Pilates is the sport described by specialists as “the art of controlled movement”. According to its founder, Joseph Pilates, a regular practice of Pilates is meant to make your body as strong as a Greek column and as flexible as a cat.
What is Pilates ?
Pilates is a fitness system that initially appeared as a method of rehabilitation. Pilates classes are now open for anyone wanting to improve their fitness. Instructors may choose to conduct their classes using machines and tools or only work with body weight. The goal is to improve strength and coordination in the legs, abdominals, arms, and back.
The German, Joseph Pilates, developed this system of exercises during the first half of the twentieth century based on nine principles: concentration, control, centering, flow, alignment, precision, relaxation, and endurance.
Pilates requires intense concentration, the way the exercises are performed is more important than the exercises themselves.
Pilates is based on the idea of muscular control. All exercises are done with control, the muscles must work concisely to control the movements of the body.
The center is the focal point of Pilates. Many Pilates teachers consider the muscle group located in the center of the body – including the abdomen, lower and upper back, hips, buttocks, and thighs – as the “powerhouse”. All movements in Pilates should start at the center and go to the limbs.
Once accuracy is achieved, the exercises are designed to connect and gain strength and endurance. In other words, the Pilates technique asserts that the physical energy exerted by the center should coordinate the movements of the extremities.
Using proper posture during Pilates exercises improves safety by correcting muscle imbalances and optimizing coordination.
The focus should be oriented towards a precise and perfect movement, rather than on several imprecise movements. The goal is that this precision finally becomes a second nature and can be reflected in everyday life in the form of grace and economy of movement.
There are different schools that have different approaches: some are more oriented towards rehabilitation, others towards dance or fitness, however they share all the basic principles of Pilates which is that of wrapping the central area of the body responsible for keeping the whole body in balance.
More information about Pilates
Overall, the biggest difference between a Pilates class and a yoga class is the ultimate goal. Yoga often offers a meditative environment where the mind, the consciousness, and the body are one, while the pilates pushes you to work your body deeply leaving the attention on the muscles throughout the course. Yoga and Pilates each have their merits, you do not really have to choose, intend to combine the two and immerse yourself in an atmosphere of Yoga Pilates.
Pilates works from the center of your body. It forces you to increase your body awareness and work from your core, giving you a stronger body. Yoga and Pilates each have their merits. The best part is that you really do not have to choose. Combine Pilates and yoga to transform your daily routine.