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Dance International
Written by: VVR
17/12/2007

The Pilates Method (simply known as Pilates), pronounced (Pih-LAH-Teez) is a physical fitness system developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates. Statistics show that since 2005, more than 11 million people practice Pilates regularly and there are more than 14000 instructors in the United States Alone.

Joseph Pilates called his method Contrology because he believed this method uses the mind to control the muscles. Pilates focuses on the core postural muscles which help keep the body balances and provides essential support for the spine. Pilates also teach awareness of breathing and alignment of the spine and aim to strengthen the deep torso muscles.

Pilates was formed by Joseph Pilates during the First World War with the proposal to improve the rehabilitation program for the many returning veterans. Joseph Pilates believed that mental and physical health are essential to one another. He recommended a few, precise movements emphasizing control and form to aid injured soldiers in regaining their health by strengthening, stretching and stabilizing key muscles.

Pilates Principles
- Condition the entire body
- Proper alignment
- Centering
- Concentration
- Control
- Precision
- Breathing
- Flowing Movement

Pilates help increase strength and flexibility, lengthen the body and align the spine.

Principles
Pilates claimed his method has a philosophical and theoretical foundation. Its not merely a collection of exercises but a method developed and refined over more than eighty year of use and observation.

Mind over Matter
Practitioners claim the central element of Pilates is to create a fusion of mind and body. Without thinking about it, the body will move with economy, grace, and balance, using your body to the greatest advantage, making the most of its strenghts, counteracting its weaknesses and correcting its imbalances. The goal is to produce an attention-free union of mind and body. The method requires that one constantly pays attention to ones body while doing the movements.

Breathing
Joseph Pilates believed in circulating the blood so that it could awaken all the cells in the body and carry away the wastes related to fatique. For the blood to do its work properly, it has to be charged with oxygen. Full and thorough inhalation and exhalation are part of every Pilates exercise.

Centering
Powerhouse: Large group of muscles in the centre of the body encompassing the abdomen, lower back, hips and buttocks. All energy for Pilates exercises begins from the powerhouse and flows outwards.

Concentration
Pilates demands intense focus. Beginners learn to pay careful attention to their bodies, building on very small, delicate fundamental movements in controlled breathing. In 2006, at the Parkinson Center of the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon, the concentration factor of the Pilates method was being studied in providing relief from the degenerative symptoms op Parkinsons disease

Control
Joseph Pilates built his method on the idea of muscle control. That means no sloppy, uncontrolled movements. Every exercise must be performed with utmost control, uncluding all body parts, to avoid unjury and produce positive results.

Precision
Every movement in the Pilates method has a purpose. Every instruction is vitally important to the success of the whole. To leave out any detail is to forsake the instrinsic value of the exercise. The focus is on doing one precise and perfect movement, rather than many halfhearted ones.

Pilates Equipment include:
- Mat
- Reformer
- Cadillac
- Ball and Thera band
- Chair
- Barrel

Many exercises are contra-indicated for pregnant women and the use of Pilates in pregnancy should only be undertaken under guidance of a fully trained expert.






































 

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