Pilates is a complete system of exercise from which everyone can benefit, originally pioneered by Joseph Pilates
No matter your age, level of fitness or previous exercise or life experience, the Pilates Method has something to offer you. The benefits are cumulative and long lasting.
*Sleek Toned Muscles
*Sense of Wellbeing
*Reduction of Aches and Pains
*Improved Energy Levels
*Improved Bone Density
*Injury Reduction and Rehabilitation
*Physical and mental Stamina
'Change happens through Movement
The underpinning Principles of the Pilates Method
Concentration, Relaxation, Alignment, Breathing, Centring and Core stability, Stamina, Co-ordination, Precision and Flowing movement.
When we practise Pilates for the first time we begin with the A,B,C's of Pilates; Alignment, Breathing, Centring and Core stability. We develop a range of movement skills, improving the patterning and sequencing of our movements, becoming more aware of which parts of the body we want to stabilise in space and the parts we want to move, so gaining more control, fluidity and agility. We replace faulty movement patterns with efficient, balanced patterns of movement and like when we learn to drive for the first time we are soon performing tasks smoothly and unconsciously and it becomes second nature.
Deciding What's Right For You?
You may simply be looking for a way to stave off aches and pains and keep a sense of vitality in your body. Start that journey of self-improvement now
Or maybe you feel fit and active but are looking for another challenge or ways to deepen and expand your experience with a refreshed perspective. Maybe you're fit but having to manage injury!
How can Pilates help us improve the quality of our everyday life, reducing aches, pains and discomfort?
In our every day lives we are presented with many tasks which we simply have to get on and do. These tasks place many demands upon the body, but how often do we pay attention to movement which is nourishing to the body.
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'Physical fitness is the first requisite to happiness...the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind fully capable of naturally, easily and satisfactorily performing our many and varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and vigour Joseph Pilates
Good Preparation and Restoration is essential For Sport and Dance
Whether you are an amateur or professional, Pilates prepares the body for the demands of performance in a way which reduces the risk of injury and increases the performance longevity of the athlete. Many sportsmen and women, dancers and gymnasts discover Pilates for the first time after an injury. When used as part of the training programme injury can be avoided or reduced.
Benefits for Sports
Optimise your performance whilst minimising risk of injury. Improve Body Awareness, Dynamic Postural alignment, channelling the forces through your actions with more efficiency and precision. Establish and retain the fullest and most balanced range of movement across the muscles and joints. Many sports have a one-sided nature, these imbalances can be addressed to ensure they don't become ingrained making you more injury prone.
Benefits for Dance
The dancer needs to be deeply rooted to their own centre so that they can move through an infinte range of movement possibilities as naturally as possible. The supreme grace, poise, balance and control of the dancer is achieved when the connection to the centre is strong and reactive. Pilates can support the dancer in achieving a streamlined musculature with deep core strength and reducing strain on the back. The dancers' body tends to be more flexible than average, so taking longer to build strength and support across the joints. Pilates can accelerate the support across the joints and hone in on specific areas with low impact resistance exercises strengthening deep postural muscles and being a perfect antidote to high impact dance activities, also improving injury rehabilitation.
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Adapting to Change and Special Focus Groups
Throughout our lives we must be able to adapt to changing circumstances and a range of challenges. Pilates can help us to adapt well and the benefits of Pilates are applied across a broad and diverse range of specific needs.
Osteopenia and Osteoporosis
Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinsons Disease
'If your spine is inflexibly stiff at 30 you are old. If it is completely flexible at 60 you are young'.
General aches and pains
Breast Cancer Rehabilitation
'Above all learn to breath correctly'
Pilates Evolution and Movement offers a range of courses, workshops and special focus groups which address specific areas of need and we can liaise with your medical specialist, osteopath or physiotherapist to ensure a joined up approach.
