Pilates, or as it was originally called Contrology, was meant to be a life style not just a form of movement. Through series of exercises one would develop a personal discipline which would spread a positive effect across one’s life, work and health. In reality, not everyone is prepared to go that far, however we all know that the right exercise will improve our wellbeing.
Why Pilates? Pilates puts you back in control. With the help of a good teacher you will learn how to be responsible for your own body. The majority of us have some aches and pains, some of us have sustained injuries or live with chronic pain every day. We’ve visited doctors and practitioners, tried alternative therapies and eventually come back to square one, why? Because there is no quick fix: you need to take charge of your healing. A practitioner can start you on your way but you have to take over and carry on.
That’s where Pilates comes in. In fact why not stay ahead and start Pilates when you are healthy and pain-free, as a preventative measure rather than a remedial.
So far we have found out that Pilates:
If you feel motivated to start Pilates make sure you find a class run by a qualified teacher from a reputable organisation. One would expect a Pilates teacher to have spent a minimum of 450 hours on basic training (full matwork and equipment training, matwork itself will have less hours). It may be hard to ask questions but why not get the best value for money and work with a professional?
Disclaimer: Please always check with your doctor that you are clear to exercise and let your teacher know if you have any concerns about your practice.
reprinted from PilateTree Magazine
Do you know how many types of pilates are out there…? No? To be entirely honest, neither do I, but there are many.
For starters, searching through the internet and posting questions on Facebook I found several mutations of Pilates, either starting with pil- or ending with -lates, my favourite being ‘dogilates’ for dogs! The most popular would be yogalates, which is a combination of … yoga and pilates; then the likes of zumbalates, boxilates, etc., all fun, I am sure but a mixes of pilates.
I think of pilates as divided into two main types, fitness and rehabilitation pilates. On one hand the celebrity and fashion world has taken pilates and turned it into the ‘get your ultimate body’ exercise. To meet market demand some instructors, with varying standards of training, introduced high impact, high load pilates classes, quite frequently combined with high client numbers. It's intense and some consider it fun but it can be detrimental if you're already not ready for it..
During regular pilates practice we are introduced to 6 principles, which although not developed by J Pilates himself, are very helpful: Concentration, Control, Centering, Breathing, Precision and Flow. Those principles need to be taught alongside the repertoire itself, before the client can move on to more advanced levels. Lack of this preparation may result in injury. The initial period will be different from person to person, sooner for some, later for others, but led by a well-qualified teacher it will be filled with challenges, hard work and fun.
The rehabilitation side, for me, is one of the most rewarding benefits of pilates; slotting comfortably between doctors, alternative therapies, physiotherapy and the rest of our hectic lifestyles. Working with people who are frequently in pain require compassionate and professional individuals to deal with it which is why I emphasise the importance of working with a well-qualified pilates teacher. Someone who would have studied anatomy and physiology, during their course and be knowledgeable about basic contraindications to common issues that persistently plague our bodies today, i.e. lower back and disc issues, joint complaints, slumped posture, painful neck and shoulders, etc
Ultimately, the purpose of pilates practice is to progress a client to a full body movement and a mind&body equilibrium.
Wouldn’t we all want to be there! Definitely something worth aiming for!
Furthermore, pilates could be categorized by the repertoire and its applications. Some training organizations opt for the classical approach and others are open to an evolving range of exercises. The classical repertoire is based on the original set of exercises designed by J Pilates. It would usually start with high impact ‘Hundred’ to warm up while other classes would follow routine of: warm up, build up, work hard, cool down.
As it stands today both types are practised and both have their devoted fans. It’s all about finding what is right for you and your body.
If you decided that you want to start pilates please consider the following, talk to a few teachers before choosing your class:
1.) Your fitness level
- Are you healthy and active
- Are you generally healthy, not very active
- Are you not active, unwell or rehabilitating
2.) Types of pilates classes available
- Matwork Classes
level & style
(elderly, osteoporosis, pre/post natal, etc)
- Studio Classes (equipment)
level & style
(elderly, osteoporosis, pre/post natal, etc)
- Sport/Health Centres
(usually large classes)
- Pilates Studios
private classes (one to one)
semi private classes (one to two)
small groups (approximately 4 for studio and 8-12 for matwork)
4.) Finance and Commitment
Prices are varied
– Matwork classes are cheaper and address general needs of the group rather than an individual.
– Studio classes (1:4) are more focused on individual needs (unless it is a specific fitness class) but require some independent work under the watchful eye of the teacher. They are more expensive; I think the cheapest one I found was £27-£/h in London.
– Semi-private (1:2) and private classes are most expensive but they focus entirely on individual needs and therefore results can be achieved much sooner than in any other type of class.
Taking all those points into consideration you should be able to pick a suitable class for your needs, always make sure you speak to your teacher before your first class and inform them about any issues or concerns you may have about starting and practicing pilates.
reprinted from PilatesTree Magazine
PILATESTREE STUDIO OPERATES UNDER - 24H CANCELATION POLICY -, WHICH MEANS, to avoid charges, ALL CLASSES AND APPOINTMENTS NEED TO BE CANCELLED/RESCHEDULED WITH 24H NOTICE. Cancellations need to be made by email or through the system.