These notes are very helpful to read before your first class especially if you are a beginner.
The following is an introduction to Pilates so that those who are completely new – and even those that may have dabbled in the past – know what to expect and what can be achieved with patience. Pilates conditions the body from head to toe with a low-impact approach suitable for all ages and abilities. It is a proven method of body conditioning, working from the inside out and, in essence, teaches you how to exercise and move correctly with precision and thought.
With concentration and understanding of how your body works - better results will be achieved in a shorter amount of time.
Some Pilates programs promise dramatic weight loss or overnight transformations. That's not what pure Pilates is about. However, with time and dedication, Pilates practice can:
• Improve strength, flexibility and balance.
• Tone and build long, lean muscles without bulk.
• Challenge deep abdominal muscles to support the core.
• Engage the mind and enhance body awareness.
• Condition efficient patterns of movement making the body less prone to injury.
• Reduce stress, relieve tension, boost energy through deep stretching.
• Restore postural alignment.
• Create a stronger, more flexible spine.
• Promote recovery from strain or injury.
• Increase joint range of motion.
• Improve circulation.
• Heighten neuromuscular coordination.
• Offer relief from back pain and joint stress.
• Correct over-training of muscle groups which can lead to stress and injury.
• Enhance mobility, agility and stamina.
• Compliment sports training and develop functional fitness for daily life activity.
• Improve the way your body looks and feels.
To ensure that you have the opportunity of attaining these benefits, we must focus on learning the skills required to perform the exercises with good posture and technique. It is important for you to have a good understanding of the methods used to create a strong and safe “core” and therefore prevent injury or discomfort in exercise and in your normal daily activities. I say this because many think that exercise is all about getting up a good sweat and pushing your body to limits that it perhaps hasn’t been subjected to since the school playground. Therefore, some leave their first Pilates session questioning if “just raising one arm” or “just breathing in and out” has any benefits. However, as Joseph Pilates himself said -
“IF YOU PERSEVERE – IN TEN SESSIONS YOU WILL FEEL A DIFFERENCE
IN 20, YOU WILL SEE A DIFFERENCE”
The aim, therefore, is first to educate and then to build quality of movement over the following weeks so that the transition from “Beginner” to “Intermediate” is smooth, safe and enjoyable. Over the next few weeks, you will be learning the very basics of the Mat Based Pilates moves that will lay the foundations for more complicated future intermediate and advanced exercises.