People do Pilates for a lot of different reasons:
- As part of rehabilitation
- Because of back pain
- To lose weight
- For general fitness
- To increase co-ordination
- To achieve a toned appearance
- To increase strength
- To develop mind/body integration
Pilates is Whole-Body Fitness. It trains the body as an integrated whole. Pilates workouts promote strength and balanced muscle development as well as flexibility and increased range of motion for the joints. It is adaptable to many fitness levels and needs. Created originally for veterans from World War I, the method is suitable for men and women.
Pilates promotes weight loss and a long lean appearance. Practicing Pilates regularly will change your body - improving muscle tone, balancing musculature, developing a strong beautiful posture and teaching you to move with ease and grace. All these will make you feel very fit.
Pilates increases awareness of the Body/Mind Connection. This is one of the secrets of Pilates exercises.
We practice each movement with total attention. When we exercise in this way, the body and mind unite to bring forth the most benefits possible from each exercise.
Pilates also increases energy. It might seem like a paradox, but more you exercise, the more energy you have and the more you feel like doing it (to a point, of course ). Pilates gets the breathing and circulation moving, stimulates the spine and muscles and floods the whole body with the good feelings one gets from exercising.
Joseph Pilates developed a philosophy that you cannot build muscles effectively whilst also undergoing rigorous aerobic exercise. Many Pilates movements are base on yogic foundation, in that they are mindful movements co-ordinated with the breathing.
A Pilates workout is all about keeping the core muscles engaged, which results in a deep-down toning that is hard to get in other workouts, especially in highly aerobic workouts.
There are many ways to learn Pilates. It is important to start with a qualified Pilates instructor.
You can read about Svetla Archard's experience and qualifications here