Joseph Pilates

Pilates was developed by a German born gentleman Joseph Pilates, who as a child was poorly but determined to make himself well and healthy he set out on a life-long pursuit on health and well-being. He first started body building, to the point in his teens he was used as an anatomical model. Throughout his life he studied anatomy and participated in every kind of exercise he could ranging from classical Roman and Greek exercise regimes to body-building and gymnastics. He also studied more traditionally eastern disciplines such as yoga, tai chi, martial arts and Zen meditation. With all his knowledge he was able to blend both eastern and western ideas.

Whilst working in a hospital for a period in his life he began experimenting by attaching springs to patient’s beds so they could exercise, and so the beginnings of Pilates as we know it today was being formed, the origins of the first Pilates machines were born shaped like a sliding bed using springs as resistance. After moving to America he opened his first studio in 1923 and his techniques became an instant hit with dancers. He named it ‘controlology’ it later became known as Pilates. He conceived it as a mental and physical conditioning in which individuals could work their bodies to their full potential.

Pilates today is essentially a mind-body centring technique that emphasises the importance of beginning movement from a central core of stability, namely the lumbo-pelvic region. It allows participants to create awareness of a central core which movement of arms and legs and some resistance (equipment) can vary the intensity of work. Combine this with appropriate breathing control and the mind-body connection is complete. Do not be fooled this is harder than it sounds!!

From it’s very birth Pilates aims to address muscle imbalance through habitual patterns of movement which each and every one of us is guilty of having through the lives we live. Remember our ‘Sitting is the new smoking’ blog!!

Watch this space for more information on Pilates classes in the Dunfermline area.

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