial to understand and establish. I wish to teach, not just instruct, my clients and when they understand why they are doing what they are doing, and how to do it, then and only then should they progress to the classical repertoire. Its important to always build the foundations and these principles, when understood, can then be incorporated into every element of every day life, and the result is a complete transformation of mind and body.