What is Pilates?
Pilates is a system of exercises performed on both the mat and specialized apparatus. The system was designed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century. Now called Pilates the method was originally called “Contrology” – the art of the mind controlling the muscles.
According to Mr. Pilates – “Physical fitness is the 1st requisite of happiness.” In 1945 he wrote a pamphlet called “Return to Life through Contrology”. He believed that modern civilization impaired physical fitness. His method was created to develop the body uniformly, correct wrong postures, restore physical vitality, invigorate the mind, and elevate the spirit.
“Contrology is designed to give you suppleness, natural grace and skill that will be unmistakably reflected in the way you walk, play and work.”
“If practiced faithfully….Pilates yields numerous benefits:
Increased and Improved
–Lung capacity and circulation
–Strength and flexibility
–Coordination-both muscular and mental
–Posture, balance, and core strength
–Bone density and joint health
–Positive body awareness
Pilates teaches balance and control of the body, and that capacity spills over into other areas of one’s life.”
Mr. Pilates’ original principles of the Contrology method included:
— Breath (the 1st act of life, to cleanse the lungs and bloodstream through oxygenation)
— Fluidity (a practice with sequences of dynamic and interesting movements that flow from one to the other with few repetitions)
— Precision (concentration on correct movements of each exercise for better results)
— Centering (stabilizing the torso to initiate and control movements of the upper and lower body)
— Control (the ultimate muscle control by the mind to avoid injury and produce positive results)
— Concentration (the mind’s involvement in performing each exercise for uniform development of the body)
Pilates is a practice for every “body”. Mr. Pilates’ dream was for his Contrology exercises to be practiced from an early age and continued for life. He called his exercises “common sense remedies for common sense ills.” According to Joseph Pilates, you are only as old as your spine. “If your spine is inflexibly stiff at 30 you are old; if it is completely flexible at 60, you are young!!!”