What is it about Pilates?
Really, what is it about Pilates that I find myself using varied descriptions to explain its essence; from a holistic system based on a deep mind-body focus, to the thinking-person’s choice of exercise, to functional fitness.
Or as Sharat (co-founder of The Zone), years ago in a conversation about Pilates, summed it up with a brief to-the-point statement, “Whatever you do, Pilates makes you do it better.” End of topic.
Having been in the fitness and movement field for more than two and a half decades I do know that it is definitely unlike other training and exercise programs that are promoted as an exclusive solution over other training programs.
In fact, I believe that Pilates as a training method is very inclusive; embracing all other systems of exercise, sport and movement.
This belief comes from the fact that Pilates teaches you how to move better; more efficiently, with correct movement patterns and muscle engagements. This applies to any movement while doing any activity.
So it stands to reason that if one can learn to move stronger and with less stress to the body then it needs to be carried forward to all we do.
This is what makes Pilates find its place in the training regimen of people from varied fields across the world; from professional athletes and sports-persons to Olympians, to fitness enthusiasts, to rehab clinics, to media personalities, to actors, to entrepreneurs to CEOs worldwide.
Is it any wonder then that Pilates has such a presence and hold in the fitness-world; making it the current favoured celebrity-endorsed program by many a Pilates centre?!
For me, personally, I find myself applying Pilates thought and principles to all the varied disciplines and programs that I teach and do; from fitness to rehab to martial arts to yoga to dance to sports performance. This thought process, I believe, has helped me achieve such effective results for all the people I have worked with over the years.
And this belief is reflected back when I hear a runner tell me the difference applying Pilates core engagement and torso alignment has made on those long runs. When a golfer tells me how Pilates has led to an improved swing and hip stability.
Each time I have a competitive sports-person, or a student, or an entrepreneur tell me about the benefits they have felt in their mental focus and concentration with Pilates.
And all the times I’ve had someone who had been suffering long-term back pain or knee pain feeling thrilled to be able to return to daily living activities feeling strong and fit.
I could go on and on; the list is really long....and very heartening!
And well.....that is what Pilates is.