What is Pilates Anyway?

Pilates is a method of exercise that consists of low-impact flexibility and muscular strength and endurance movements. Pilates emphasises proper postural alignment, core strength and muscle balance. Pilates is named for its creator, Joseph Pilates, who developed the exercises in the 1920s. He strongly believed that mental and physical health were interrelated, something ingrained into him growing up with his father as a gymnast and his mother, a naturopath.
Practiced with consistency, Pilates improves flexibility, builds strength and develops control and endurance in the entire body. It puts emphasis on alignment, breathing, developing a strong core, and improving coordination and balance. The core, consisting of the muscles of the abdomen, low back, and hips, is often called the ‘powerhouse’ and is thought to be the key to a person’s stability.
Pilates can sometimes be confused with Yoga. While Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual practice,  originating in ancient India, Pilates is focused on the activation of our posture and core muscles to strengthen our back and pelvis, serving as a strengthening tool to improve balance, flexibility and overall agility.
Many people are recommended to attended pilates following a back injury because the muscles closest to the spine (aka core) don’t activate as effectively after we’ve had a back pain episode. While some of the small movements and positions for exercises seem as though they are not doing much at the time, over time they vastly improve posture and alignment for those who take part in regular practice.
Claire teaches pilates upstairs at the Dome cafe, Tuesday and Thursday evenings (all welcome) and puts on a ‘men’s only’ class Thursdays – a class that has had a great response from the Hedland community! Saturday mornings we also have a session. While you certainly don’t need a degree to teach Pilates, sessions taught by a physiotherapist can be claimed through private health insurance, adding to the incentive to give your core some strength!

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