Ok so, I know I am a Yogi through and through but having recently joined the gym I have been going to a few Pilates classes to see what it is all about. I know that Pilates is supposed to strengthen the core and so with my work I have to have a strong core otherwise I can suffer with my back at times. I have been to a few classes now and am slowly, slowly getting to grips with the overall concept.
Pilates teaches your mind to train your body very consciously. You are continually required to recognise your positions, make adjustments and note how you feel. Pilates IS physical and IS rigorous! The benefits of Pilates are meant to extend well beyond the actual workout.
Learning new Patterns
Our brains are built to learn new patterns. As we learn new skills, connections between previously unconnected brain cells are formed. Repetition is key. Each time you do a correct abdominal curl you are building a connection that makes it easier to repeat it next time.
This is the primary principle of the system. In his time, Joseph Pilates called his method ‘Contrology’. His focus on controlled movement was a result of his years of blending Eastern and Western disciplines. As you work out, control your muscles, your positions and your timings.
The idea is that all movement begins from your centre. You stabilize the core then mobilize the limbs.
Concentration is key to Pilates. Without focused concentration, any exercise can only be moderately beneficial.
Attention to the smallest detail is what makes Pilates so effective!
As a general rule, Inhale to prepare for a movement and exhale as you execute it.
Concepts such as control, precision or breath can be applied to your life anywhere and anytime. Your workout should be a microcosm of how you live.
REMEMBER – YOUR STRENGTH AND CONTROL ALWAYS SPRING FROM THE CENTRE OF YOUR TORSO. Your powerhouse specifically incorporates your abs, hips and buttocks as well. Even if you have difficulty pulling the abdominals inwards, you apparently must never allow them to push outwards. Pilates is strength training but its about creating stability first and foremost. You might be able to easily do 50 reps of a free weight but there is a difference between stabilising that weight and just lifting it up and down!
SO what are you waiting for!? Go and find your nearest Pilates class and give it a go!