Pilates: The True Story
In the early 1900's, German national Joseph Pilates, developed a form of physical exercise using the mind, body and breathing to improve strength, flexibility and health.
A completely new approach to physical health
Although his methods could have been deemed 'alternative' at the time, he had no problem gaining recognition after assisting the recovery of sickly WWI prisoners with his strengthening exercises. When he moved to New York in 1926, he established a Pilates Studio so dancers, singers and theatre performers could train for the demands of all their differing disciplines.
The Pilates method he established is now incorporated into many aspects of life and sports. A variety of methods are used, like Menzies, Polestar, or Stodard. Pilates instructors need to be certified in one of these methods to be able to instruct.
Can we really make ourselves stronger by using our mind, body and breath?
Physiotherapy sometimes uses the Pilates method of strengthening, breathing and conditioning for patients after injury or surgery to help them regain their physical ability and quality of life. The exercises may use body weight as resistance or specialised equipment and are progressed as strength and flexibility improve. Patients may be taught the exercises individually to start and then progress into a class as they improve. Once the injury has recovered, they may continue in a class to maintain the gains they have made and to help prevent further injury.
Joseph Pilates summarized his philosophy in these words: "If at the age of 30 you are stiff and out of shape, then you are old. But if at 60 you are supple and strong then you are young!"
Focus Health's Pilates classes are run by physiotherapists who are also fully qualified as Pilates instructors. The programme is open to everyone (full schedule).