Pilates Classes: A Beginner’s Overview

Pilates classes are becoming increasingly popular as people become increasingly aware of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Along with a balanced diet, undertaking exercise sessions and mental health awareness processes, such as Pilates classes, can create a sense of wellbeing and general fitness. Having a healthy lifestyle can ultimately increase a person’s life expectancy as well as their quality of life.

Pilates is often confused with yoga although the two are inherently very different types of exercises. Pilates was devised by Joseph Pilates in the early twenty first century. Yoga is essentially a meditative and spiritual discipline whilst Pilates is more about strengthening a body’s internal core and simultaneously developing flexibility and suppleness.

As well as helping a person to develop a sense of mental wellbeing and increasing their physicality, Pilates classes can also assist with a range of health issues such as back problems, balance issues and poor posture. Breathing correctly forms a large part of the Pilates process; the process helps relieve stress and allows for a sense of calm and peace. This makes Pilates techniques much more manageable and achievable. For those seeking to improve their body shape, Pilates classes are the ideal solution. Resulting in a flatter stomach and increased muscle tone, Pilates is a suitable addition to a weight-loss diet and contributes to longer-looking, leaner limbs.

Pilates classes are suitable for a variety of people, both women and men; the young and old are able to benefit from Pilates classes and they are even suitable for pregnant women or have recently given birth. Pilates can really help improve a person’s posture, which often suffers during pregnancy. Pilates as a form of exercise is also low impact, meaning there is little or no stress on ankles or legs.

Although there are specific Pilates movements that should be only be used with caution and by those who have become experts in this area, most of the other positions and realignments should be achievable by most people, even those who may have low levels of fitness and strength.

Co-ordination can also be improved by attending Pilates classes. A real awareness of the frame of the body is achieved with practice, which in turn aids the synchronisation of the body frame and movement. It is an ideal way to recover from sporting injuries and to build strength, so Pilates is used by many sports people. Regular sessions increase the strength of all of the major muscles and thus aid speedy recovery from strains and sprains.

Pilates can actually be modified in order to incorporate other kinds of movements and exercises; this flexibility of delivery allows access to this discipline to be even wider.

It is estimated that nationwide there are thousands of Pilates classes available, from Lancashire to Kent, making this a very popular form of exercise and pastime. Most Pilates beginners start their sessions with a basic explanation and exhibition of the principles of Pilates to increase their understanding of this form of exercise.