Massage therapist Natalie started teaching Pilates seven years ago. Since then, the classes have become very popular amongst the patients of the Clarendon Clinic as well as the general public.
Focusing on core stability, Natalie ensures that the exercises are carried out correctly with a focus on pelvic floor stability, abdominal strength and improvement in flexibility. The Pilates sessions are run one on one to ensure maximum results.
The Pilates Method
The Pilates method is a mind-centering technique that emphasises the importance of beginning movement from a central core of stability. The intensity of each exercise can be adjusted through the use of differing length levers and resistance.
8 Essential Steps:
Breathing control – this is co-ordinated with exercises so that exhalation occurs with movements that require the greatest effort.
Concentration – concentration on every movement during Pilates workout is essential to promote correct alignment and body awareness.
Control – movement control is vital when working against gravity
Centering – pilates primarily facilitate core stability
Precision – precision of movement is a long term goal in the Pilates method
Flow – these exercises are performed in even, flowing movements
Isolation – Pilates builds mind-body awareness, thus one recognises incorrect patterns of movement, can isolate them and correct them
Routine – repetition is essential to learn the correct movement, alignment and promote awareness of the body (APPI, 2010).
Pilates or core stability exercises have been shown to improve the musculature surrounding the spine, strengthen weak muscles and help manage back pain successfully.
Pilates includes warm-up, strengthening exercises focusing especially on deep abdominal muscles and pelvic floor muscles, stretching and mobility exercises and cool down. It is recommended to every individual as it is a gentle exercise strengthening your core. Suitable to all levels and ages.
History of Pilates
The founder of Pilates exercise, Joseph Pilates was born in Germany in 1880. As an intern in hospital, he observed many ill people in bed doing no exercise and devised gentle exercise programmes for these patients. Soon it became evident that those practising Joseph’s exercises were improving faster.
He designed exercises using springs from old hospital beds. After the war, he returned to Germany where he continued to develop his exercise regime within the dance world. He opened his first Pilates studio in New York and his reputation grew very quickly.
After he passed away in 1967, his students continued in his footsteps until nowadays, when Joseph’s Pilates legacy continues.