Up to 10 people have the opportunity to participate in a Pilates class. Sessions are booked in blocks of 6 or 8 weeks.
Pilates was designed by Joseph Pilates, a physical-culturist from Germany. During the first half of the 20th century, he developed a system of exercises which were intended to strengthen the human mind and body. He believed that Pilates improved both mental and physical health and were closely interrelated.
In his youth, he practiced many of the physical training regimes available in Germany, and it was then he developed his own work which he claimed could cure ill health. Initially the program was very exclusive with only a small number of people permitted to teach this method. There were only a few facilities allowed to offer Pilates.
However, nowadays, Pilates can be found in community centers, gyms, and physiotherapy rooms, and is often offered by workplaces who wish to offer this service, to offer employees the opportunity to alleviate the symptoms of tense neck and shoulder muscles, being caused due to bad posture from working long hours seated at a desk or computer.
Pilates compliments any wellbeing initiative being offered within the workplace.
Pilates is a body conditioning routine which encourages flexibility and muscle strength and endurance. Including Pilates in your fitness routine places great focus on developing a strong core with emphasis on spinal and pelvic alignment, breathing and also improving coordination and balance.
Pilates also improves posture, and teaches us to move with ease.
There is an increasing number of studies which show the benefits of Pilates within the rehab population. The addition of Pilates after an injury can improve the recovery time as well as improving balance, lumbar stabilization and flexibility. Many athletes and dancers use Pilates techniques to improve their performance and prevent potential injuries due to their chosen activity.
Joseph Pilates originally called his work "contrology." He considered this to be a body, mind, spirit approach to movement using the principles of centering, concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow.
Whether working on a mat or using Pilates equipment, these basic principles remain.
Pilates originally consisted of 34 movements or exercises. These exercises can and have been modified over the years, in a range of difficulty from beginner to advanced. Intensity can be increased over time as the body conditions and adapts to the exercises. There are two main methods of Pilates are matwork and Reformer.
Often matwork sessions are thought of as being the easier option, however, you are using the whole body to support yourself without the aid of a Reformer machine. I personally find, the matwork session is often the true test and encourages the correct use of the body and also activation and engagement of the correct muscles.
Some people are drawn more to the Reformer because it's a machine and newer and more different than using a mat, but know that that same things happen in your workout when doing mat work.
With the help of unstable surfaces and props, your instructor is also able to create different sensations in a mat class.
For the beginner, who's never tried mat work or the Reformer, I would generally advise them to start with a mat class. This allows the participant to learn and absorb the basic fundamentals of Pilates. The breathing technique associated with Pilates can initially feel quite different from normal breathing, here the participant has to breathe out with the effort and in on the return. In order to keep the lower abdominal's close to the spine, the breathing needs to be directed laterally, into the rib cage.
Pilates breathing is described as lateral breathing, meaning that the participant is instructed to breathe deep into the back and sides of their rib cage. Pilates attempts to properly coordinate this breathing practice with movement, including breathing instructions from the Pilates Instructor with every exercise.
In addition to the breathing techniques, the Powerhouse is the center of the body or core and if strengthened, it offers a solid foundation for any movement. The power house is a muscular network which provides the basic control and stability in the lumbar region, which furthermore consists of the pelvic floor muscles, the transversus, the multifidus, the diaphragm, the muscles of the inner thigh, and the muscles encircling the sitting bone area.
The Powerhouse is activated effectively by hollowing of the deep abdominal's and pelvic floor muscles by scooping the belly button in towards the spine.
So as you can see, there is a lot to think about whilst participating in a Pilates, whether it be in a One to One session or in a group setting. Everyone learns these techniques and breathing at different speeds, which is very acceptable in the Pilates World. Everyone concentrates on their own session and allows participants from all levels to work together if in a group setting. However, regular participation in the Pilates method holds great benefits in everyday life.
My sessions are focused on functionality of movement which will improve your wellbeing and lifestyle.
For example activating core muscles on a daily basis, even when at work, can vastly improve the strength of both abdominal and back muscles. Helping to hopefully avoid injury in the future.
My clients find my Pilates sessions helpful in terms of hopefully preventing injury, useful when they need to activate these muscles in particular situations, such as lifting a heavy or awkward weight. They also very much enjoy the integration of mind and body, which allows them to switch off from the stresses and strain of everyday life. I often watch the stress drain from their faces as they relax and release any tension that has built up throughout the day.
I mentioned earlier about athletes and sports people finding great benefit from regular Pilates sessions. With this in mind, I designed a Pilates program specifically for Horse riders called Equi-Core.
Equi-Core focuses on the activation of these core muscles not only on a mat but whilst riding a horse. This is very beneficial for all sorts of reasons and I talk in more detail on the main Equi-Core pages.
Pilates sessions are a valuable addition to our mobile fitness service here at Infiniti Wellbeing’s.
We offer sessions in a gym environment, workplace or alternatively your home in Edinburgh.
We offer a fully mobile service which provides all equipment including flexibility bands and mini weighted balls, foam rollers or alternatively the large stability balls to challenge technique and experience.
Thank you for taking the time to read this page and if Pilates interests you and you require more information, please contact Angie@infinitiwellbeing.com