What Is Pilates
People often ask me “What Is Pilates?” They are surprised to hear that Pilates has been around for quite a long time over 100 years and was created by a man, which is ironic since it is a female-dominated sport.
If you were to come up to me and ask me what Pilates was, I would tell you that Pilates is a type of sport that is great for your back, gives you a strong core, makes you stronger than you ever were before, and gives you better posture and really does energise you.
The most noticeable things when I first started doing Pilates was how my body shape changed for the better. It became more toned and somehow longer. But this was probably because my posture was better. I was always one the tallest in my class at school, and as a result, I spent a lot of my time bending over to talk to my smaller friends. Not that I was a giant of course, but it’s surprising how little things you do every day can change your posture, and essentially put your body out of alignment.
After having children, I noticed that my body was out of alignment, probably from a combination of bad posture, holding my son and daughter on one hip for a long time, and childbirth itself. My lower back hurt and my yoga classes made my back worse. Not that I am saying that yoga has this effect for everyone because I like yoga and think it is great for a lot of people, but for me, my back only started getting better when I did Pilates.
Today, people spend a lot of time sitting either at their office at work, watching t.v in the evening, or glued to their computer in their spare time. People feel the need to stretch out and put the body back where it should be, and that’s what Pilates does.
The other thing you will notice when you do Pilates is how much easier it is to stretch and bend down, depending on how flexible you were before of course. But often the noises that you once made when you bent over to pick something on the floor have suddenly gone.
People often ask me how often they should do Pilates. I would tell them as often as you can, and as often as you would like to do it. Any exercise should be about enjoyment, and I think the majority of people feel great after a Pilates session. Concentrating on the breath not thinking about what went on at work, thinking about your movement, and not thinking about how much housework you have to do when you get home, gives you a sense of mindfulness in the moment.
So if you were to ask me today what is Pilates, I would tell you, it’s one of the most important things you can do for both your physical and mental health, to increase longevity and make you feel whole again.
BSc (Hons) Dip NT, Dip Mat Pilates (L3), Dip FJ, m(FNTP)
Pilates Instructor, Nutritional Therapist and Food Blogger