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The health and wellness benefits of Pilates

By Tracy Dye

Pilates founder, Joseph Pilates knew that the benefits of his new practice would be seen quickly.

“In 10 sessions, you will feel the difference. In 20, you will see the difference. And in 30, you’ll be on your way to a whole new body.”

While a toned, healthy physique is a common result of this groundbreaking form of fitness, the holistic modality pioneered by the Pilates founder provides a litany of benefits that exceed far beyond aesthetic appeal.

When taking a Pilates class at Haven on the Lake, students will notice the individualized attention and guidance offered by each one of our skilled instructors. With their rich experience, each instructor utilizes all of the principles of Pilates while also showcasing their unique style. To further this experience, each flow studio offers a picturesque view of beautiful Lake Kittamaqundi. Find serenity while strengthening your mind, body and spirit with our wide range of Pilates classes.

Healing Benefits of Pilates

To best explain the healing benefits of Pilates, we will turn to the six principles that are exhibited in each form of the modality in order to help students achieve optimal wellness: concentration, centering, control, breath, precision and flowing movement.

1. Concentration

Often times, our minds become congested by the whirring thoughts and anxiety that accompany stress. Whether it is a strenuous workload, contentions in your personal life or health issues — concentration can suffer. This hindrance permeates into every facet of our health, which is why this principle is held in such esteem during the flowing movements of Pilates.

Concentration is utilized throughout the entirety of a Pilates sessions in order to ensure optimal benefits are received from each movement and foster a greater sense of awareness in and out of the classroom.

Greater focus and increased performance protects the body from injury while also building strength.

2. Centering

All movements in Pilates are sourced from the core or powerhouse, which includes the abdominals, lower back, hips and thighs. Like the trunk of a tree, our powerhouse acts as a foundation to breed energy throughout our limbs.

By focusing on and building strength in the core, Pilates encourages, better alignment, spinal health, appropriate posture and increased energy.

3. Control

Speed and intensity are a staple of several high-impact exercises. Although these traits are often seen as integral to a powerful workout, they aren’t always protective. Pilates will challenge you and build — or exceed — the same level of fitness exhibited in other intense exercise without the risk of injury or fatigue.

Every movement in Pilates is done with complete control and attention to all extremities. Through this principle, students learn to practice self-awareness in all their movements throughout each day.

4. Breath

Breath is used to flow through each movement in order to increase lung capacity and cleanse the mind. Pilates bolsters the importance of connecting mind, body and spirit. Inhalations and exhalations through the practice draw from the spiritual principles exhibited in yoga, where breath is a primary source of relaxation and a clearer mindset.

Proper breathing techniques also allow students to more easily flow from one movement to the next, as they strengthen and elongate the core.

5. Precision

Each meticulously coordinated movement in Pilates has a purpose. By taking a vested interest in each moment of the practice, students are able to push themselves to the edge and step outside of their comfort zones. Precision serves to augment the other benefits illustrated in the principle of Pilates.

6. Flow

The grace and beauty seen in a Pilates practice is largely a result of its fluidity. Rather than holding postures for a fixed amount of time, students flow seamlessly from one posture to the next. Often times, Pilates classes will utilize props and equipment in order to assist and measure one’s ability to flow through each movement.

 

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