May 272010
 

A Pilates class is going to be a big change in your exercise life. Instead of focusing on sweating, energetic movement, and shortening muscles through strength building. The originator of the Pilates program, Joseph Pilates, had a different vision of fitness. His vision included combining the mind, body, and building a long, lean, strong body by centering the body, and focusing on creating a strong middle.

The one thing you will notice in a Pilates class almost immediately is the focus on breathing. Proper breathing techniques are one of the core concepts of Pilates. You will be trained of the importance of deep breathing and complete flushing of the lungs to remove toxins from the body, while enriching the blood with high amounts of oxygen. Do not take this step lightly. Martial arts, yoga, and many other training methods around the world emphasize breathing, and have proven their effectiveness at increasing total body health.

In your Pilates class you will work on stretching and elongating your body. The movements of stretching and then recovering from the stretch both lengthen muscles and strengthen them. You are developing the long graceful looking muscles of a dancer, gymnast, or swimmer. Alignment of your body is one of the primary focuses in Pilates. Building the core of your body to support a straight spine, aligned muscles, and proper skeletal balance are critical in Pilates. This focus is intended to allow your body to have balanced health and strength instead of developing a strong and weak side. By creating proper balance you eliminate the possibility of many annoying sports injuries. Injuries can often occur when one portion of the body is more powerful than the opposite side.

Many exercise regimens discuss the importance of motivation, excitement, and being positive. A Pilates class is going to take you to a new level. You are going to learn about the mind-body connection. Learning to think properly, with alignment with your body extends the effectiveness of your workout. The opposite is true, also. Your Pilates workout is going to strengthen your mind, creating deeper relaxation, and an inner calmness. The change in your spirit and body will show up in everything you do. Your family and friends will quickly begin to notice the difference in your life.

Aerobics, weight training, and most other forms of exercise focus on fast, sudden movement. Pilates exercise teaches you to flow smoothly. You are going to create your power and fitness through a form of movement which makes you think of water flowing gently down a stream, the smooth movements of branches in the breeze, the graceful movements of a cat. You will discover every movement, every muscle, and every thought can flow together to give you a level of both mental and physical fitness you never have felt before.

Enrolling in a Pilates class is an investment in not only your physical fitness but in your mental wellbeing, too. If you want to experience a completely new way of changing your body and mind Pilates may be exactly what you want.

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