This is a question I hear very often and I’ll admit it before I took a Pilates class I assumed it was more like Yoga than anything, but oh my goodness was I wrong. Of couse, they have many similarties! Like their every growing popularity, mat classes, creating a lean, long body through the course of regular practice; however, they achieve all of this through extremely different methods.
Pilates was created by Joseph Pilates in the 1920’s for physical rehabilitation through mental and physical health. Joseph believed that the mind and body were linked and both needed to be healthy in order to gain progress in your overall health. It soon became very popular with dancers then it migrated to the states not too long after that. It was used to bring bed-ridden people to their feet again, help people stand up straight once more and so much more! So today it has endless possibilities from physical rehabilitation to getting your body in the best shape it has ever been in! They won’t tell you, but a lot of proffesional football players take Pilates classes to help control their muscleswhen they have to make their bodies go in those crazy positions in order to score a touchdown or keep the ball in play.
Okay… I know that’s not the answer you’re looking for, but I thought it was interesting..
Joseph Pilates created six principles to make up Pilates; concentration, control, centering, flow of movement, precision and breathing. During each pose certain muscle groups are targeted, each movement is to be done a certain way so each muscle can be moved and strengthened the correct way. It really opens the eyes to how interconnected the muscles in your body are! Pilates focuses on the entire body; arms, legs, neck, abs and the other endless muscles included. But the main focus is something that Joseph Pilates called the “powerhouse.” In other words, your core muscles or abs. When you have a strong core it helps align and make sure that all of your other muscles are working correctly and effeciently. So the main goal behind practing Pilates is to gain flexibility, strength, and length. By practicing regularly Pilates can stengthen your core, improve posture tremendously, stabalize and elongate the spine and gain overall improved balance. Not to mention you will look absolutly breath taking while gaining all of the health benefits! When you have a strong core, the rest of the muscles tend to follow closely behind!