What is Pilates? As you can imagine, I get asked this question a lot! I wish I had a short succinct answer. I never really know what to say - it's a system of exercises put together by quite an odd but brilliant man over 50 years ago - is what runs through my mind but I'm not sure it's the appropriate response!
To me, as a client going to a Pilates Class, Pilates means "me time", it means flexibility and mobility and reduced pain, it means strength and joy in movement and it means social interaction. As an instructor it means a joy of bringing movement into people's lives whether they are experienced in Pilates and have been doing for way longer than I have, or if they are new to it and a bit apprehensive, I love being the person that gets to guide them through their movement experience. I love, love, love the chat! Some of the stories and laughs we share in class or in 1:1 sessions bring such light into my day. So that's what PIlates means to me, however we are all different, with different experiences, needs and expectations. So I decided to ask my clients what Pilates means to them, here are some of the their answers:
"Mental and physical wellbeing"
"Strength and mobility"
"Safe, controlled stretches tailored to individual needs resulting in increased strength, balance and confidence"
"Builds core strength, helps posture, with lots of variations it allows it to be suitable for all types of people"
"Healthy & healing - mentally and physically"
"Quiet, contemplation. Listening out for the aches and pains. Breathing. Calm. Kindness in a room. Women laughing. Stoned. Taller"
I feel I need to jump in here and just clarify "stoned" is a colloquialism and means relaxed, there are no illegal substances in any of my classes!!! 😂😂
"Intense but calming"
"It gives you strength where you didn't realise you could get strength"
"It is relaxing and makes your bones and joints stronger" - That one was from Harris 8 years Old
"Ballet lying down, hardcore stretching, Deceptive - it doesn't feel like you're doing much at the time but then I wake up and can't walk for days! A lot of fun"
"Body scaffolding - keeps you balanced and erect"
"Strengthens muscles, some of which you never knew you had; improves flexibility, balance and coordination once brain engaged! Great fun at whatever level"
"Movement safely, improving strength, flexibility, balance and breathing. Is calming, sociable and a lot of fun. Laughter essential"
As you can see, PIlates means different things to different people. If you want to move your body - go to Pilates! Have fun!
From now on, my answer to the question what is Pilates? will be... It's Magic