Pilates Plus founder Sarah Duley is here to answer your questions. Sarah is a qualified and highly respected Pilates instructor with several years experience.
If you have a question about Pilates Plus that is not answered below, please feel free to contact us, we are always willing to help.
- What is Pilates?
- What are the benefits of Pilates?
- How long does it take to notice any benefits?
- Who is Pilates suitable for?
- What is the difference between Pilates studio and mat-work?
- What is the difference between Pilates and Yoga?
Evolved from techniques created by Joseph H. Pilates more than 70 years ago, Pilates is a non aerobic form of exercise that dramatically improves strength, flexibility, co-ordination and posture. Controlled, smoothly flowing exercises are performed in precise alignment with deep breathing. In Pilates, the quality of movement is more important than the number of repetitions.
Pilates trains the whole body and mind, improving posture and body awareness. Deep, lateral, back-breathing is encouraged, which in itself will improve circulation, energy levels and feelings of well being. Muscle imbalances are addressed, lengthening dominant muscle groups whilst strengthening weaker ones, giving overall a more toned and balanced appearance. Muscle strength, flexibility and co-ordination are just some of the benefits you will experience.
Pilates is not an overnight cure, but the eventual benefits are long-lasting. Most people take about ten classes to start seeing or feeling a difference. It will take a while just to increase body awareness and understand the technique. “I’m glad I persevered” is a comment that we often hear.
Pilates suits all types and ages, men and women alike. Following operations or injury it is gentle and supportive, giving the body time to recover and build strength in weaker areas. It is safe throughout pregnancy, targeting muscle groups that will help you both leading up to and following birth. It is effective for stress related conditions, improving circulation and flexibility, thereby releasing tension.
Remember that whilst Pilates strengthens the weak it also challenges the strong. There is something for everyone.
Pilates mat-work classes are often held in groups of anything from 6-30 people. They are also performed without the use of specialised Pilates equipment (although sometimes small apparatus may be used).
In contrast, Pilates studio work offers you semi-private tuition with full use of the original Pilates apparatus, such as the Reformer and the Cadillac.
The fundamental mat-work exercises, which form the core of the technique, must also be learnt in the studio. However, you will then be able to use the springs and pulleys of the equipment to increase muscle resistance and thereby enhance your routine.
Pilates has no spiritual or meditative background. Its concerns are based much more around increasing muscle strength, tone and core stability. Because Pilates and yoga are actually quite different from each other, they can work very well together as complimentary exercise systems.