What is Pilates?
Pilates, named after Joseph Pilates is a total conditioning programme that works your body from inside out focusing on core-muscles, notably in the abdomen, back and pelvic girdle region. It´s a system of over 500 exercises that provide a balanced blend of strength and flexibility training to improve posture, reduce stress and create lean muscles withouth bulking up. It´s also a mind-body exercise, which focuses on proper breathing while doing precise body movements. Each exercise is built around eight basic principles: relaxation, concentration, alignment, centring, breathing, flowing movements, co-ordination and stamina. The exercises are non-jarring motions where the abdomen, lower back and hips are turned into a central support to achieve a balanced and graceful body.
Pilates for Fragile Backs - Click here to read their success story, forums, book, exercises.
Pilates pioneer and founder of Body Control Pilates Lynn Robinson (this is the Pilates DVD I have), worked with Elizabeth Hurley throughout her preganancy, says, "Pilates changes the way in which you use your body". It changes the way that you move. By redressing imbalances and altering movement patterns, your body is brought back into balance. It will move the way nature intended - the way you used to move as a child before you developed poor postural habits.
This rediscovered freedom of movement will ensure that your muscular skeletal, circulatory and lymphatic system functions efficiently. You´ll not only look great from the outside but your body will become properly nourished with oxygen and toxic waste removed.
According to its founder Joseph Pilates, in ten sessions you´ll feel the difference, in 20 you´ll see the difference and in 30 sessions you´ll have a new body. LA based trainer to the stars Mari Windsor says "Basically Pilates is a series of exercises or poses that are connected in a particular way to increase circulation, flexibility and strengthen specific areas of the body". The routine as a whole brings the body into a state of harmony, so that all these areas are working together as one unit.
Pilates is very versatile and can fit anyone´s needs. All you need is an exercise mat, Tennis ball and scarf with great results being achieved through beginner, intermediate and advanced moves. However you can also buy equipment in the way of The Body Control Pilates Toning Circle costs around 28 pounds and you can mail order from (0207 3793734) and that comes with an explanatory leaflet, I however bought the DVD first to see if I could manage it, and I dont have enough wall space either in my house, as they are covered with paintings LOL.
ScoliosisNutty has teamed up with Evi Patsia, who is a member of the How To Look Good Twisted Facebook Page and came to the February (2011) meeting we held in London.
Evi Patsia, a Polestar Physical Therapy certified Equipment Instructor and Massage Therapist who is based in London, has used Pilates and other methods of fitness to maintain her back healthy and pain-free. Evi was diagnosed with scoliosis at the age of 14 and was operated at the age of 23. She discoverd Pilates about 5 years after her operation, and the benefits of the exercise led her to become a teacher herself, focusing on assisting other people with spinal problems.
"Pilates matwork exercises can build a strong body", Evi says, "but not all of them are ideal for someone with scoliosis. For example, exercises that require weight bearing in a flexed position of a fused spine or spine that is stabilised with rods are not good options, as compressive forces can be painful or even damaging". On the other hand, when practiced correctly and guided by a scoliosis specialist, Pilates can be a powerful tool for scoliosis rehabilitation and treatment. "I practice every day, even for 10 minutes if I am busy or tired from teaching others in gyms. I can survive without practice and stretching for two days, but the third day my body starts sending messages requiring my attention :-)".
If you would like to talk with Evi about treatment for your scoliosis using Pilates as your form of exercise then please contact Evi
Evi has a website about living in a body, fitness education, movement and transformation through Pilates, Nia, and Qigong, as well as Scoliosis treatment and Bodywork practices.