Whether you spend your working life at a desk or are a professional sportsman, Pilates is an exercise technique with something to offer you.
Sportsmen such as Ryan Giggs and Andy Murray have used Pilates to complement their training disciplines. Training for a particular sport is likely to focus on developing stamina and strength in specific muscle groups. Pilates brings all round flexibility and development of the abdominal core and back muscles into play and can help a sportsman avoid injury and extend his playing career.
People who work at a desk often sit still for long periods and take too little exercise with the result that muscles can weaken or stiffen. This is a recipie for aches and pains, particularly back pain which can strike for no apparent reason. Pilates can help prevent these conditions, as well as helping you feel good!
I first attended a Yoga Class as long ago as 1979 and studied a wide variety of styles of Yoga over the next few years including at the Sivananda Vedanta Yoga Centre in West London where I also studied meditation. Between 1981 and 1984 I taught Yoga at “The Centre” in Charing Cross.
In the mid 1980s I changed jobs, got married, moved to Sussex and started a family. Yoga rather took a back seat in all this excitement!, I continued to practice from time to time but didn’t attend or teach any classes.
From 1993 onwards I helped coach my son’s age group at Horsham Rugby Club and in 1997 qualified as a coach. However it was around that time that I started to suffer from back pain as an indirect result of a minor physical disability. Part of the ongoing treatment of this condition has been to work on my core strength and keeping my spine flexible, and it was in this connection that I first came across Pilates. I have now been regularly attending classes for 15 years.
After more than 30 years as an IT consultant, I recently began to ask myself what I would like to do next. Remembering how much I enjoyed teaching Yoga all those years ago, I decided to study as a Pilates instructor, and here I am! In May 2016 I finally gave up the day job and now teach four classes a week.
Pilates is an exercise discipline which focuses on developing strength in the central core muscles of the body and in so doing promotes good posture and flexibility. It takes its name from Joseph Pilates (1883-1967) who refined his technique whilst interred in England during the First World War.
Pilates’ technique was influenced by the very basic facilities and equipment that would have been available to him in the internment camp. Most of the exercises require very little space and can be practiced on a simple mat. Since his death, the technique has been further developed with a wider range of equipment and moves employed.
Many instructors continue to teach in the traditional Pilates style whilst others have incorporated the more modern developments. Each instructor will have their own style drawing on their own experience and training.