Pilates was created in 1883 by Joseph Pilates from Germany. Joseph was an extraordinary teacher who dedicated his life to the human body, researching and partaking in every kind of exercise he could. What was unique about Joseph was that he took a very holistic approach, delving into eastern exercise practices like gymnastics which was developed by the ancient Greeks, as well a western practices such as Tai Chi and Zen Meditation. We love how pilates, which was later created from the recorded results of all of these unique practices, draws together a wonderful combination of both mobility and strength, body and mind.
Joseph Pilates named his own unique method of body conditioning ‘controlology’, it was only later that the method became known by his name. His initial chosen name referred to the connection between the body and mind. There is no doubt that Yoga had an influence in the development of Pilates, along with other ancient disciplines. Joseph liked to quote Schiller by stating that ‘It is the mind itself which builds the body’.
America’s first Pilates studio opened in America in 1923 and became hugely popular. Today, almost a century on, Pilates has spread worldwide and continues to gain popularity. While it has always been a hit with dancers, Pilates is now used by many different forms of athlete to both prevent and rehabilitate injury.
Pilates is a fantastic compliment to any sport as well as general daily living since it builds strength in our stabilising muscles and puts an emphasis on the core muscles. Across the population, our core is an area which is chronically underworked as we sit at desks, cars and couches with our backs sinking into support. By building strength and stability here, we create our own healthy support for our backs and pelvis. Often mat Pilates classes use body weight exercises, where we can aid a deeper somatic connection to our bodies. There are also many options for equipment such as dumbells, bands, balls, rings, reformer and much more which can be used to provide different levels of support or resistance.
During a Pilates class at Heather Yoga, you can expect an hour of low-impact movement that creates a burn in the muscles. There is often a focus on the core and around the pelvis but can incorporate absolutely any area of your body. The deep burn is a sign that you are working and strengthening your body. You will likely also focus on the back muscles for a portion of the class so that you go away feeling a little taller and prouder in posture. You can also enjoy some ‘yoga-like’ stretching to calm the mind and find a sense of ease in the body.
Join us every Monday with Natalie: 9:30-10:30am, available online and in the studio. Book here.