Pilates is a lifestyle, a commitment to Self and a holistic approach to living a healthier and happier life through resistance training. As Pilates teachers we are essentially specialized personal trainers who look at the body as a whole versus focusing only on loosing inches around the waistline. Yes, Pilates works the Core and it tones and shapes the body but many times, clients come to us after having tried other workouts only to be disappointed in the results.
As Pilates teachers we use an integrative Mind/Body/Spirit approach to movement (centering, concentration, control, precision, breath and flow). An effective workout routine looks at the body as a whole. In many situations, we may tell a client that the roadmap to feeling and looking better will require for them to unlearn and break unhealthy movement patterns.
Muscles and tendons are what supports our skeleton hence it’s imperative to learn correct movement patterns that helps us achieve better posture. Pilates uses repetition to build muscle memory.
Without proper alignment, no form of exercise (running, weight lifting, tennis, basketball, football, dance etc) yields targeted results. In short, if you don’t feel your muscles activated and engaged, you are without a doubt slouching. Slouching behind the desk or lack of movement per se can be the root cause for a host of issues such as lower back, neck/shoulder or hip pain/discomfort. In Pilates the first objective is to create awareness through repetition and proper alignment. Proper alignment leads to better execution.
Secondly, we address and identify what profile are you? Clients with a tighter/stiffer profile require a different approach than someone who is super flexible or hyper mobile/double jointed. When strength and flexibility isn’t balanced it effects muscle performance and build. To tap into your full potential, a tighter profile should focus on stretching and strengthening because a tight muscle is often a weak and underdeveloped muscle. Asuper flexible profile on the other hand should work on building more muscle strength to avoid “powering” through the mobility in the joints.
Many women after having tried lifting weights come to us asking what they can do to improve the look and tone of their arms because lifting weights only “gave them a stiff neck” and/or the results were just disappointing.
The answer in solving that and many other problems in a workout lies in applying basic anatomy knowledge which is something we in Pilates strongly focus on. At Pilates Art Center, we find that it’s not one thing per se that hinders a client to get the most out of their workouts but rather a combination such as bad alignment, lack of proper breathing or muscle imbalances caused for instance by conditions such as Scoliosis.
Furthermore, if you are left exhausted after a workout, perhaps a lack of stamina is the reason for it. Proper breathing does help to improve stamina during workouts. But let’s be honest, most of us don’t even think about breath as we are moving through space(literally holding our breath). Everything in the human body is essentially connected! Breathing does affects muscle performance thus learning how to use your breath can greatly help a client achieve better results. Fact is, a calm breathing pattern improves stamina and helps with concentration. Pilates is equal physical as it is mental. It is a progressive workout system where one exercise builds up on the previous one already familiar to the client. Who has not gone to a Ballet performance or watched gymnasts and circus performers in awe for their ability to move through space with great ease.
The ability to flow has everything to do with control. Flow happens when all six Pilates Principles are being applied during a workout. So it comes as no surprise that Joseph Pilates originally called his body work “Contrology“.
Pilates is indeed a lifestyle, something that requires consistency but can be applied anywhere, sitting behind a desk, driving in the car, grocery shopping, playing sports, workouts… As Pilates teachers we are life coaches to some degree.