Mat exercises are based on the original work, and use your own body weight and gravity to create resistance and opposition. They can incorporate the use of small hand props like the magic circles, small balls, therabands and Swiss balls. They are often taught in large groups, and generally provide less hands-on instructor intervention.
Equipment sessions include the use of Pilates equipment like the reformer, cadillac, chair, barrel and many other specialized pieces of equipment. The equipment usually uses springs that can be adjusted to provide the appropriate amount of resistance. You do many of the same exercises as the on the Mat, but oriented differently in space, or made more challenging by being on a moving surface, or different levels of resistance. Equipment sessions are often taught as private or small group sessions, giving the student more individualized attention.
Classical Pilates was created by Joseph H Pilates in the early 1920’s. While he was interned during WW1 in England he devised a fitness program to help fellow internees maintain their health & fitness while being in confinement. Years later he moved to NYC and set up a studio next to the NYC ballet. The dancers discovered that his exercises were a great complement to their traditional routines. His clientele grew to include actors, actress, sports professionals and other rich and famous people.
The Pilates Method , originally called “Contrology “, is a series of over 500 exercises that build strength without bulk, and help to improve flexibility, joint mobility, coordination, balance & alignment. The guiding principles of Pilates are Concentration, Control, Centering, Breathing, Precision, and Flowing Movement. Using concentration to control your mind and body, you learn to use your powerhouse to initiate movements from the center with precision, not force. You also learn to use your breath to enhance the fluid movement of the exercises. In Pilates, emphasis is placed on the precision of the movements, concentrating on starting from the core and using opposition to lengthen and strengthen the spine throughout the movements.
“We are only as old as our spines are flexible” ~ Joseph H. Pilates
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Pilates can be done by everyone. It is literally for every body. No matter what your particular issues are, Pilates exercises, done correctly, can help you to realign and center your body. Pilates focuses on using your core stabilizing muscles, lengthening short muscles, strengthening weak muscles and increasing joint mobility.
Pilates exercises can be used by everyone from the elite athlete looking to improve their core strength and re-align muscle imbalances, to the senior wanting to maintain strength and posture, flexibility and balance. Pilates exercises are also widely used in physical rehabilitation of shoulders, knees and backs. A Pilates program will leave you feeling refreshed and alert, not exhausted.
“Not Mind or Body, but Mind and Body” ~ Joseph H. Pilates