30 Aug WHAT IS PILATES AND SHOULD YOU TRY IT?
Written by Power Living ・ Image by Emma Frances・ 2 mins
If you’ve been doing yoga for a while, like me you might have skipped past the Pilates trend as being a far stretch from your daily asana. But what actually is Pilates and is it something to add into your workout schedule?
Pilates is a non – denominational mind-body exercise regime that creates postural awareness and strength along with core stability.
This all sounds pretty good so far. So lets break this down a little further.
Yoga and Pilates come from very different backgrounds. Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates and popularised in the 1920s when he migrated to America. Pilates (the man) developed early stages of his discipline during WWII, while working as an orderly in a hospital. He was responsible for attaching springs to hospital beds to help support patients limbs – seeding the idea of the Pilates Reformer bed, as used in classes today.
Non – denominational – while Joseph certainly had an underlying philosophy behind the development of the Pilates method, the mind-body component of Pilates is more in the realm of attention and awareness rather than the more spiritual teachings of a yoga practice.
Postural awareness – Pilates revolves around several key principles, most of which build awareness of body position and strengthen the deep postural stabilising muscles and the smaller muscles of the joints, making us more efficient movers in a more coordinated and integrated way.
Strength– Pilates is a form of strength training, the movements using either resistance or body weight to challenge the strength of the muscles to improve endurance and coordination. Traditionally the focus is endurance but inside of a modern pilates practice strength and conditioning, principles can be applied to challenge the muscles in different ways.
Core stability – the underlying focus of pilates is the “inner unit” comprised of the pelvic floor, deep layer of the abdominal and spinal stabilising muscles. It’s through the activation of the inner unit that we find movement efficiency – the ability to generate more power with our limbs and support our range of movement.
So pilates is good for strength, efficiency and concentration. Why wouldn’t you want to try it?