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What is pilates ?

Discussion in 'Pilates' started by happygirl, Feb 19, 2007.

  1. happygirl

    happygirl New Member

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    I'm sorry to sound a bit stupid - but what exactly is pilates and what can I expect to do in a beginners' class ? My GP and physio both have suggested pilates for my neck and shoulders but I don't really know what it is. I did think it was similar to yoga but as I'm not very fit I'm a bit afraid it may be too strenuous. I've been given the phone number (by my physio) of a local pilates teacher who has just started a beginners class with just 2 people in it. I will phone her but I wanted to find out a bit more before I do. Thanks. :)
     
  2. noodle32

    noodle32 New Member

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    RE: What is pilates ?

    Hiya Happygirl. I LOVE Pilates. I have been to quite a few different classes with different instructors and it does vary a lot depending on who is taking the class but here is the basic gist:
    [ul][*]Lots of stretching
    [*]Exercises to align spine and improve posture - eg curling down vertebrae by vertebrae
    [*]Core muscles (abdominal and back) exercises
    [*]Some instructors get you to use balls or stretchy bands to make exercises more effective
    [*]Exercises to improve mobility eg in your feet - try pretending that you are picking cherriesoff a tree[/ul]
    Sorry I sound a bit vague but basically it is nothing to be afraid of, most of the exercises are extremely gentle. I always feel about 6 inches taller when I come out of a class so give it a go, I am sure you will enjoy it. I have done Yoga a few times andI alsoenjoy itbut I prefer Pilates. I find Pilates gentler and easier. It will be especially good if there are only 3 of you as the instructor will be able to give you lots of attention. Don't worry if you are not very supple, you soon will be if you try it. There is some more information here but it also sounds quite vague!...
    [link=http://www.pilatesfoundation.com/whatis.php]http://www.pilatesfoundation.com/whatis.php[/link]
     
  3. spinal music

    spinal music Active Member

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    RE: What is pilates ?

    hi Happygirl, I'm a Pilates teacher and I get asked this a fair bit.
    Joseph Pilates was a physiotherapist who wove together various elements of yoga, ballet, physio exercises, gymnastics..........he was interested in all physical activity. He used equipment (this evolved in an internment camp in WW! in the Isle of Man) and developed a matwork exercise repertoire, the classical form of which is very hard.
    Since the1980's physios discovered Pilates and adapted itfor rehabilitation, and this is what you will be doing in your class - it's much easier than the original exercises.
    Some of the exercises will be done standing, some lying on your back, some on your front, some on your side, some on all fours. You will be encouragedto perform the exercises in good postural position, and will be developing the muscles that form your core -for instance the muscles which attach your shoulders to your ribcage. You will be encouraged to think about how you perform the exercises. (is your head in a good position on your shoulders for instance).You will take a breath, in or out, for every movement. You will learn how to draw on your pelvic floor and low tummy muscles, and keep them on throughout the exercises. You will developyour co-ordination. You will develop overall body awareness which you can take out of class with you, wherever you go.
    Good luck,and enjoy your class. Don't worry if it seems difficult to begin with and you get the breathing muddled, as it will all come together after afew sessions.
    Sharon.
     
  4. BJOliver

    BJOliver New Member

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    I too do pilates but they are without any equipment and there's only lying on your side and some stretches of your leg. Am I doing some wrong?
     

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