Pilates isn’t a new trend on the work out scene, it’s actually been around since the 1960s, but it’s certainly still popular today with devotees reaping the rewards. Practising pilates regularly is believed to improve your motion, flexibility, circulation, posture, and abdominal strength, without putting any strenuous pressure on your joints. Pilates is as much about training your mind as it is your body. It helps to build coordination and symmetry through your core. It’s a practice you can apply to every day life, whether you’re sitting at your desk or cooking dinner, you will subconsciously start pulling your stomach in, standing taller and dropping those tight shoulders down.
When Joseph Pilates first invented Pilates he intended for it to be taught with six key principles in mind – concentration, control, centre, flow, precision, and breathing.
Concentration – It takes a lot of focus to make sure you’re doing every position properly and moving between them smoothly. It allows you to focus on your body in that moment and not get caught up in your wandering thoughts.
Control – Being in control of your body is powerful and this is exactly what Pilates is all about. Every move is controlled and smooth. Another reason you need to concentrate so hard!
Centre – Find your centre (or your core) and work out from here. Your core is the powerhouse of your body and supports so much so keeping it strong is key.
Flow – Flowing between exercises not only makes it an efficient workout but it builds your stamina and strength too. No rest for the weary!
Precision – As with all exercise, there’s no point doing it half heartedly. You might as well stayed in bed! You’re much better off doing fewer precise and perfect movements rather than more that won’t give you all the benefits.
Breathing – Just like in yoga, breathing properly is essential for a workout that will give you value. By forcing a complete exhale, you’re able to do a full inhale and send oxygen to every muscle in the body when they need it. The clean air detoxifies and cleanses, allowing you to perform at your best.
There are two styles of Pilates – mat and reformer. Our personal favourite is the reformer because it assists us getting the positions just right, but you can get the same results from the mat. Instead of using the reformers weights and control you will be using your own body weight to perform the exercises.
Here are a few places you can take classes in Brisbane, or you can always do a mat class at home (we love getting videos from YouTube).
Body Organics, West End – reformer and mat classes available, prices start at $25
Revive, Ashgrove – reformer and mat classes available, prices start at $20
Studio Pilates, Hamilton – reformer classes available, prices start at $30
*Note: All images from various resources on Pinterest.