“Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness. Our interpretation of physical fitness is the attainment and maintenance of the uniformly developed body with a sound mind fully capable of naturally, easily, and satisfactorily performing our many and varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure. To achieve the highest accomplishments within the scope of our capabilities in all walks of life, we must constantly strive to acquire strong, healthy bodies and develop our minds to the limits of our ability.” – Joseph Hubertus Pilates
WHAT IS PILATES?
Pilates is an exercise system developed by Joseph Pilates to strengthen muscle, increase flexibility and improve overall health. Exercises are performed on a mat and on specially designed equipment. The Pilates system includes exercises for every part of the body and applications for every kind of activity. Created in the early part of the 20th century, Pilates was so far ahead of its time that it did not begin to achieve popular recognition until the first few years of the 21st century. Over 10 million people are now practicing Pilates in the United States and the numbers are growing every year.
Joseph Pilates thought of his method as a way to connect and develop the mind, body and spirit in order to lead a happy, healthy and productive life. He saw his method as a way of teaching and practicing these principles so the body, mind and spirit could embody these principles in every moment. These are the key principles of the Pilates method. Breathing, Concentration, Control, Centering, Precision, Balanced Muscle Development, Rhythm/Flow, Whole Body Movement, Relaxation.
Pilates focuses on engaging the mind and body together to create exercises that involve the whole person. Every exercise is performed with attention to the breath, proper form and efficient movement patterns. Pilates strengthens the core, improves balance, increases coordination and decreases stress. The exercises are relatively safe, low impact and appropriate for anyone from 10 to 100. Pilates focuses on learning to move better so the benefits are felt in everyday life.
Pilates is used in fitness centers, private studios, rehabilitation clinics and hospitals to improve the health and well-being of clients from the recently injured to the super fit. As more and more people participate, Pilates continues to grow and evolve to meet the needs of anyone wanting to improve their ability to move with strength, ease and grace.
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