What is Pilates all about?
Joseph Pilates, the originator of the Pilates method, was born near Dusseldorf in 1883.
As a child, he was frail and sickly and suffered from rickets, asthma and rheumatic fever. He was determined to overcome his fragility and experimented with many different movement and exercise approached to develop his own body; including Yoga, gymnastics, skiing, self-defence, dance, circus training and weight training. He selected the most effective features from each approach to create his own system of exercises to provide him with a balance of strength and flexibility. Having proven his techniques on his own body, he began teaching them to others.
Pilates was first introduced to the UK by Alan Herdman, a London based dancer and teacher, who studied Pilates in New York in the late 1960s. He established the first UK studio in London in 1970 at The Place at London Contemporary Dance. Apprentices of alan Herdman include Dreas Reyneke and other well-known UK based Pilates teachers.
The Pilates method remained in London and studio based for many years; the main clientele were dancers. It started to reach a wider audience and the general public after the publication of the book Body Control the Pilates Way written by Lynne Robinson and Gordon Thomson in 1997. After this the popularity of Pilates matwork evolved.
Pilates will work on your mobility, flexibility and strength whilst incorporating balance, coordination and breathing using the core muscles. Exercises are done mainly lying or sitting on the floor.
Pilates, in it’s original form, is a complex form of exercise consisting of 34 movements and exercises adapted and designed for every muscle group in the body. It is a slow relaxing way to exercise carried out in a calm, safe environment enabling you to increase your self awareness, learn about breathing with movement, body mechanics, balance, co-ordination, positioning of the body and spatial awareness; whilst lengthening, toning and improving your overall strength, flexibility and fitness. Special focus and attention is placed on improving your posture by strengthening both your core and postural muscles to try and gain a more balanced body and reducing the risk of future injury. You will progress at your own pace in the classes and as you do so you will learn to flow through the exercises and movements using the following basic Pilates principles: Concentration, Breathing, Centring, Control, Precision, Flowing movements.
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