What is Pilates?:
Pilates is a physical exercise method, designed to elongate, strengthen and restore the body to balance. Based upon an anatomical understanding of the body’s muscular and skeletal systems, the Pilates teacher creates a comprehensive exercise programme for the students.
It can be taught individually or in classes generally with matwork but studio classes use specific Pilates devices to enhance results.
It emphasises the importance of beginning movement from a central core of stability, namely the lumbo-pelvic region.
For your first session, the practitioner will ask you to fill a health screening form in order to identifiy any contraindication or adjustements to the session.
Feel free to discuss with her more specifically any condition you arel unsecure about.
You need to wear lose clothing in order to perform easily the exercises.
Mats are provided but feel free to bring yours if you wish.
Is it safe?
It is normal to feel some muscle soreness the day after your session.
Some people may become more aware of their body stiffness as they get used to different postures.
Be sure to check with your doctor before trying Pilates if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis, or a recent back injury, as you would with any other physical activity. Moreover some postures are not recommended during pregnancy
As with any physical activity, Pilates may lead to an injury if not done properly.
Make sure that you report to the instructor before the session any condition/pregnancy on the health screen template provided to you.
Be sure to see your doctor if any exercises cause headaches, muscle cramps, dizziness, or severe pain in your back, legs, or joints.
A bit of history :
Pilates is the work of art of a single man : Joseph Pilates.
Joseph Pilates (1880,1967) spent his childhood in Germany as a frail child with asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever and eventually overcame these conditions with will power to become a competent gymnast, diver and skier.
During the First World War, he developed his technique of physical fitness by teaching fellow German prisoners, then worked with bedridden hospital patients where he created his famous piece of equipment ‘the ‘Cadillac’ to reeducate their walk.
Pilates emigrated to the USA in the early 1920s, and soon became very popular, particularly with the dance community, as its techniques and fitness and rehabilitation devices offered a chance to improve technique or recover from injury. He developed close links with dance celebrities such as Martha Graham and George Ballenchine, whose ballerinas he instructed at the New York Ballet.
It was only after his death that his teaching became known as Pilates or the Pilates method.
Pilated is presently widely recomended by health practitioners including GPs for all back injuries as well as for poor posture and weak abdominal muscles.
However, Pilates does not pretend to replace mainstream medicine.
Patients with a condition should always been seen by their GP or consultant and Pilates remains so far an adjunct tool.