Our Approach to Pilates and Movement
How do we get the best Results
Pilates is an excellent springboard to understanding how we are using our bodies and how we can get the most out of ourselves. The approach Pilates Evolution and Movement takes is one of 'Conscious embodiment', or training the mind and the body to work together efficiently by paying full attention to how we are moving. We also draw from other 'Mindful Movement Methods' which focus on the process of movement so re-educating the movement patterns we use in the most effective way possible. To do this we are essentially working with the bodies own neurological systems and innate intelligence.
Joseph Pilates Visionary and Pioneer (1880 - 1967)
German born Joseph Pilates experienced relatively poor health as a child, suffering from asthma and rickets. This may have been the key driving force which inspired him to strive for personal self- improvement, fitness and health, and later with a passion to share his experience and understanding with others. Having avidly pursued a broad range of sporting activities including, gymnastics, martial arts, boxing, yoga, dance and circus skills, from which he drew eclectically, he developed his own system of exercises which he began to teach. He trained army cadets and police and also worked with dance choreographer, Rudolph Laban.
Joseph Pilates had moved to London at the outbreak of the First World War and became an internee on the Isle of Man, where he worked in the camp infirmary, ingeniously adapting the springs and pulleys on the hospital beds to create ways in which the hospitalized prisoners could exercise to build their strenghth and rehabilitate.
After the war, Pilates emigrated to America. On the long boat trip he met his future wife, Clara, a nusre, with whom he set up the first Pilates studio in the hub of New York City, in 1926. Their first clients were boxers, gymnasts and dancers; in particular, Balanchine’s dancers from the New York City Ballet. The benefits of his methods, including injury rehabilitation and prevention, quickly established his reputation amongst the professionals of the dance and sport world. Pilates taught into his 80s and handed his studio on to Eve Gentry, a young gymnast and her husband Ron Fletcher, a physiotherapist, who were amongst those who kept the Pilates technique alive.
In the 1970s, The London Contemporary School of Dance sponsored a young dancer, Alan Herdman, to study at the Pilates Studios in New York and bring the method to London. Alan Herdman trained others who became key figures in the world of Pilates such as Gordon Thompson, who set up in London and Dreas Renyke who took the method to Australia. The technique is now continually evolving in line with modern scientific research.
Pilates passionately believed that every man, woman and child should practise his method, which he called, Contrology, and he was frustrated that the medical profession of his day, did not recognise it's full potential. He was very much a pioneer, ahead of his time, and it is only relatively recently that mainstream medicine is acknowledging the potential of this approach.
Pilates is seen here practising his Classical Pilates Matwork Series which he called Contrology
Pilates taught Contrology well into his 80's
Having been developed over 80 years ago and largely remaining amongst an elite community of dancers and athletes, Pilates is now part of the mainstream having made a significant impact within the Health and Fitness community and within Mainstream Medicine itself.
Pilates can be intergrated with other movement techniques and complementary therapies to achieve the best result for the induvidual. Our lives are a changing panorama of events and we want the best preparation possible to adapt and respond to those changing needs.
Proprioception and Muscle memory
In our everyday lives, at work and at home, we perform a range of tasks which involve lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling twisting and turning, sitting or standing in restricted positions or confined spaces for long periods of time. We rarely stop to think about how we are using our bodies to perform these tasks.
Pilates develops our mental stamina to sustain focus and concentration on how we move. By so doing, it moves us from dysfunctional postures and patterns of movement towards healthy functional dynamic posture and improved muscle recruitment patterns. The improved movement strategies gradually become our new habits of movement and begin to feel natural within our bodies. This process is essentially the development and refinement of our Body Awareness, through which we remodel our own bodies.
The main mechanism in the body involved is the neuromuscular proprioceptive feedback loop, or the brain to body communication systems. Receptors close to the bones continually feed information to the brain, monitoting the alignment of the bones against gravity and the degree of muscle tone or engagement. There is also a peripheral fascial network sytem covering the muscles which is rich in sensory receptors and helps us feel how different parts of the body are positioned in relation to one another and in relation to the space around us.