The Pilates Method
I must be right. Never an aspirin. Never injured a day in my life.
The whole country, the whole world, should be doing my exercises. They'd be happier.
- Joseph Hubertus Pilates [ in 1965 - age 86 ] -
An Exercise Method for Physical and Mental Wellbeing
Maybe not the whole world, but certainly much of United States, parts of Canada, Europe, and Asia are experiencing the explosion in demand for Pilates, a method of exercise and physical movement designed to stretch, strengthen, and balance the body.
With systematic practice of specific exercises coupled with focused breathing patterns, Pilates has proven itself invaluable not only as a fitness endeavor itself, but also as an important adjunct to professional sports training and physical rehabilitation of all kinds.
Widely embraced among dancers for years, the exercises - "elephant", "swan", the language - "pull navel to spine, and breeaaaathe", and the look - bright-eyed, refreshed, buoyant-without-necessarily-sweating, is popping up in fitness classes, physical therapy offices, corporate retreats, luxury spas and wellness centers across the country.
Another fad ? A cult for the over-privileged ? Think again.
With the aging of our population and the increasing trend toward mindful, moderate health practices, Pilates is more likely to find itself with a wait list - shaping the fitness ideals of our next generation.
Pilates exercises sometimes used an acronym for Proximal Integrating Latent Agile Toning Exercise, it aims to stretch and to strengthen your body.
Practiced faithfully, Pilates yields numerous benefits.
Increased lung capacity and circulation through deep, healthy breathing is a primary focus.
Strength and flexibility, particularly of the abdomen and back muscles, coordination-both muscular and mental, are key components in an effective Pilates program.
Posture, balance, and core strength are all heartily increased.
Bone density and joint health improve, and many experience positive body awareness for the first time.
Pilates teaches balance and control of the body, and that capacity spills over into other areas of one's life.
Like any fitness activity, Pilates requires more than an occasional session - you have to commit.
To reap its many benefits, most Pilates instructors recommend at least two to three or more sessions per week.
Individuals who are dedicated to long-term fitness, instead of just a "quick fix", will find Pilates the most rewarding.