The A - Z of Pilates - Y is for YOU!

It is another brand new year already and I feel very optimistic.  Actually I can never help feeling optimistic at this time of year; the forthcoming spring, the nights that seem to start drawing out very quickly, the anticipation of the garden beginning to show new life...and then before we know it we will be out there enjoying those sunny days and barbecues in the garden!


I was chatting to my lovely husband Graham about this the other day and he asked "So what about YOU? Is there anything that YOU would like to do for yourself this year?"  Well now...there was a question...there are actually lots of things that spring to mind actually.  One of them is actually signing up to do a Pilates class as a participant on my day off/admin day.  I am always so delighted to see the progress of my class members and the fantastic way in which they progress and execute the Pilates technique, that I become totally inspired and keen to join in myself! So I have already started looking around for a good class in which I can lie down on a mat and apply the wonderful principles and technique of Pilates that I speak about every single day.


If you are thinking about starting to do something just for YOU as well this year, perhaps joining a Pilates has crossed your mind?  If it has, you may well be interested in my brief guide to Pilates which I have included below.  It is includes some little pointers around what it is, why it is beneficial, how it works and what to look for when looking around for a class and a Pilates teacher. 


What is Pilates? 


The Pilates method has been taught for over 90 years, since being pioneered by Joseph Pilates in the 1920s. Joseph Pilates was a man well ahead of his time and years after his death, his work is often thought of as having spearheaded a revolution in the world of fitness and an evolution of the wellness industry.


What does it do? 

Pilates can really help to address a number of issues that go hand in hand with today’s modern lifestyle, where we may find we are busier, working longer hours, huddling over computers and laptops and have less time for ourselves. It is particularly good for helping to manage aches and stiffness in in the joints and is often recommended by health professionals to people suffering with back pain, as well as those with weak abdominal muscles, poor posture, suffering from stress, or recovering from injuries. 


How does it work? 


PIlates is a low impact and highly effective form of exercise that is performed with precision and control, not only developing greater strength, but also reducing the risk of injury. It is based around some basic principles: Relaxation, Concentration, Alignment, Breathing, Centring, Co-ordination, Flowing movement and Stamina.  Targeting key postural muscles it works by building strength from inside out, rebalancing the body and bringing it into the correct alignment.


Can Pilates help my rehabilitation after an injury or illness?


Pilates can really help to speed recovery from injury or surgery, by improving mobility, posture, strength, coordination, and encouraging confidence in movement and ability. If you are recovering from surgery, illness or injury, you are always advised to check with your GP or relevant health professional on the suitability of Pilates, and to find out if there are any specific movements that you may need to avoid.


I am quite fit. Will Pilates benefit me at all? 


Certainly! If you already workout or exercise regularly, adding some Pilates exercise will only benefit and complement your usual activities.


How often do I have to do Pilates to benefit? 


As with anything, maximum benefit is only gained by regular practice. Attending a good Pilates class once a week is a really good solid foundation, practicing just a little everyday as well is even better, and if you can attend more than one class a week every so often – well that is just excellent. Whatever you are able to commit to doing you will most certainly feel the benefits.


What should I look for in a Pilates class?

  • If you are a new participant at a class you should always be asked to complete a brief questionnaire regarding your health, well being, and any injuries that may affect exercise.
  • Your teacher should constantly be observing, encouraging and communicating throughout your class, teaching the correct technique and providing you with personal attention when required. 
  • Group classes that run on a course or package basis are best, as this allows the teacher to get to know you, for you to understand and apply the technique safely and effectively, and to ultimately progress and feel the benefits.
  • Your Pilates teacher should be fully qualified, have a really strong track record of practical experience and knowledge, be able to communicate and demonstrate the exercises well, and be able to explain the ‘how’ as well as the ‘what’ to do. Most of all they should also be highly enthusiastic and genuine when teaching and sharing in your personal progress.


How do I start? 


The best way forward is to give it a try!  I have Pilates classes in Leicestershire and Northamptonshire at venues in Market Harborough, East Farndon, Medbourne, Cranford, Orlingbury and Broughton which range from beginner/mixed ability through to intermediate/advanced. You are always welcome to get in touch at to see where I have availability - or give me a call on 07776 058973 so that we can have a chat. 


Best wishes to you all and looking forward to another year of Pilates!


Happy summer days summer 2019!

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This entry was posted on January 8, 2020