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Posted by on Apr 22, 2013 in Beginners, J Pilates, Pilates | 0 comments

What is Pilates About?

What is Pilates About?

Pilates (or as originally called Contrology) is a form of physical exercise system, developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 1900’s, which aims to develop balanced body and mind through whole body health, whole body commitment and breath.

“Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness.  Our interpretation of physical fitness is the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a a sound mind fully capable of naturally, easily and satisfactorily performing our many and varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure.  To achieve the highest accomplishments within the scope of our capabilities in all walks of life we must constantly strive to acquire strong, healthy bodies and develop our minds to the limit of our ability.  This very rapidly progressing world with its ever-increasing faster tempo of living demands that we be physically fit and alert in order that we may succeed in the unceasing race …” Joseph Pilates, Return to Life Through Contrology, first published 1945.

In the Pilates world we say J Pilates was 50 years ahead of his time, what do you think? Personally, I think he was.  Through his own experiences he developed an understanding of what balanced life was to him,  then he tried to teach it to others but truly it’s not until recent 20-30 years that his teachings have been understood and appreciated.

In summary regular practice of Pilates give us back control of our body, brings back the natural rhythm and ‘bounce’ we need to go about our daily routines.  Through regular practice of Pilates our body “develops uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind and elevates the spirit”. (J Pilates, 1945)

Pilates is not just a form of exercise, it’s a lifestyle, a lifestyle worth considering if you want to keep your good health for as long as possible.

The basic fundamentals of Pilates are:

Whole body health: eat healthily and regularly practice Pilates and/or other sports.

Whole body commitment: commitment is the key – regular practice – once, twice, three times a week, whatever your timetable allows but stick to it.

Breath“Breathing is the first act of life and the last.  Our life depends on it (…) Lazy breathing converts the lungs, figuratively speaking, into a cemetery for the deposition of diseased, dying and dead germs as well as supplying and ideal haven for the multiplication of other harmful germs.  Therefore, above all, learn how to breath correctly: ‘squeeze’ every atom of air from your lungs until they are almost as free of air as  is a vacuum.  Stand erect again and observe how your lungs will automatically completely refill themselves with fresh air.” J Pilates, 1945

What is Pilates about? It’s about YOU, its about feeling tall, strong, balanced, reinvigorated and content, it’s a simple discipline you need to follow to attain healthy body and mind.

 

Coming next time: Pilates Evolved.

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Posted by on Apr 10, 2013 in J Pilates | 0 comments

Extracts from A Pilates Primer: The Combo Millennium Edition by J Pilates and J Robbins

Extracts from A Pilates Primer: The Combo Millennium Edition by J Pilates and J Robbins

“That our chairs, benches, settees, sofas, couches and beds seemingly are designed for every other purpose than that of rest, relaxation or sleep – they are in reality the primary cause of our acquiring wrong and harmful postural habits, too numerous for mention here.”

PERFECT Balance of Body and Mind, is that quality in civilised man, which not only gives him superiority over the savage and animal kingdom, but furnishes him with all the physical and mental powers that ate indispensable for attaining the goal of Mankind – HEALTH and HAPPINESS.”

DAILY, from sunrise to sunset, the radio, newspapers and magazines broadcast to the world how to maintain health, how to regain health – what to eat, what to drink, and even about what to think.”

“The mistreated body, mindful of its past neglect, eventually exacts its repayment in full with interest in the form of leaving businessmen their fortunes to contemplate, but denying them the benefits and enjoyments that accrue to other men of wealth blessed with normal health.  The bitter lesson has been learned – but too late!”

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