Joseph Pilates suffered from many childhood ailments which motivated him to study exercise and physical culture extensively. He built a strong and agile body from the exercise method that in his lifetime he called Contrology.
Pilates created a system of movement and exercise that as one of his book titles indicates were designed as a "Return to Life" as he felt in the 1940s that the modern lifestyle was increasingly causing us to lose touch with our bodies and innate health. This included sitting for too long, over use of the automobile and over processed food. Sound familiar?
The Contrology system was devised to be carried out on a series of spring loaded apparatus and on a well padded mat. The sprung equipment helping you to find your often neglected postural muscles with the goal of obtaining the necessary strength and control to perform the mat-work exercises daily. The apparatus provides both a supportive and challenging environment making the system adaptable to meet the needs of the unconditioned or injured individual to the elite athlete.
Our bodies function best when we are moving. Building strong and healthy bones and muscles. Replenishing our tissues with nourishing fluids. Carrying waste products away and filling our lungs with air containing the oxygen that every cell in our bodies need to function.
After just a few sessions many clients observe how much more aware they are in their bodies and how their everyday movements and activities are improving.
In his own words…
"Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness. Our interpretation of physical fitness is the attainment and maintenance of a 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."
"Contrology develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind, and elevates the spirit."
"A few well-designed movements, properly performed in a balanced sequence, are worth hours of doing sloppy calisthenics or forced contortion."
"Moreover, such a body freed from nervous tension and over-fatigue is the ideal shelter provided by nature for housing a well-balanced mind that is always fully capable of successfully meeting all of the complex problems of modern living."
"Contrology is complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit. Through Contrology you first purposefully acquire complete control of your own body and then through proper repetition of its exercises you gradually and progressively acquire that natural rhythm and coordination associated with all your subconscious activities."
Back pain is debilitating. When we are in acute pain our movement patterns change as a way of shifting the load away from compromised structures in order to allow us to continue to function.
Over time pain can become chronic and is a very complex process. Fear of any movement that could potentially trigger pain is now thought to be just as an important factor in whether someone continues to experiences pain once the initial injury has healed. The movement patterns that enabled us to carry on during the acute phase can persist and over time themselves contribute to further strain and discomfort.
Pilates helps to re-educate the body to move and grooves effective pain free motor patterns. One of the reasons that people see results so quickly is the effect that it has on the nervous system as well as the mechanics of our bodies that carry us around. Quality movement experiences bombard the central nervous system that it is OK to move and takes away what can be a fear that otherwise perpetuates the experience of pain.
The system is adaptable, not every exercise is right for the same person at different times. My background as a former osteopath gives me a thorough understanding of many spinal disorders including disc herniations and scoliosis which informs me as to what are currently the most suitable exercises and more importantly the ones which might not be currently suitable for an individual. Many local osteopaths and physiotherapists refer their patients to me in order to begin a safe and effective exercise program.
Click here to read testimonials from my clients who have previously suffered from back pain. If you have any concerns about starting Pilates due to a history of back problems please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Pre and Postnatal
Pregnancy can be a very exciting and challenging time in a woman’s life. Your body will go through some significant changes and Pilates can help you to adapt to those changes and help you to prepare for the delivery of your baby. No one would expect you to run a marathon without adequate training and support and you are after all getting ready for a major endurance event!
Pilates is very adaptable to your changing needs during pregnancy. There is plenty of scope to have your workout in seated and standing positions on the apparatus as laying flat might become more uncomfortable. Many exercises are modified in order to reduce the risk of conditions such as symphysis pubis and diastasis recti.
Mums to be are now presented with many more choices on how to prepare for and manage their labour. Please click here to find out more information on how hypnobirthing can help you physically and mentally prepare for your delivery.
After the happy event you will need to be cleared by your GP before you can exercise again. Here the postural demands on your body have changed far more rapidly than during your pregnancy and Pilates is a great exercises to help your body return to it's pre-pregnancy state and cope with the demands of caring for your baby. As I run a private studio you are more than welcome to bring your bundle of joy with you to your lesson without fear or disturbing any one else's session.