Every day is a good day to do Pilates
Every day is a good day to do Pilates – is it right for you?
Thinking of trying Pilates? Worried that you might not be flexible enough? Worried that it might be boring as you enjoy more fast-paced exercise? Will a class be full of young lithe bodies? All are genuine questions and concerns, but ones that are, in my six years of practicing Pilates, unfounded.
What exactly is the Pilates method ? Joseph Pilates, the founder of these exercises said Pilates is the ‘complete coordination of mind body and spirit’. The six principles that underpin the exercises help explain how Pilates focuses on the whole body and mind.
As you exercise in Pilates there is a focus on how one body part moves in relation to others. This is important and helps in everyday life as you become more aware of posture and moving well to prevent injury (think of lifting or twisting).
Pilates uses breath to accompany movement. Your lungs are considered as bellows and breathing in and out during movement supports flow and stability.
Key in Pilates is building up the strength of your core muscles. These are muscles deep in your abdominals. These muscles, sometimes referred to as your ‘powerhouse’ are the ones from which all other movements stem. In the most simple terms, the stronger these muscles become the stronger you are and the stronger you are the more resistant you are to illness and injury.
Whilst it is possible to ‘drift off’ and write your mental to do list during a Pilates session, you will soon be back focusing on what you need to be doing next. Because of the emphasis on your whole body it’s just not possible to do these exercises without mindful concentration.
The aim is for every movement to be controlled and all parts of the body engaged.
The emphasis on flowing movements helps balance and co-ordination, so no flinging or jerking!
For me Pilates is great exercise because it is so inclusive – anyone can benefit. It’s also a phenomenal exercise routine because it:
Is suitable for all ages, all abilities can practice
Can be done at home with no equipment
Makes you laugh and cry at the same time (‘the hundred’)
Can be done in a group or solo
Tones every muscle group in the body
Promotes balance and stability and co-ordination
Is never boring due to multiple adaptations
Supports top athletes as well as those needing rehabilitation
Is an antidote to depression