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What is Pilates?


About the Pilates Method

The Pilates method is designed to bring the spine closer to how it was positioned at birth. To do this the exercises were conceived to uniformly develop the body by strengthening it from the center..

Pilates isn't just about "working out" it is about learning to be at home and connected with one's own body in order to have the energy and health to enjoy life and meet all of its demands each and every day.

By coordinating breathing with the execution of precise movements the entire body works together to tone and strengthen. The act of rolling and un-rolling the spine articulating each and every vertebra is an action unique to the Pilates method. This movement is meant to render the spine supple and pliable.

First and foremost performing the exercises requires significant concentration so that mind, body and spirit can work together as one. This level of acute concentration while moving increases one's awareness and can help lead to the simultaneous development of a healthy mind and body.

The Benefits of Pilates

The benefits of doing Pilates are numerous and significant thanks to the full-bodied nature of the method.

Regular practice of Pilates makes you makes you feel better because your posture, breathing, balance and circulation are all improved.Your muscles are strengthened and more toned thus better defining your silhouette. Looking better also makes you feel better as does the increased awareness of body and self that doing Pilates gives you.

When you do Pilates you feel more energetic and in the case of past injury or tension you also find that you are no longer living with pain. By regularly doing Pilates at any age you can prevent the onset at many of the aches and pains that plague people as they age.

After a Pilates lesson you feel invigorated, relaxed, full of energy,and satisfied with yourself for having completed a challenging full-body workout!

History of Pilates

Joseph Pilates was born in a small town near Dusseldorf, Germany in 1883. He was a small and sickly child who was often teased. As he grew older he took it upon himself to become strong and healthy. He was a gymnast, a boxer, and a diver. He observed the movement of animals in nature and devoured anatomy manuals.

Before World War I he spent time in England and ended up interned on the Isle of Man upon outbreak of the war. During the worldwide influenza outbreak he and all those interned with him survived and remained healthy thanks to his teaching of his exercise method. It was here that the basis of his method, Contrology, was developed and that Pilates began using springs (removed from beds!) as "extra muscles" to help bed-ridden patients exercise.

Pilates est retourné en Allemagne après la guerre et a continué à développer sa méthode en formant la police de Hambourg à l’auto-defense et en travaillant avec des patients atteints de rhumatismes. Avant la Seconde Guerre mondiale, Pilates émigre aux États-Unis. Sur le bateau à New York, il rencontre sa future femme, Clara, une enseignante souffrant d’arthrite. Son travail avec Pilates au cours de leur voyage l’aura guérie de ses douleurs.

À New York Pilates ouvre sa « salle de sport ».c’est là qu’il développe plus avant sa méthode et l’enseigne, avec l’aide de Clara, à ceux qui viennent à dans son studio. Pilates noue rapidement une relation avec la communauté de la danse en rééduquant des danseurs blessés à un moment où la kinésithérapie n’existe pas encore. La Contrôlogie en vient à être utilisée par les compagnies de danse en complément de la formation et l’est encore aujourd’hui. Le Pilates est également largement utilisé par les kinésithérapeutes aux États-Unis et au Royaume-Uni en particulier.

Joseph et Clara ont formé les nombreux clients qui sont passés par leur studio. Une poignée d’entre eux a continué à enseigner la méthode de Pilates. Ce groupe de personnes, désignés sous le nom des «Aînés» sont crédités de diffusion de la méthode à travers le monde. C’est une de ces aînées, Romana Kryzanowska qui a repris le studio à la mort de Clara en 1977.

Pilates lived a long and healthy life and died at age 84 in 1967 after respiratory complications resulting from his being trapped in a fire in his studio.

Why is it important to be physically active and healthy?
Joseph ilates, créateur de la méthode Pilates

Joseph Pilates, Return to Life Through Contrology, 1945 Joseph Pilates dans Return to Life Through Contrology, 1945 :

Notre interprétation de la forme physique est d’obtenir et d’entretenir un corps développé uniformément, qu’accompagne un esprit sain, parfaitement capable de réaliser naturellement, facilement et de manière satisfaisante les tâches nombreuses et variées du quotidien avec une ardeur spontanée et avec plaisir.

La Contrôlogie développe le corps de façon uniforme, corrige mauvaises postures, restaure la vitalité physique, revigore le mental et élève l’esprit.


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