The Pilates Method has become a referent for the training of body and mind. Pilates can help relaxation and stress management, apart from having other important benefits.
What is Pilates? This technique was developed more than seventy years ago by the German athlete Joseph Pilates and it is an exercises system focused in improving flexibility and strength in the whole body without increasing its volume. More than a physical training, the Pilates method uses a series of controlled movements, attractive both for the mind and the body. The Pilates technique joins occidental and oriental theories and relates the practice of specific exercises coupled with breathing techniques.
Joseph Pilates designed more than six hundred movements or exercises to be performed personally. The exercises are done on the floor and using the body’s same weight to offer resistance.
Pilates can be made by anybody, independently of the age or fitness level. The exercises session can be designed to accommodate the specific physical conditions of any person or to achieve fitness objectives.
The Pilates method can be included as well in rehabilitation exercises or in physical therapy programs, designed to recuperate damaged tissues more quickly or to prevent injuries. Those are modified versions of this technique, managed by professionals.
Key elements of the Pilates method
It emphasizes less but more precise movements, more than the continuous repetition of a single exercise
Strengthens the body axis, abdomen, back and buttocks, allowing more freedom of movement to other parts of the body
More knowledge and control of the body, as the mind needs to be in close contact with the body during the movements
It focuses in breathing control in rhythm with the movements
Benefits from the Pilates method:
The benefits from the Pilates method are emotional and physical. It teaches how to equilibrate and control the body and the mind, fortifies bone thickness and improves muscle strength, flexibility and body position.
To take part in a Pilates class has the advantage of receiving an individualized attention from the instructor and of learning to perform the movements correctly. Most of the class is based in doing exercises on the floor, on a mat, and that is all that is needed. The instructor can also suggest the use of elastic ribbons, balls or rings to perform some exercises. To obtain the best possible results, Pilates needs to be done two or three times a week, a fifty minute session each time.