Pilates is a workout, but not one that perhaps you know. It was invented nearly 100 years ago by Joseph H. Pilates. Pilates himself was born in Germany and having suffered numerous childhood illnesses, he knew that "Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness." After studying various activities including gymnastics, boxing, karate and yoga, he established his own exercise regime. Pilates' original movements were developed to gain total body health as he knew that mental and physical health were interwoven.
As with everything, as we have gained more knowledge about our bodies, the Pilates methods and methodology have developed so that they are more in tune with modern day life. The Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates Institute (APPI), for example, has taken the 34 original movements and broken these down to allow for different abilities, ages, postures and aims.
What are the benefits of Pilates?
Celebrities have made Pilates even more popular and it is one of the fastest growing exercise techniques in the world. But why should you think about taking it up? Unlike gym-based workouts and exercise classes which would give you shorter, tighter, bulkier muscles, Pilates will help lengthen and elongate your muscles giving you a more balanced and streamlined body. It is the ideal exercise technique to work alongside your current programme. The aim is get you to understand your body, it’s posture, it’s capabilities, it’s limitations and it’s normal movement patterns. We spend so much time sitting, be it behind a desk at work or in the car, that our postures have predominantly become hunched and slouched. Pilates will allow you to become body aware, making you think about opening up and walking taller. You don’t have to be a regular participant in exercise to also reap the benefits. It is a wonderful workout for those returning to exercise, be it after an operation or injury, post-natally or even after a break.
Why choose a APPI Pilates instructor?
The APPI have a background in physiotherapy. Hence the APPI Pilates method tackles the concerns of injury, fatigue and daily aches through increased body awareness. Being trained through the APPI, I am able to draw upon this within my teaching. As you progress through Pilates classes, I would help you to develop good movement control and you would learn how to prevent poor posture and pain creeping back into your everyday life. The aim is to help you develop a body that is more effective in day to day life and less disposed to to future injury. You’d work to establish a good grounding in the key elements and as with any new skill this is crucial to allow for progression. To start with you may feel that there is a lot so thing about and focus on and that the exercises feel to gentle or look too simple, but it is important to remember that Pilates is a precise method, which uses specific muscles allowing the body to move as it was originally designed to do. As Joseph Pilates himself said “Change happens through movement and movement heals.”