Pilates is the ultimate full body workout for body fitness and health, practising Pilates regularly you will learn how to be disciplined, patient and work with your core to empower your movements. Pilates is accessible for everyone no matter what your level and requires minimal investment to get started. The only concern is that once you start learning Pilates that you won’t be able to stop.
The Pilates exercise program was invented by Joseph Pilates while he was in a First World War detainment camp. His focus was to relax the muscles and then strengthen them as well as improving the core area. In Pilates, the core body (powerhouse) is the centre of strength to empower all movement within the practice. While Pilates was influenced in part by Yoga, it has its own very defined style and is an exercise in its own right.
Yoga was created around 5,000 years ago in India and heavily focuses on uniting the mind, body and spirit. Yoga is not just an exercise, yoga is a lifestyle and although yoga postures or asanas are focused on training the body. This is only 1 of the limbs of the philosophy.
Read more about the differences between pilates and yoga.
Yoga was created around 5,000 years ago in India and heavily focuses on uniting the mind, body and spirit. Photo Source: Unsplash
There are lots of benefits of Pilates training including endurance, good posture, proper breathing, whole toned body, melts belly fat to flatten the stomach and much more.
A Yoga asana workout focuses the on gaining flexibility within the mind and body. There are an incredible amount of benefits from practising yoga.
While there are slight differences between Pilates and Yoga, the main difference is the fact that Yoga is a lifestyle. As you can see the differences are very minor and the preference over which to practise really will fall down to a personal choice depending on your fitness goals and life choices.
Wear comfortable form-fitting clothing so that the Pilates instructor can see if your alignment is correct. Photo Source: Unsplash
Going to your first Pilates workout can be nerve-racking if you don’t know what to expect. It is a full body work out that creates a balanced body and total body awareness. As well as better posture, lower stress levels, full body toning, reduced body weight among other things. I have listed everything that you need to know about preparing for your first class and what to do after your first class.
*Studios often provide any specialist equipment, such as the Pilates reformer that might be needed.
When booking your class be sure to ask the receptionist what kind of Pilates class it is. There are different forms of Pilates, and they are all run in slightly different ways as well as each studio also having their own rules and styles of teaching.
Make sure you arrive at the class early so that you can get a space. If you are a beginner make sure to let the teacher know at some point and also follow the modifications if you are struggling. Pilates although slow and controlled in its movement can be tough work. You are likely to feel this within the class while doing the poses. Try your best to go as far as you can without being too concerned about what everyone around you is doing.
Make sure to hydrate properly after class, to replenish any lost nutrients and water. If you find that your body has a few aches and pains for a few days after practising this is normal and very positive sign as it means that your muscles have responded well to the session.
When selecting a Pilates class for yourself, it is essential to keep a few things at the forefront of your mind. You should have an idea about the workout goals that you have, and you should know what motivates you. There are lots of different styles of Pilates exercises, and you can practice in many different places.
It would be great if you could try a few classes with different styles and see how you feel afterwards. Understand that it is essential to choose a class because of how you feel when you are practising. If you choose a fitness class that you like you are more likely to dedicate yourself to regular practice. When you enjoy it, then it will no longer be a chore.
This is the style created by Joseph Pilates, the Classical style of Pilates focuses on increasing core strength, breathing and body-mind awareness.
Polestar Pilates specialises personalisation to help with meeting your goals, strengthen your body, healing of injuries and rehabilitation.
Stott Pilates specialises in posture and realigning the spine.
This style uses a machine called a reformer, which manipulates the body and aids flexibility.
This style is a blend of Physiotherapy and Pilates, focused on working on specific areas of the body, and It is not concerned about balancing the mind.
Similar to Classical Pilates, Contemporary Pilates shares many of the same moves and is run in a studio environment.
Pilates is great for a better posture, lower stress levels, full body toning, reduced body weight among other things. Photo Source: Unsplash
This is the class that you can find in your gym or local studio. You have lots of opportunities to meet people and get instructor feedback.
Having the one on one full attention of a Pilates instructor will be invaluable to advance your Pilates practise.
Pilates Intensives And Retreats
This is a great way to fast track your commitment and interest in Pilates. You will be able to ask questions and get personalised support.
Pilates DVD’s are great for practising at home and are very cost effective compared to live classes.
Private live online classes of Pilates (Paid) or Pilates videos on YouTube and other sites (Free) are both excellent ways to fast-track the benefits of regular Pilates practice.
There are lots of styles of Pilates available, and all of them come with different price points.
The price to start practising Pilates is quite low, and you don’t need much equipment to get a started. The most important thing to bring to any Pilates class is a yoga mat, yourself wearing comfortable clothing and an open mind.
If you would like to learn Pilates and think that it sounds like a fun body workout. Then why not search for beginners Pilates classes near you, right now and get on to the path to better health today.