Pilates, created by Joseph Pilates in the 1920s, is excellent for strengthening your core, pelvis and posture. Pilates works to strengthen and tone while also increasing flexibility. Much like Yoga, Pilates is a great total body workout and compliments other practices like Yoga, while also having positive impacts on strength training and cardio exercises.
Just like any other daily practice or workout it is important to stay healthy during your Pilates practice. With the help of senior Pilates instructor and long-time practitioner, Karen Roodman, we are going to share with you some ways to stay healthy in your Pilates practice.
First, it is important to know the six basic principles that integrate the physical body to the mind during practice. These founding “pillars” of Pilates include: breath, centering, concentration, precision, control, and flow. It is vital focus on these 6 principles during and outside of your practice.
Let’s start with 1. Breath
Just like in Yoga, the emphasis mindful breathing is a key component in Pilates. Through Pilates you will learn to move with your breath. This helps ensure that you are engaging your core and staying centered, which brings us to the second pillar.
Female Fitness Tricky Tips tells us that “Pilates’ methodology primarily focuses on you finding your “center”. Many instructors refer to this center as the “powerhouse”: composed of all the muscles in the central part of the body, encompassing the lower and upper back, abdomen, inner thighs, hips and buttocks. One of the teachings states that the totality of movement in Pilates should be coming from the so-called powerhouse and flow outward a person’s limbs.” Making sure that you stay centered during your practice helps you to maintain a healthy Pilates Practice.
Concentrating on controlling your body and breath during your practice ensures that you are doing every posture and movement with a purpose. It is important to maintain concentration throughout the duration of your Pilates practice to increase flexibility, strengthen your core and pelvis and improve your posture.
Completing each posture and movement with precision is vital to a successful and proper Pilates practice. It is said in pilates that “you can gain more strength by using a few concentrated movements than by using lots of sluggish ones” therefore, completing each movement with precision is imperative for achieving results from your practice.
Maintaining control over your body during Pilates ensures that you are using every piece to complete the puzzle. In order to achieve results and have a healthy Pilates practice you must gain control over your body rather than be at the mercy of it.
Ensuring that you execute strong flowing movements in your Pilates practice is the pillar in which all others meet. Without focusing on your breath, finding your center and maintaining concentration, precision and control you cannot have strong flowing movements that work to ultimately strengthen and tone your body.
Next, Karen puts a strong focus on a healthy practice being one that has continuity.
“In all initiatives to become competent we must initiate diligence and consistency to gain competency.” says Karen. If you want to be a Pilates pro and see results, it is imperative that you practice continuity. Like they say “practice makes perfect”. You may not be a Pilates pro when you begin, and that is okay, but making sure that you keep your practice consistent, and follow the 6 pillars in which a healthy Pilates Practice stems from, you will see improvement in your flexibility, strength and the toning of your body.
Not only does Pilates help your body stay in top shape it is also a great exercise for warding off stressors in your life.
Karen stats that “one of the amazing byproducts of a Pilates practice is gaining key alignment knowledge for moving efficiently and postural awareness to ward off stressors from life and also helps to maintain a strong core to support our limbs”. If you follow these important tips you will gain the many benefits Pilates has to offer and ensure you have a healthy practice.
If you are interested in incorporating Pilates into your Yoga practice, or other preferred exercise method, come check out a class here at our studio with Karen or one of our other instructors. We offer a weekly mat classTuesday nights from 4:45-5:45 with Karen, as well as weekly circuit classes that allow you to enjoy the benefits of our Pilates equipment. Check out our schedule to plan your next trip to our studio to experience all of the incredible and positive impacts Pilates has on your overall health and transformation of your other Practices and daily life. For more information about Pilates and what we offer here at Om On Yoga head to our website and check out our dropdown tab titled “Pilates”. If you are more of a lone ranger and prefer one-on-one session, we offer those as well with “Private one-on-one Pilates Instruction” at the date and time that works best for you. We hope you join us for a Pilates class or private session and use these tips to stay healthy in your Pilates practice!