"Ideally our muscles should obey our will. Reasonably our will should not be dominated by the reflex action of our muscles."..........Joseph Pilates
Jean Marie Fitness & Pilates
As we go through life we settle into specific patterns of movement, the more frequently used muscles gradually get stronger while the under used muscles get weaker. This pulls the skeleton out of kilter leading to an unbalanced posture that requires much more energy to achieve a given movement. Pilates helps correct these inefficient patterns, resulting in more natural efficient movements.
Balance of mind and body is achieved through the adherence to the method’s inherent principles of concentration, centering, control, coordination of breath and integrated movement.
Pilates is not a new fad. It has been around for nearly 100 years. It is a method of body conditioning developed by Joseph Hubertus Pilates (1880-1967) which uses specially designed equipment as well as traditional mat work. Pilates consists of a series of precise, rhythmic, fluid movements achieved through a harmony of breath, concentration and control. It focuses on strengthening the core postural muscles of the body, named “The Powerhouse”, which stabilize the torso and improve strength in the abdominals and back muscles without building bulk.
Joseph Pilates method of exercise has always emphasized quality over quantity. In other words, Pilates is not about the repetition, it’s about the precision of the exercise. Doing each exercise with complete attention to how, not how many, yields significant results in a remarkably short period of time. This approach to exercise requires focus. Consequently, the mind has to be engaged along with the body. Every exercise is performed with attention to the breath, form, and efficient movement patterns. The exercises are safe, low impact, and appropriate for every level of fitness and every age. The result is a body that works better, plays better, and feels better.
Beyond the core, Pilates works to educate all your muscles improving flexibility, mobility, and strength. Pilates exercises can be performed on a mat or on special equipment, such as the Reformer. The workout equipment generally utilizes springs and straps and resistance from the participant’s own body weight. The mat work creates resistance within the body for the same or similar effects. The mat work may also include props such as fitness rings, bands, balls, and foam rollers.