Pilates...What's it all about anyway?

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Do you draw a blank when you hear the term Pilates? Guess what?! You are NOT alone. In my ten years of teaching Pilates, I have found that a lot of people know very little about this amazing exercise method. Here, I dispel a few myths by answering a couple of the most frequently asked questions I have received.

What exactly is Pilates?

It's a series of fitness exercises done in numerous positions, each with its own breath sequence, and done in a series of repetitions. Exercises are designed to build core strength, alignment, flexibility, and tone the entire body.

Why do they call it Pilates?

Pilates, pronounced "puh-lah-tees", is named after its creator, Joseph Pilates. He initially called it Contrology but the name never stuck.

Is it like Yoga?

It is similar to Yoga in that it has similar foci and is very much about the mind body connection. Beyond that, it varies. Yoga has postures and incorporates a spiritual element, Pilates does not. Additionally, there are several pieces of larger equipment and smaller accessories that remain specific to Pilates.

I'm a dude, isn't Pilates just for the ladies?

NOPE! Listen dudes, this entire method was created by a dude, and he was a badass! Living in Germany, he was a professional boxer and taught self-defense to policemen. He was also a diver, yogi, and gymnast. 

So, why is it associated with women?

When Joseph moved to the U.S., his business shared an address with the NYC Ballet. George Balanchine started training with Joseph and encouraged the other dancers to train with him as well. Rudolf Van Laban and Martha Graham (dance history's finest) also trained with Joseph. As a result, it grew attention from a largely female population and spread from there. 

I have injuries. Would Pilates work for me?

You bet! Joseph's method was created in part because he was working with bedridden patients during WWI. Many believe that if it weren't for him, a lot of the patients interned at the camp would not have made it out alive.

Why Pilates?

Do you find yourself doing any of the following?

  • Hunching over your laptop or smart phone?
  • Carrying a baby on your hip?
  • Bending over and feeling tightness in your back?
  • Overloading one shoulder with too many bags?

Each of these actions creates muscular imbalances that leave your body tight, sore, and let's face it...out of whack! Pilates strengthens all of these areas. In Joseph's words, "Pilates develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind, and elevates the spirit."

Now who wouldn't want all of that?

All that's left to do is sign up and try it out for yourself!!

Here's the link:

See you in class!

by Martha Howe



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