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The Pilates Method

 

 
 
"Pilates" is the surname of it's German creator- Joesph Hubertus Pilates 1883-1967. His exercise method is called "Contrology" and nowadays is most commonly known as "Pilates".
Pilates is a corrective exercise method which strengthens and stretches the entire body through a system of cleverly designed exercises, helping to restore it to a better state of function and physical balance. The Pilates method, having stood the test of time, has proven invaluable to sports people as a form of physical conditioning and for anybody wanting to get stronger, more flexible, improve posture, maintain a healthy spine and generally improve health, well-being and thus quality of life. 
Joseph Pilates was a living testament to his own method. He was a gymnastic performer and boxer and was currently touring in England during the outbreak of World War one which resulted in his internment in Lancaster and the Isle of Man for several years.
 
Pilates developed a series of mat work exercises designed to flow in a unique sequence to optimise health and physical function. He further invented and hand-crafted his specialist apparatus to support the mat work as well as condition students beyond the mat. It is apparatus based on his original designs which you will find in a Traditional Classical Pilates Studio today.
 
After World War one, Joesph Pilates immigrated to the USA went on to open his own studio in New York and trained many people during his lifetime. He also had a home studio at his holiday home in Becket, Massachusetts near to Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival Venue where he worked with dancers and taught mat classes. His students were dancers seeking rehabilitation and everyday people seeking general conditioning. He passed Contrology onto his selected trusted students- many of these people went onto become Pilates Teachers and are known as the "Pilates Elders or First Generation Teachers", whom of which have kept the Pilates method alive through the development of their own training schools. Romana Kryzanowska was the elder chosen to continue to run the original New York Pilates Studio following Joseph Pilates death in 1967 and my training follows this lineage through my teachers.
Who can benefit from Pilates?
The answer is... most people! Below are some examples:
 
  • Complete Beginners to Pilates... Everybody needs to start somewhere! Private lessons are the best place to learn Pilates since you are taught individually for your body starting with the basic system. This builds a strong foundation from the start and self-confidence in movement abilities enabling progression.
  • Office and Remote Desk-Based Workers... Combat 'desk posture' with Pilates! The body, when sitting down for long periods of time, can get into less favorable habitual patterns which can cause imbalances and pain. Pilates offers corrective exercise and an education which will help you to become more aware of your posture and alignment and how to make them better.
  • Sports People... Whether you are a recreational, amateur or professional athlete, Pilates can help condition you for your sport by working on your foundational strength and flexibility and reduce injury risk through addressing sport specific bodily imbalances.
  • Dancers, Actors, Performing Artists... Pilates can further increase your functional abilities thus reducing the risk of injuries and help you to excel in your occupation through intelligent physical and mental conditioning through the art of precision and control.
  • People who are self-employed... Pilates addresses the occupational stresses placed on the body; long working hours, repetitive actions, travel and ever-changing working environments. Pilates can help you find better physical and mental balance and a focus on your well-being.
  • People who are retired... "If your spine is inflexibly stiff at 30, you are old. If it's completely flexible at 60 you are young." ~ Joseph Pilates. Pilates maintains mobility and promotes function.
  • Post Natal Recovery... Pregnancy is a physical demand placed on the female body. Pilates can help recondition the post natal body and bring it back into better physical balance. You may need to work alongside a Women's Health Physiotherapist to complete the initial stages of your rehabilitation if you have suffered any complications, have ongoing pain or pain that has not been diagnosed by a medical professional. 
  • People recovering from injury or with certain medical conditions... If you have medical conditions or injuries, private lessons are recommended as they are tailored to suit your needs. Medical consent will need to be gained from your referring medical professional prior to starting Pilates. Pilates is not a substitute for medical diagnosis and treatment. We apply the Pilates system to your body and take a 'whole body approach' to our work, to help the body work towards maintaining an optimal state of balance and function. 
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