What IS Pilates?
The Pilates Method
Pilates is a method of exercise developed by German-born Joseph Pilates. In 1926, Joseph and Clara Pilates brought their exercise system, originally called “Contrology,” to New York City. The Pilates method is a physical movement program designed to stretch, strengthen, and balance the body.
Pilates exercise focuses on postural symmetry, breath control, abdominal strength, spine, pelvis and shoulder stabilization, muscular flexibility, joint mobility and strengthening through all joints' complete range of motion. Instead of isolating muscle groups, the whole body is trained, integrating the upper and lower extremities with the trunk.
The PILATES system of exercises reawakens the mind-body connection for optimal physical conditioning. By emphasizing a mental awareness and a deep understanding of how the body moves, Pilates imprints efﬁcient movement patterns that cross over into our everyday lives.
This revolutionary approach to ﬁtness is suitable for all ages and body types. Whether the goal is to enhance a sporting or performance activity, rehabilitation from chronic pain or injury, or to gain a more active, healthy lifestyle, Pilates has something to offer everyone.
Pilates is the complete coordination of body, mind and spirit. The guiding principles of the Pilates Method are whole body health, whole body commitment, and breath.
With systematic practice of specific exercises coupled with focused breathing patterns, Pilates has proven itself invaluable as a fitness endeavour and as an essential adjunct to professional sports training and physical rehabilitation of all kinds.
Not Designed to be Aerobic:
Pilates exercise was never designed to be aerobic nor did Joseph claim that his exercises were aerobic. Recent research has supported this statement in showing that Beginner Mat Pilates is low-moderate intensity and Intermediate and Advanced Mat work meets the criteria for moderate intensity activities (Olsen, et al 2003).
Not Only for the Elite or Wealthy:
Joseph Pilates suggested that everyone should do his exercises every day. To book a private session with a Pilates teacher should be considered in the same arena as booking time with a massage therapist or personal trainer for $50-$100 per hour. Pilates teachers also recommend that their clients practice Pilates exercises daily or at least 3-4 times per week at home to supplement their training in the studio.
Not Only for Healthy or Well:
Joseph Pilates also modified his exercise method based on whether his client had injuries. Pilates can be modified for unfit, post-trauma, post-disease, and elderly, and it has been shown to increase enjoyment and participation in exercise even for children (Ickes 2005, Jago 2005).
Pilates is Not Fusion:
Pilates is performed on a mat or apparatus that Joseph Pilates designed: Reformer, Trapeze Table, Wunda Chair, High Back Chair, Ladder Barrel, Half Barrel, Spine Corrector, Ped-O-Pul, Head Harness, Foot Corrector, Toe Corrector, Magic Circle, Bean Bag and Pinwheel. Pilates is not performed in a pool, on a small or large ball or combined with other forms of exercise and is still called Pilates. Today, it is certainly acceptable to apply the principles to all forms of movement, exercise, sports and daily life activities as Joseph intended.
Purist vs. Modified Pilates:
The PMA believes that Pilates should evolve along with the advances of modern science, maintaining the integrity of the method with the safety and health of its participants always in mind. This means that if an exercise is determined to be contra-indicated or unsafe, we will respect it as historical repertoire and modify it or delete it from any client’s program that might be injured by performing the exercise.
“You only have one body and you deserve the best.” Kathy Bond
Saskatoon Pilates Classes Include:
- Mat Work
- Equipment Work
- Structural Integration Work
- Group Classes
- Open Gym
- Personal Fitness Programs