What is Pilates? Pilates is an innovative mind-body exercise developed by Joseph Pilates as early as the 1920s. Blending eastern exercise philosophies with western fitness science, Pilates is a holistic discipline that improves physiological fitness, and enhances psychological wellness. It combines the mental focus and specific breathing of yoga and Chinese martial arts with the physicality of gymnastics and other sports movements into an entirely new training regime that accentuates controlled grace in power and flowing beauty in movement. Some have described Pilates as “the wave of the future, combining the allure of rebalancing your mind as you fine-tune from head to toe…”
Can anyone do Pilates? Pilates is fast becoming one of the most popular exercise forms, and one of the easiest to adapt to all ages and lifestyles. Although anyone from 7 to 70 can benefit from Pilates, it should be noted that not every exercise is suited to everyone. Some exercises can be very demanding, and are best performed under professional supervision. Discuss your exercise programme with your instructor. A modification may be needed to enable you to derive the best effect safely.
Are there different levels of classes? If you are a beginner, you should sign up first for Pilates Fundamentals and the Initial Consult before moving on to the other programmes on the Mat or on Pilates machines. Classes are usually organised according to your competency level. Engage at your own comfort level. The instructor will understand your level of ability and calibrate the routine accordingly. If you are uncomfortable in a group, or prefer more personalized attention, you may like to opt for private classes.
What’s the difference between Pilates and Yoga? Although both exercise forms aim at connecting mind and body, Pilates is non-spiritual and takes a scientific approach towards bringing the parts of the body into control and balance. The breathing is different – in Pilates, you pull your stomach in to build abdominal strength, while in Yoga you allow it to expand as you breathe. Pilates is about the body in motion, while Yoga entails holding the body in a variety of poses.
What’s the difference between Reformer and Mat? Work on the Mat comprises a series of floor exercises, performed lying on your back, side or front, sometimes complemented with the use of exercise equipment like the magic circle and free weights. A Reformer is a resistance-based machine with a moving carriage that slides along a wooden or metal frame. Springs and ropes provide assistance and resistance, and exercises are performed lying down, sitting, kneeling or standing. They target the deep abdominal and spinal muscles in order to build core strength. Other equipment like the Cadillac and Wunda Chair are also used to achieve similar effects and breathtaking results.