“If your spine is inflexibly stiff at 30, you are old. If it is completely flexible at 60, you are young.” – Joseph Pilates
What a powerful statement! Joseph Pilates created the Pilates method in
Germany in the early 1900s as he interned during the first World War. After
the war, he taught non-ambulatory patients and eventually immigrated and
opened his own studio in New York City. He originally called this movement
Contrology which he defined as the complete coordination of body, mind,
& spirit. If you’ve ever taken a Pilates class, that definition makes sense.
The cueing and imagery used in Pilates have a purpose--it’s intended to
engage the mind to deepen the work.
Pilates focuses on the spine and one’s ability to move the spine through all
planes of motion daily. Clients are encouraged to work within their
personal range of motion in order to be the most successful with the
exercises. By bringing awareness and activation to the deepest layer of
abdominal muscles, the transverse abdominis, individuals are strengthening
the muscles that support the spine and protect it from further injury and
poor posture habits. This body awareness also helps each individual to
move more efficiently and reduce any additional asymmetrical stresses on
So why do Pilates when there are hundreds of other workout options
available to you? Pilates at its core is movement. It’s intended to rebuild
functional patterns. It’s intended to help find stabilization and stimulation
as you move your body. It’s learning to strengthen and control the muscles
you need to perform activities of daily life like opening cabinets and
bending down to get something on the floor. It’s treating the body as a
whole instead of focusing over and over on one muscle group. We create
additional imbalances in our bodies when we isolate certain body parts and
muscles. Pilates is an individualized practice that is going to be different
and work differently than it does for the person next to you.
Interested in learning more? Check out our new Pilates session offerings
and see what these restorative practices can do for you! Book with Emily today!