Pilates has the Power to Transform your Body, Mind, & Spirit
Apr 11, 2011 04:28PM
● By Dave Bryan
What is Pilates?
Developed by German-born Joseph H. Pilates, this exercise method is everything you can imagine. Concisely, it is a part of your everyday living. The body mechanics involved in our day–to-day activities are all movements that the Pilates method embraces and encourages, as well as develops and corrects. Pilates is a versatile method that provides healing for a broad spectrum of conditions, including poor posture, incorrect body alignment, and extremely tight muscles. This method utilizes key principles such as concentration, centering, control, precision, breath and flow. While this may sound simple it is far from easy. That is why a certified instructor closely supervises the series of controlled movements. The instructor adjusts movements and breathing to maximize the benefits of each exercise.
The secret to the Pilates method is that it uses the abdominal muscles, lower back, and hips as the body’s “power center.” By using mental focus to keep the power center engaged and in place during each exercise you will eke out every effort from your muscles. You will improve your strength, flexibility, posture, balance, and muscular symmetry. In fact, mental focus is a key element of the Pilates method. “I love it because of what it does to my mind,” says Christiane Northrup, M.D.,author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom (Bantam Doubleday Dell, 1998), who is a Pilates devotee. “Pilates changes your brain. It’s truly a mind/body exercise—you’re bringing consciousness to your muscles.”
Pilates is incredibly adaptable. It can be performed on a variety of equipment including the Pilates signature spring-resistant apparatus. Many exercises can be performed on the floor with a mat. The result is a strengthened and toned body without the bulky muscles associated with weight lifting. These movements and exercises are so successful that many doctors are referring injured patients to take Pilates sessions as a form of rehabilitation.
Who was Pilates?
Joseph Pilates was a bodybuilder, boxer, and gymnast. He was a student of yoga and Eastern/Western philosophies. He was also a nurse in World War I. He developed the Pilates Method while rehabilitating injured soldiers, teaching them to stretch and strengthen their muscles. In the course of helping people, Pilates developed a variety of distinctive equipment to aid soldiers with their rehabilitation. This equipment is used today during a workout to facilitate many unique exercises. Due to criticism as a boy from his peers Pilates was determined to increase his strength and muscle definition. This experience combined with health challenges motivated Pilates to create one of the most extraordinary total body conditioning programs ever developed.
Dave Bryan is the manager/owner of the Creative Arts Physical Therapy and The Pilates Body Studio in Melbourne, FL. Dave completed over 600 hours of extensive training and certification from the internationally recognized Pilates Studio of Los Angeles. His training included written and practical exams as well as internships taking over 2 years to complete. Dave has been teaching Pilates since 1997. If you would like more information about Pilates, call Dave at 321-752-9778.