What is Pilates?
Pilates emphasizes alignment, breathing, and developing a strong core* while improving coordination and balance. Movements are practiced with precision and control which yield to improved strength, increased flexibility and elevated endurance. Joseph Pilates promised that "in 10 sessions, you feel better, 20 sessions you look better, 30 sessions you have a completely new body."
History of Pilates
Joseph Pilates began his journey in teaching physical fitness during World War I to German soldiers who were confined in interment camps. He labeled his method of body weight training "Contrology," and began rehabbing the bodies, minds, and spirits of soldiers. The health of the men Joseph worked with became testament to what his method did for their physical and mental health. Using his 9 principles, Joseph began subjectively rehabbing injured soldiers to "return back to life." Physical limitations of Joe's clients allowed for greater creativity in his approach, leading to the use of props, namely springs and pulleys to assist or add as resistance in individual's needs.
After their release from the internment camps, "contrology" had won favor from the dance community, where Joe began training dancers, and eventually moved to America to open his own fitness facility to the general public.
9 Core Principles
Balanced muscle development
Effective and safe movement begins at the core; Pilates strengthens the core which stabilizes the pelvis, and lengthens and decompresses the spine. Pilates is for everyone, no matter their age or experience level. It strengthens mind-body connection, balance, focus, and creates awareness of participants' own body in space. It is versatile; individuals can draw from it what they personally need.
The core, consists of the muscles of the abdomen, low back, and hips, is often called the "powerhouse". The core is the is largely responsibility for one's mobility and stability.