What is Pilates?
Pilates a method of exercise and physical movement designed to stretch, strengthen, and balance the body.
With systematic practice of specific exercises coupled with focused breathing patterns, Pilates has proven itself invaluable not only as a fitness endeavor, but also as an important adjunct to professional sports training and physical rehabilitation of all kinds.
Pilates exercises are done on a mat or using special equipment, such as the reformer, cadillac and wunda chair. With its system of pulleys and springs, handles and straps, the apparatus can provide either resistance or support, depending on your needs.
At O&P Clinic, we work on mat and reformer.
What are the benefits of Pilates?
Regular pilates can improve posture, muscle tone, balance and joint mobility, as well as relieve stress and tension.
Who can it help?
The great thing about Pilates is that it can be beneficial to people of all ages and abilities. Whether you are looking for a new way to exercise and feel a little bit stronger, or you are suffering from aches and pains, Pilates could be the thing for you.
Pilates is also great for elite athletes, including dancers. It can complement training by developing whole-body strength and flexibility, and help reduce the risk of injury.
What are the Pilates Movement Principles?
"Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness. Our interpretation of physical fitness is the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind, fully capable of naturally, easily and satisfactorily performing our many and varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure."
There are many different versions of Pilates taught today.
Modern-day Pilates practice is based on six useful principles, as follows:
Centering: Every method of work revolves around a ‘centre’ – the focal point of the Pilates method, with most Pilates Instructors focussing on the core muscles to begin each practice.
Concentration: Practicing Pilates requires intense focus on both the body and mind. The most critical thing in Pilates practice is about following the process. The way in which an exercise is performed is more important than the exercise itself.
Control: The practice of Pilates was primarily termed as “Contrology”. The primary principle was based on controlling the mind and muscles. The muscles are pushed to lift against gravity to work on resistance of a human body.
Precision: Precise movement, placement, and structure are paramount for correct execution of each exercises in the method. The intent of each exercise can be lost without attention to precision .Think quality over quantity.
Breathing: An essential principle in Pilates practice is breathing. Breath fuels the body and enables muscular contraction and power. Use inhalation and exhalation to fully execute movements and facilitate deeper connections.
Flow: Creating flow through body movements is another essential fact to consider whilst practicing Pilates. The focus of Pilates is to build strength and stamina by coordinating your body’s movements.
What can I expect during my one-on-one session?
O&P Clinic offers private mat and reformer Pilates classes.
In your initial session, your Osteopath/Clinical Pilates Instructor will introduce you to the principles of Pilates and will take you through some simple movements to determine your strengths and any areas that need a little bit more work. She will speak to you about what you are hoping to achieve from Pilates and together come up with a personalised plan.
Did you know?
Pilates was developed by German-born Joseph Pilates, who believed mental and physical health were closely connected. His method was influenced by Western forms of exercise, including gymnastics, boxing and Greco-Roman wrestling. Pilates immigrated to the US in the 1920s and opened a studio in New York, where he taught his method, which he called "Contrology". In recent decades however, the Pilates Method has been embraced by mainstream culture around the world, and the word “Pilates” is now a household name.
Today, Pilates is used as both an everyday exercise regime, and as a tool in the health industry to assist in physical rehabilitation from injury or illness. You can experience many different types of Pilates classes, but all apply the same principles to encourage optimal and efficient movement patterns to assist with everyday functioning.