Our modern life doesn’t do us any favours with regards to posture and many of the muscular skeletal issues that people suffer from today can be put down to poor postural habits and postural imbalances. Slouching becomes the norm and we don’t use our muscles properly, particularly our deep anti-gravity postural muscles.
Pilates is a mind and body conditioning programme developed by Joseph Hubertus Pilates in the 1920’s. Although there have been a few changes to the original method over the years, the basic principles of the original programme still apply: concentration, breathing, centring, precision, flow and control with a focus on a strong core (the Powerhouse). If you would like to improve your posture and core strength as well as create long lean muscles and re-balance your body then Pilates may well be the exercise for you.
As Pilates focuses on core strength, posture and flexibility the health benefits include:
- Good posture – Pilates will teach you to gain and maintain good posture. The exercises require that your body is always in alignment. This is especially beneficial if you suffer from lower back pain.
- Muscle Tone – The exercises involve the use of muscles that you may not use on a daily basis. After the initial soreness, you’ll find that your muscles will be much more toned.
- Flattened abdominal muscles – Because Pilates focuses on strengthening your core which includes your abdominal muscles, you’ll find that one of the benefits of Pilates is that it will result in a flatter stomach.
- Flexibility – As we age we tend to lose the flexibility we had when we were young. Pilates will restore your flexibility, gently at first of course. After a while though, you’ll be amazed at how much more flexible your body has become.
- Improves your balance – Through the mind-body connection which is taught in Pilates you will become much more aware of how your body moves and performs.
- Reduces stress – When doing the exercises, you’ll be totally engrossed and won’t be able to think about all those responsibilities that weigh you down on a day to day basis. You’ll be more focused on your breathing and on the moves that you are making with your body. This is an excellent way to relieve stress.
- Gives you a general sense of well-being – Because Pilates focuses on providing balance between your mind and body it gives you an overall sense of well-being.
Pilates classes here at The Broad Street Practice with Vickie Pauley will be mat-based. Mat-based classes mainly focus on working against gravity and the weight of your body to hold and maintain a varied number of positions. This involves both strength and stamina. In class Vickie may utilise other small pieces of equipment such as hand weights, stretch bands and foam rollers. All equipment is provided, but you are welcome to bring your own mat and other pieces of equipment if you prefer.
Because Pilates can be modified to provide either a gentle strength training program or a challenging workout, most people have no problem with this form of exercise. With such small class sizes Vickie is able to tailor the class for each person, working them at a level of intensity that is appropriate to their individual condition and situation.
In time, and if demand is there, Vickie may offer a class for more advanced students only.
Please be aware that Pilates may not be recommended if you have the following conditions:
- Unstable blood pressure.
- A herniated disc.
- Severe osteoporosis.
- A risk of blood clots.
If you are unsure of your suitability for Pilates, please contact the Practice, email Vickie at firstname.lastname@example.org or check with your professional healthcare practitioner.
The Instructor – Victoria Pauley
My name is Vickie, I am a qualified fitness instructor and have worked in the fitness industry since 2010, with experience and qualifications in a wide range of areas of fitness training. I have a Diploma in Instructing Mat-based Pilates, Pilates for common orthopaedic conditions, Pilates with small equipment, as well as Exercise to music, Gym-based exercise and Functional training for older adults.
In addition to my Pilates classes I also run classes in the Otago Programme here at The Broad Street Practice. Otago classes combine strength and balance exercises aimed at frail adults and is a powerful programme for reducing the risk of falls amongst older people.
For more information on my Otago classes, click here