I have mentioned core stability before in my blogs and have spent the last 2 years working on my core strength. So, I felt it was time to practise what I preach by going to a Pilates class.
Essentially, Pilates focuses on the postural muscles in the body, building strength from the inside out. It can help to correct postural alignment and educates the body on proper and more efficient movement patterns. It was developed nearly 100 years ago and is taught internationally to date.
Some of the benefits are:
- Stability of the entire spine, pelvis and shoulder girdle
- Strengthening of the pelvic floor, deep abdominal musculature and gluteals
- Strengthening of the upper and lower extremities
- Spinal mobility and flexibility
- Peripheral joint mobility and flexibility
- Overall postural improvement
I really believed I could physically improve from practising Pilates particularly as I naturally have a very stiff spine and find certain movements quite difficult. So, I joined a beginners class two months ago and I can already feel the benefits. I am getting more spinal movement and my strength is improving. In two months I have noticed some of the exercises have become easier and my movement more efficient. As a result of my experience I now recommend Pilates to my patients.
The class is an hour long and I love for that one hour I feel completely in tune with my body. It is a very enjoyable experience. My teacher Michelle is excellent at instructing what we need to do and it takes all my concentration to try and get my body to do it! I am one of those people who finds it very hard to switch off mentally. I am always thinking about the next thing, whether it is something about work or what I need to pick up for dinner. My mind never stops. However in that hour class all I do is fully concentrate on the movement of my body and the activation of the correct muscles, completely clearing my mind of its usual busy thoughts.
Pilates is certainly challenging, getting your body and spine to move in particular ways but like everything the more you practise it the easier it becomes. It is a very satisfying to feel the benefits and see the progress over the weeks.
You do not need to have an injury, be in pain or have an active problem to profit from doing Pilates. The list of benefits above can be applied to everyone. It is important to remember that each person moves differently, with different physical limitations. If you have a good Pilates teacher they will be able to instruct accordingly.
Put quite simply – Pilates has so many physical and mental benefits and I am loving it! Give it a go.