5 Benefits of Pilates

Benefits of Pilates classes

1. Strength

Pilates is well known for it’s “core stability” training benefits, focussing as it does on movements from a stable ‘centre’ of deep abdominal and back muscles. It is also fantastic for developing strength in the gluteals, shoulders, and legs, through a variety of movements performed against your own body weight, in different positions eg. standing, quadruped, side lying. There is also the potential for more resistance, if we add in weights, or therabands.

2. Mobility

The Pilates matwork repertoire aims to mobilise joints and lengthen muscles, creating a fabulous feeling of suppleness, elasticity and energy. Pilates goes beyond simply stretching and aims to develop controlled mobility and a greater sense of awareness of movement. This can be particularly beneficial for people aiming to avoid overuse injuries or postural-related discomfort; those who live with hypermobility related conditions; and also during peri-natal months when hormonal changes cause increased laxity of joints.

3. Balance

Pilates will challenge your balance functionally, through a range of positions and tasks, which can help you develop better dynamic balance in both daily activities and sports.

Different types of muscles perform different roles in the production of movement. They have to function effectively as a team to create balanced movement. Sometimes, through work or training or just habitual movement patterns, the team goes awry slightly…!

Attention to good alignment in Pilates classes can help to re-educate the ‘team’ – easing tension in one area, while strengthening in another, thus restoring balanced movement.

Postural imbalance

4. Posture

A difficult element to quantify, but nonetheless, all of the benefits above will combine to influence the way you carry yourself day to day. A mobile and strong body and an awareness of how your particular body moves is a powerful thing! Plus, the verbal and visual cues we use in classes will quickly infiltrate your mind, as you find yourself telling your collarbones to smile whist walking down the high street!

5. Emotional Wellbeing

The concentration required for performing the precise movements in the correct form, is a form of mindful movement. Research is emerging about the effects of mindful practices on the brain, and their role in helping to reduce stress and manage anxiety and depression. My classes typically begin and / or end with a few moments of mindful awareness and possibly a guided relaxation.

Pilates for wellbeing

So, what are you waiting for? Contact me today to enquire about availability in classes or one-to-one tuition.

pilates, Uncategorized

Intro to Pilates

4 week course ideal for beginners or returners. Each week we will focus on a different aspect of Pilates:
Week 1 – The Fundamentals
Week 2 – Release and mobilise
Week 3 – Lengthen and strengthen
Week 4 – Balance and Integration
I hope that by the end of the course, you will have a tangible body-and-mind appreciation of the potential that Pilates can bring to your health and wellbeing.

I have wanted to do a course like this for a long time. Often at events, festivals and so on, “taster sessions” are offered to give people the chance to sample Pilates for the first time to see of they like it. I have done it myself and enjoyed taking part and sharing Pilates with new people.
But I think it is a missed opportunity.
The benefits of Pilates are realised over time. While 4 weeks will still only scratch the surface of what is achievable, I hope that it will give people a chance to sink into it a little bit more, to experiment with the sensations of movement; and, to feel invested in the principles from one week to the next and feel the change that that can bring to everyday life.
If you have ever wondered ‘what exactly IS Pilates?’
If you have read the articles about “5 reasons why Pilates is good for you” etc. and now you want to experience it in your body…
If you are simply wanting to kick start your exercise for the summer and start flexing some stiff joints and energise some tired muscles…
Get in touch today to find out more and reserve your place on the mat.
See you soon curious cats!
Outdoor Pilates with ball

New pencils and the whiff of wet grass.

Hurrah! I love summer, but despite the long hazy days, I have always felt the arrival of Autumn heralds more new possibilities than the new year. Do you remember the feeling of crisp new school uniform, a new pencil case filled with long, sharp pencils? The smell of wet muddy grass as you started the new school PE term with cross country? All right, maybe not that last one – running was never my forte. But new beginnings smell sweeter in Autumn, after the long hot-box of high summer has passed, but before the long dark icy nights have really taken hold.
So the new Pilates term is upon us, and I have spent the summer immersing myself in Mindfulness and meditation practices, and exploring movement. On holidays, I’ve hiked and biked and conquered Scafell – Yay! At home, as well as Pilates, I have been practicing some meditative, restorative yoga too, and currently I am on week two of the NHS Couch to 5k running program (muddy ankles after all – huzzah!) The yoga and Pilates has been interesting – Joseph Pilates himself studied Yoga (alongside zen meditation, and Greek and Roman exercise regimes) so it’s interesting to see how the two complement each other and where they differ. In my Pilates learning I am drawn increasingly towards slower, more mindful, exploratative practitioners as my influences. So classes this term will be encouraging you to feel and experience your own wonderful, amazing body. And then go out there and climb a mountain. Or the stairs. Or off the sofa! It doesn’t matter which – just move. Be alive.