What is Pilates?
Once upon a time there was a man names Joseph Pilate...."Pilates, Joseph Hubertus (1880-9 Oct. 1967), physical trainer, was born near Düsseldorf, Germany. ... As a child, Joseph Pilates suffered from a variety of ailments, including asthma, rickets, and rheumatic fever, and was bullied by other boys who made fun of his name, calling him "Pontius Pilate, killer of Christ."" I am a firm believer in even bad things happen for a good reason.
Joseph was raised by a father that was a prize-winning gymnast and his mother ahead of her time being into alternative medicines ...Naturopathy.
Why is this important? Well Joseph took his up bringing and built upon it by studding Yoga and Tia Chi Bring everything together he gave us in my opinion one of the best work outs for our bodies. Combining the balance and control from his dad , the control and smooth movements from Tia Chi and the balance flexibility breathing and focus from Yoga you have Pilates. It has been in and out of popularity but those who don't follow a trend and stay with Pilates have a healthy posture, strong toned body. But most of all Pilates is good for you structurally as well as muscularly. "“Pilates develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind, and elevates the spirit” Joseph Pilates
What does that mean, well have you gone to a step class and felt your knees, ankles or back start to ache after a few classes or maybe you last a week or two. If you land wrong the hit your body takes with the step moves your body. At first we just rest and go back. The real problem comes when you get older. The small aches and pains we felt in our 20's and 30's become problems as we age. OA ( Osteoarthritis : degeneration of joint cartilage and the underlying bone, most common from middle age onward. It causes pain and stiffness, especially in the hip, knee, and thumb joints.)
I have taken and teach Pilates for 15 + years. I needed a way to get in shape and take care of the OA I already suffered from at the grand ole age of 35. Step, Zumba, etc sent me to the Advil bottle. Walking into my first Pilates class was like the heaven shined down. (Before you think Step, Zumba and etc have no place in the fitness world that is not the case they are great ways to get and stay in shape but you need a small class so the instructor can watch your form. That really goes for all group fitness classes. You should also beware of any limitations and talk to the instructor so they can help you find a option that will fill your needs,)Over the years there have been a few changes to the over all practice of Pilates. Once we had public classes the thought was to press your spine into the mat, well that needed to be adjusted in the way it was tough, keeping a neutral spine is safe and the original concept of the program. Recently with all the use of computers, tablets and our cell phone another adaptation returns to the program. No more C curve-chin toward the chest, we spend to much time looking down and in a C curve. So back to the neutral spine.
What is a neutral spine? That is the next blog.
What I hope you get out of this is what makes this program great how it can easily be added into your retinue. Or help you start one with out being overwhelmed at the gym. Look for a gym that offers classes get a free pass or two and see what you think. In the words of Joseph Pilates "In 10 sessions you’ll feel the difference, in 20 you’ll see the difference, and in 30 you’ll have a new body"
As always please contact me if you have questions.