Pilates is a form of mental and physical fitness system developed by Joseph Pilates in the 1920s. It is a body conditioning routine that uses the mind to control the muscles and hence helps to build endurance, mental strength and overall body fitness. Pilates is fast gaining popularity with millions of people – including celebrities – around the world today practice this disciplined approach to fitness and health.
The core principles of Pilates are around concentration, control, centering, efficiency of movement, precision and breathing. Joseph Pilates to a great extent was influenced by his Greek gymnast father and his daily exercise routines to derive these core principles.
The Benefits of Pilates
The following are the major benefits of Pilates:
- Improved posture with a flexible and stronger spine
- Stronger, deeper and longer muscles for a toned body
- Lowers back pain dramatically or total relief from the same
- Lowered stress levels and hence freedom from hypertension etc
- Toned lower body parts – buttocks, thighs etc – as well as arms and shoulder
- Improved immunity and faster recovery from strains and injuries
- Better joint mobility
- Improved blood circulation and breathing, freedom from Asthma etc
- Improves focus, concentration and mental centering
The above benefits are achieved via regular (twice or thrice a week) practice of Pilates under great discipline with the help of a Pilates trainer and probably a Pilates training equipment (not must).
Yoga and Pilates
Pilates and Yoga are both similar forms of exercise engaging your body and mind equally. The advantage is that both these can be performed at your convenience without having to invest a lot on equipments or space. All that you would need is an exercise mat and some floor space which can be anywhere – i.e your bedroom, backyard or gym.
Both Yoga and Pilates can work wonders on you as long as you do it as per their guiding principles. Because of the simplicity in understanding and adapting these exercise forms, almost anyone in any age group can enjoy the health benefits of yoga and Pilates.