What Is Pilates?

“In 10 sessions you’ll feel the difference, in 20 you’ll see the difference, and in 30 you’ll have a new body”
– Joseph Pilates

Pilates is an exercise programme designed to strengthen, stretch and restore the body’s natural balance.

It consists of a series of low impact exercises which focus on realigning and balancing the body, stabilising the spine and joints, and developing improved flexibility, mobility and strength. Pilates helps to develop an awareness of how your body works and can be beneficial for everyone, regardless of age, size or fitness level.

The great thing about Pilates is that it is in non – competitive, so everyone exercises within their individual limitations and ability. My clients are made up of both men and women, from 15 to 80 years old and include Olympic athletes, busy mums, stressed out city workers, expectant mothers and people with chronic injuries and pain.

Some really good reasons to do Pilates:

Improved Posture
Many of us spend hours slumped in front of a desk, computer screen or TV. This compromises the strength and stability of the spine. You’ve all seen the classic ‘slouched look’ – rounded shoulders, head sticking forward in front of the body. This can result in back and neck pain. Pilates helps to reteach the body’s stabilising muscles how to function properly. You will learn to incorporate what you learn in your Pilates sessions into your daily lives – how you walk, stand, drive a car, as well as doing more physical exercise be it swimming, golf, tennis, running etc.

Relief From Pain
More than 80% of the population suffer from low back pain at some time in their life. It is one of the most common reasons for taking time off work and can severely affect people’s quality of life. Pilates can relieve and very often totally eliminate back pain. Many of my clients are referred by health care practitioners such as Chiropractors, Osteopaths and Physiotherapists who recognise the incredible benefits of practising Pilates and recommend it as one of the safest and most effective forms of exercise available.

Toning The Body
Pilates focuses on developing your ‘core’ muscles, particularly the abdominals, gluteals (bottom muscles) and back muscles. This leads to a better looking body…simples!

Prevention Of Osteoporosis
This affects 3 million people in the UK every year. Bones become weak, brittle and susceptible to fractures. Pilates involves many weight bearing exercises that help improve bone density and thus prevent Osteoporosis.

Relief Of Stress
Pilates not only strengthens and tones the body but it also teaches you the art of relaxation and how to release tension. People often turn up at the beginning of a class, feeling very stressed, with their entire body looking tense. When they leave they look 2 feet taller, have a relaxed, upright posture and a big smile on their faces!

These are just a few of the reasons why Pilates is good for you – I could go on for page after page. Come along and try it for yourself. I’m positive you won’t be disappointed!

Selected images taken and edited by - Paul Mitchell Photographer | Celebrity, lifestyle, fashion photographer