In other words how Pilates can help us improve the quality of our everyday life, reducing aches, pains and discomfort.
'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'
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.