Pilates had a moment of frenzy a few years ago when everyone seemed to be doing it for the hype of celebrities and studios opening up in every corner. The buzz has calmed down now, but we should totally bring it back. This practice is incredibly beneficial to both our bodies and minds and is something worth looking into.
This exercise is much older than the time it reached its popularity peak, tracing back to the 1900’s with its creator being Joseph Pilates. The practice has stuck around because of its great results, and its pleasant atmosphere. It is a form of exercise, which uses both the mind and the body to achieve a greater performance.
The connection is crucial to success. Pilates will train your mind to keep a constant state of awareness of how your body moves. The Practice tones and stabilizes the muscles in order to strengthen the body by using sequences of movements that use body weight, equipment that is designed especially for such exercises as well as gravity.
One of the best things about Pilates is that you create your own pace, and there is no rush. You test your body according to its own capabilities, stretching a little bit further every day until you are capable of doing more.
Pilates is an amazing practice
It shows you how important perseverance and focus is, and how by training yourself you become capable of more and more.
Since a healthy mind and a healthy body should walk hand in hand, Pilates is an incredible exercise to both energize and to maintaining a general health and well-being. The low impact of this type of exercise works gently on your body. Aside from being an intense workout, it is a moment of relaxation, with a lot of stretching involved, and you will leave feeling relaxed and accomplished.
The moves take a lot of precision and control; squats do not stand a chance next to Pilates’s positions. The emphasis is on technique. This one is definitely worth a try. Check out some of the benefits:
It is a Complete Body Workout
Well, Pilates will put your whole body to work. You will be in positions you never thought you were capable of, and it will use your muscles to their maximum. And unlike some forms of exercises, Pilates does not focus on one body part only, over-developing it. Pilates does focus on core strength but by using your whole body to strengthen it.
By achieving these exercises, using your body weight, flexibility, and breathing, it will give you a state of mind that will help you overcome challenges in your everyday life. The workout goes much further than the body strengthening. It changes your perspective.
Raising Body Awareness
Pilates promotes in its exercises coordination, balance, and harmony. Combining physical and mental workout with breathing techniques, it improves your focus and your capability of understanding your body. The connection between mind and body becomes stronger through this practice.
You will discover muscles you did not even know you had, and it is very pleasing to put them to good use. Pilates is a way to get in touch with your body so you can reach your full potential.
Helps to Reduce Stress
You are trained to focus on your body and its movements. There is no time to listen to the voices in your head. You can go in for a Pilates’s session with the certainty of leaving all your problems behind for one hour.
Through learning how to breathe properly, which is a stress reduction technique, you will leave the session feeling lighter and happier.
Creates a Better Posture
So many pains in our bodies come from having a bad posture. Pilates will solve that problem. A good posture is a mere reflection of good alignment supported by a strong core. During every exercise, every part of your body needs to be in the right posture and in the right alignment.
Because of this full body coordination, you become stronger and it reduces chances of injury. By exercising this, soon enough your posture will be corrected and you will be able to say farewell to that back pain that has been bothering you. Pilates will train you to express your movements with strength and harmony, and a beautiful posture.
Pilates is the perfect exercise to build your body up. And you start to see results pretty fast as well. Because you use your own body weight and take your body’s capabilities to an extreme, your muscles really start to pop out!
And it is not just to show it around, Pilates builds muscles that work in perfect coordination with the whole body. Doing two or three sessions per week can already get you some great results. If you combine that with some cardio, then you are in for a big win, losing fat and sculpting your body.
Helping with Weight Loss
Since Pilates is not a cardiovascular exercise, you will have to combine it with a cardio something, even if it is walking or jogging.
However, increasing your muscles will improve your metabolism and make it work faster, which will contribute to your weight loss. The more muscle tone you have, the more calories you will burn.
Flexible to Various Fitness Levels
In Pilates, it does not matter if you are a beginner, a senior who need to exercise slowly, an athlete or anywhere in between. Pilates is fit for anyone and everyone. You exercise routine can be built on your capabilities and change according to your improvements.
