Pilates - Why I Started and Haven't Stopped

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Pilates - Why I Started and Haven't Stopped

Definition; "Pilates aims to strengthen the body in an even way, with particular emphasis on core strength to improve general fitness and wellbeing". 
I started doing Pilates around October/November 2015, after first being diagnosed with PTSD/Anxiety/Depression and I haven't stopped since! I have private lessons with my instructor every week in the evening for an hour and they've done bounds of amazing things for my body and my metal health. 

Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates, who believed mental and physical health were closely connected and so his discovery and his beliefs are what help me strive forward today. Pilates is an incredible workout for your body and mind, during Pilates you have no room in your mind to focus on anything else but the movements or exercises your doing. There's no worrying about what your making for tea that night, or if you've got time to run to the shops after class, it's completely about you and getting your body to perform the moves correctly. 
While the methods are different, pilates and yoga both develop strength, balance, flexibility, posture and good breathing technique. Both systems emphasise the connection between physical and mental health, although yoga places more emphasis on relaxation and uses meditation. Pilates is performed both on apparatus and mats, whereas classic yoga doesn't require any equipment. Pilates exercises are performed in a flow of movement without the static poses associated with yoga.

Pilates is amazing for the older you too! It's a very core strength based exercise which in turn aids balance, this is why older people who don't have a strong core are more likely to fall or loose their balance more easily than others. Pilates is all about strengthening and engaging your core which will not only activate and engage muscle memory for those super sleek looking abs but will also help to engage your transverse abdominis which is the main HUGE muscle that wraps around from your back to your front, that helps to keep your body stable. 

Pilates has enabled me to not only build on my own body's natural strength and refine it but it has also helped me take on control of my mental illness, knowing that once a week I have full control over the class and if I want to push myself I can push myself, makes me feel amazing. It gives your mind the control it so desperatley craves in the most healthy way. 

My local Pilates instructor is Sarah Pillage and you can find her here! If you want to find your local Pilates instructor Google or recommendations will be your best friend. 

Emma x

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