Firstly, no, it’s nothing like yoga! Pilates was created by the late Joseph H. Pilates whose tireless work and study culminated in the release in 1934 of a book titled: “RETURN TO LIFE THROUGH CONTROLOGY”. Among many other wisdoms included in the book, it contained in-depth descriptions of a specific number of exercises which were meant to be performed in a certain sequence – known as Classical Pilates. Pilates believed that performing these exercises in their exact order would return the body to balance and build strength and stamina. Contemporary Pilates, such as what is taught at Pilates Nation, has been closely based on the Classical method but has allowed for changes based on new breakthroughs in medical sciences and exercise physiology.
Joseph Pilates was a boxer who smoked cigars and enjoyed more than the occasional glass of his favourite spirit. He worked in his studio in New York in his tighty whities (only) to allow the skin to breathe and sweat out toxins. He was incredibly fit and it is said that his physique was such that he posed for anatomical muscle charts in his youth. Pilates originally designed his method/workout for men, but women quickly flocked to learn this intelligent form of exercise, known back then as ‘Contrology’.
In a nutshell, Pilates is a physical fitness system that promotes efficient movement through muscular control, balance, endurance and strength. The exercises can be performed with or without specialised equipment and focus on improving the core (also known as the powerhouse) including the deep abdominals, inner and outer thighs, glutes and back.
As well as improving core strength, the exercises improve overall muscle tone, strength, flexibility, balance, posture and enhanced mental awareness. It is for this reason that Pilates is often used by elite athletes as a form of cross training to lengthen their sporting careers and keep their bodies supple and injury free. It is also for this reason that Pilates is utilised by Allied Health workers such as Osteopaths and Physiotherapists for postural pain and injury rehabilitation.
Whether it be for general fitness or for injury rehabilitation, the specially formulated exercises tone and condition your body in a completely unique method, bringing your body into symmetry and balance. Close supervision ensures correct technique and positioning of the body to gain maximum benefit.
Due to the focus on breathing through the exercises, Pilates is also great for stress relief and centering the mind, and is a gentler, more holistic way to improve muscle tone, suppleness and functional strength. Pilates will lengthen and strengthen, shape and stretch all your muscles without building bulk.
Have a chat with us about which combination of Pilates classes will best suit your individual needs and let’s get you moving!
Pilates really is great for everyone regardless of fitness level, age, sex, size, injury, and is a safe system of exercising for people with osteoporosis and numerous other medical conditions. The specialised equipment helps to support the body through movement, whilst challenging the muscles.
Pilates: What can it do for you?
In each and every exercise, the basic principles of breath and body alignment are applied. Over time your body learns and creates new and improved movement habits which in turn, keeps your joints safe and reduces risk of injury. There’s certainly a lot to think about when you first start, but like learning any new skill, its gets easier over time.
A very important part of Pilates is learning how to breathe well – breathing is incredibly under-rated! Learning to breathe deeply and fully does so much for our bodies: increases mental clarity, the ability to focus, reduces muscle and mental fatigue, increases oxygen to the main organs allowing removal of waste and toxins.
The exercises are slow and deliberate in pace allowing the brain to learn and feel the connections through the body. The slow pace teaches control and allows the deeper stabilising muscles to work. These deep stabilisers are usually overly dominated in faster, heavy movements so working in a slow, controlled fashion allows them to strengthen and do a better job of stabilizing thereby reducing wear and tear on the joint and reducing risk of injury. The use of the Pilates breath which includes the deep abdominal connection, helps to keep the core strong and spine safe, and assists in developing a true awareness of the basic principles of posture, alignment, and muscle recruitment.
Common catch phrases for Pilates are “the thinking man’s exercise” or “Intelligent Exercise”. You need to be fully present physically and mentally because Pilates requires a lot of thought initially to enable the body to become a more efficient mover. But these are the precise reasons why Pilates works – you’re mentally and physically learning how to properly align your body through everyday activities and exercise thus reducing muscles strains, pains and stresses and joint wear and tear. This can either prevent injury, or enable a speedy recovery and provides a deep understanding of how to avoid further injury in future.
The Studio is fully equipped with Professional Grade STOTT Pilates equipment to help you achieve better, more efficient movement:
“Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness”
“Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness”
Joseph H. Pilates, 1934 Return to Life Through Contrology
Through continuous practice you will develop a real connection with your body. Focusing on the actual essence of each exercise, will ensure that you receive its maximum benefit. Your expertly trained instructor will be able to guide you through each exercise and make any micro-adjustments needed for your body.
As with all exercise, practising 2-3 times per week works best for most people, but you may need to experiment to finds what works for you. Pilates can effect huge changes when regular practice is taken up twice or thrice weekly.
Take responsibility for your own health and well-being and diarise your Pilates time in advance each week – you’ll feel better for it, and be a better person!!
Success in any part of our lives requires commitment and dedication. Whether your goals are general health and well-being, living pain free, or looking better in your swim suit, make the commitment and map out the journey to your end goal. Goal setting is a powerful process for motivating yourself to turn your vision of a future into a reality.
If you’re injured or pregnant, ALWAYS let the instructor know prior to the beginning of class. If your instructor is aware of any physical limitations you may have, they can give you the safest and most beneficial practice possible.
Use the lockers provided to store your phone, shoes and bag to avoid them being a hazard in the studio. As to phones, the world can live without you for an hour and your ability to focus will be that much better for it.
I won’t bang on about this except to say that if the person on the machine before you had a fungal foot infection, you’ll be pleased to know they were wearing clean socks in the foot and hand straps 🙂
Don’t be disappointed or lose faith in the process if one class feels harder than the last. Just remember that the way our bodies feel depend on a number of variables, and do only what you can on the day. The next class may be your best!!
The warm up is important to prepare your body for the workout. If you arrive late, you may be refused entry firstly for your own safety and secondly to avoid upsetting the flow of the class.
For Private sessions, Small Groups or Group Pilates classes, as well as Memberships for the Group Classes, so be sure to check them out!
We also offer Memberships which include up to 5 group classes per week for our Pilates Lovers.
You can cancel or reschedule your class up to 8 hours prior to the class starting with no penalty.
If cancellation occurs within 8 hours of your scheduled class:
(a) If you have purchased an individual class or it has been booked via a 10 Pass, you forfeit that class credit;
(b) If you’re on a membership and fail to cancel your class, or simply don’t turn up, your account/debit facility will be debited $15. This is meant to discourage people on memberships from booking classes, and then showing up. There is a waitlist facility on all classes, and by not cancelling your space, you are potentially taking that spot from someone else.
As a Full Member of the Pilates Alliance Australasia (PAA), Julie is committed to ensuring the highest standard of teaching and knowledge undertaking various continuing professional education workshops and practice development with registered educators, both in Pilates and as an Allied Health Assistant. She is fortunate enough to have 4 years of experience working under Allied Health professionals such as Osteopaths and Physiotherapists which has given her a great deal of experience working with injured clients.
Personally, Julie has enjoyed a regular and unflinching practice of pilates since 2000. She has always had a love of anything physical and has been involved with many different sporting activities over her years, including athletics, martial arts (Ninjutsu), boxing, squash, weight training and indoor rock climbing to name a few. Pilates has played a pivotal role in her continuing ability to participate in whichever sporting activity takes her fancy.
EDUCATION AND TRAINING
Julie has a genuine interest and desire in helping people feel whole again, and believes that the empowerment that comes with the health and vitality of a well-functioning body translates into a happier and more self-aware individual. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of being strong and in control of your own physical health and well-being.