The foundation of Pilates is the same for everyone, building core strength, focus on proper alignment and making the connection between body and mind. Exercises can be modified in various ways and it can be made to fit everyone’s capabilities and limitations.
It really does. There is so much stretching involved that when you leave your session you feel as light as a feather, with no tension knots and pains restraining your body.
Stretching your muscles and joints will give your body a whole new set of feelings and benefits. The relaxation that follows all the stretching is incredible. You will become flexible in the blink of an eye.
Developing Core Strength
The very base of Pilates, developing your core strength. The core muscles are in your abdomen, pelvic floor and deep muscles of your back. And they are pretty much what holds everything together. Good posture and efficient movements come from a strong core. When the core is strong, your body is supported.
This releases tension from your neck and shoulders, and your other muscles and joints are not restrained anymore and can work on their own body parts.
This is something you can only fully understand when you start practicing Pilates, you understand the importance of working on this specific part of your body while using everything else.
Through breathing and getting your circulation moving, Pilates stimulates your muscles and your spine and it floods the body with the great feelings we get when we exercise (hey serotonin and dopamine). You exercise and get energized at the same time.
Body and Mind Connection
The founder of Pilates, Joseph Pilates said that the exercise was about “the complete coordination of body, mind and spirit”. The secret of Pilates. You must do each exercise with full attention to your breathing and your body, and in this way, your mind connects with your body to reach a greater performance. The main principles of Pilates are:
Who Should Do Pilates?
All human beings. We all need strong bodies and cores that can support them. We can all use balance and harmony. We can all benefit from connecting our bodies to our minds while strengthening them both and putting everything to a better use.
By having every muscle in your body put to use, strengthening them and stabilizing them is a way to make sure you are at your healthiest form. It is a key factor to have all of our muscles working properly to support our frames and posture and to make our movements easier.
There is a big misconception that Pilates is for athletes or professional dancers. But you can literally be a complete ‘couch potato’ and start practicing Pilates, and after a few months, you will become flexible, strong and even have some muscles popping out. There are no restrictions, you set your own pace and your exercise routine is going to tailor according to your body’s capabilities. No excuses!
Does it work?
That will depend on your commitment, as most things do. One thing is for sure, if your practice it regularly and give it your best, results will appear sooner than you think. The satisfaction of improving in your exercises, being able to reach a little further, change the position, hold your body for longer periods, every little victory is extremely satisfying.
By becoming so focused and aware of your body, you will see all the tiny changes, from session to session. In addition, the feeling you get after your Pilates class is one of accomplishment and relaxation, there is really no time to think about whatever is worrying you. There is only time to focus on breathing and getting your body to reach its limits. Therefore, the answer is: yes, it works. It works wonders!
Pilates is worth taking the time to check it out and try for a few weeks, at least, to get a feeling of the marvelous benefits it can have on your body and mind. It is a lot more than a workout for building muscles of for appearance purposes.
This practice is really about connecting your body with your mind and creating the optimum and best balance that there can be. Becoming aware of your movements, of your capabilities and of your limitations. Do not miss out if you have the opportunity to try Pilates.
Focus, concentration, breathing techniques, all can and will be incorporated into your daily life. The benefits of Pilates go far beyond the class.
Much like yoga, the awareness of your body and the harmony between mind and body will follow you in your daily life, and it will help you in several instances where you will find yourself thinking of the techniques you have acquired.
Pilates can relax your body and your mind, make you feel energized, improve your movements and relieve aches. It moves your body in its totality, pushing you to new discoveries about yourself. It can be seen as a lifestyle, one based on concentration and balance, harmony. It can make you become more focused as well as more aware of your surroundings, of your body’s reaction to living situations, to people and to places.
Be aware of everything and experience it. This is something that Pilates will bring into your perspective.
The practice is a great way to accept your pace, your rhythm and find your balance towards it. Accept it. The infinite forms of exercises and routines you can have will make sure that a session is never boring, static or exactly like the previous one.
Your improvements and your capabilities change your exercise accordingly. The exercise follows your pace, and not the other way around. Pilates can help with life challenges, with coping with stress and with feeling more relaxed and peaceful. If you are not a Pilates adept yet, what are you waiting for?