What Is Pilates?

Paula Trafford’s Mat-Based, Functional Pilates offer a broad range of classes for people of all ages, abilities and fitness levels. There is a real desire for participants to embody the process and bring the body wisdom revealed through the classes into your daily life experience.


Pilates is a body-mind discipline and physical fitness system developed in the early 20th century by Gymnast Joseph Pilates

Joseph Pilates considered his method the ‘art of controlled movements,’ designed to feel like a workout.

                                                    

Nowadays Pilates, initially called “Contrology,” is practiced worldwide.

With regular practice, Pilates can improve flexibility, mobility, builds strength and develops control and endurance in the entire body. Many 

Paula Trafford teaches Pilates as a fluid, practical and functional self-care exercise method by which many clients have experienced therapeutic benefits over time.  

 

Paula’s practical embodiment methods enable you to integrate Pilates awareness and body use into your daily life activities, creating greater physical and energy economy.

There is a key emphasis on alignment, breathing, developing a strong core, and improving coordination and balance. 

The core, consisting of the muscles of the abdomen, lower back, hips, and rhomboids is often called the “powerhouse” and is considered essential to a person’s stability. 

 

The different exercises in Pilates are modified in range of difficulty from beginner to advanced. Intensity can also be increased over time as the body adapts itself to the exercises.

                                                                                                                                                             

The Original 6 Pilates Principles

 

Breathing

 

Breathing is important in the Pilates method and considered to act as “bodily house-cleaning with blood circulation“, thereby cleansing and invigorating every part of the body with oxygenated blood.

Proper full inhalation and complete exhalationare key. In Pilates exercises, the practitioner breathes out with the effort and in on the return. Pilates attempts to properly coordinate specific breathing practice with movement.

Concentration

Pilates demands intense focus, the way that exercises are done is more important than the exercises themselves.

Control 

“Contrology” was based on the idea of muscle control.

All exercises are done with control, the muscles working to lift against gravity and the resistance of springs [on particular apparatus]. Though most Pilates classes are done primarily using body weight and without apparatus. 

Centering

The centre is the starting place and focal point of the Pilates method. 

Many Pilates teachers refer to the group of muscles in the centre of the body—encompassing the abdomen, lower and upper back, hips, buttocks, and inner thighs—as the “powerhouse”. 

All movement in Pilates should begin from the centre and move outward to the limbs.

Flow

Pilates aims for elegant economy of movement, creating flow through the use of appropriate transitions. 

Once precision has been achieved, the exercises are intended to flow within and into each other in order to build strength and stamina. 

Postural alignment

Using correct posture while doing Pilates exercisesimproves safety by correcting muscle imbalances and optimising coordination.

 

                                                                                                                                      

 

Precision

Precision is essential. The focus is on doing one precise and perfect movement, rather than many halfhearted ones. 

A few well-executed movements are of much higher value than many sloppy or half-hearted attempts.  Eventually, this grace and economy of movement can become second nature.

Relaxation

True relaxation improves mental concentration and enhances correct muscle-firing patterns.

Stamina

With increased precision, efficiency of body motion reduces stress in performing the exercises.

Different Types of Pilates Classes for You

Paula’s Pilates Classes vary both Thematically and in degrees of difficulty from Beginner, through Intermediate to Advanced.

 

 

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