WHAT IS PILATES?
Joseph Pilates, who was a fitness pioneer and who borrowed from ancient and modern technology to create an amazing and entirely new system of total body conditioning, which includes developing aspects of physical fitness such as strength, flexibility, coordination, endurance, improved balance, spacial and body awareness, improved concentration and muscle tone and also improving posture and body alignment. What Pilates was or is becoming is less important than what Pilates can do for you today
The principles of Pilates:
LEG AND FOOT POSITIONING
Pilates will help you achieve the following:
The Pilates principle calls for full attention and awareness of the entire body.
Control is probably the fundamental principle of Pilates. Each movement of the body is made in a slow, controlled manner thus helping the body to develop greater coordination and balance.
Physically bringing focus to the centre of the body, the powerhouse area between the lower ribs and pubic bone.
In Pilates we concentrate on Lateral Breathing, which is the expanding of the lower rib-cage during inhalation with the abdominal still held in contraction.
All Pilates exercise is done in a flowing manner and is applied by fluidity, grace, and ease.
It is essential that all exercise is executed with postural alignment and correction.
Pay particular attention to the placement of your rib cage during inhalation and exhalation.
Stabilising your shoulder blades on the back of your rib cage is as important as contracting your abdominal during the initiation of each exercise. The shoulder blades have a large range of motion so remember to maintain stability.
Neutral is the most stable and shock-absorbing position that we can put our pelvis and lumbar spine in therefore, it is the ideal position for us to be in during Pilates or our daily life.
This involves aligning your legs and feet with your hips.
Prerequisites for Pilates
It is always wise to consult your Physician prior to taking up a new exercise regime.For example, many of the exercises are wonderful for back- related problems, but you should always seek expert guidance first.
Similarly, not all the exercises are suitable for use during pregnancy, so always consult with your trainer if you are pregnant.
Wear clothing that permits freedom of movement but that will also allow you to check your alignment. Barefoot is best, but you may use non-slip socks.
Advisable to carry a small folded towel for comfort for lower back or neck injuries.
Please do not exercise if:
you feel unwell
you have just eaten a heavy meal
you are in pain from injury
you have been taking painkillers
you are undergoing medical treatment or taking medication
you have been drinking alcohol