What is Pilates?

The Pilates technique of physical fitness focuses on six traditional principles: centering, concentration, control, precision, flow, and breath.

What is the History of Pilates?

Joseph Pilates created the Pilates Method of Body Conditioning in the early 20th century. His driving force at an early age was to improve his sickly childhood, when he suffered from asthma, rickets, and rheumatic fever. The German-born Pilates moved to England to teach self-defense to the detectives at Scotland Yard. When World War I erupted in Europe, he was interned and worked as an orderly, where his method of core training was refined. Beds rigged with springs and resistance helped even amputees and the bedridden remain fit. Pilates claims his method (which he originally called Contrology) helped protect his wards against the Influenza Epidemic of 1918.
After the war, he emigrated to New York. On the way he met Clara, and trained her in his method, virtually eradicating her arthritis and turning her into a true believer - she worked tirelessly with Joseph in refining the Pilates method. They married upon arrival in America, and opened a studio in the same building as the New York City Ballet, whose dancers were among the most devoted clients - many opened their own Pilates studios across the country, especially once retired from the stage. Ultimately, Joseph and Clara developed six main apparatus and approximately 500 different exercises. Joseph Pilates continued teaching his method until his death in 1967, at age 87. It is believed that a fire in his studio the year prior was a direct cause of his death.

What is Authentic Pilates?

Mind 2 Body™ only offers authentic, classical Pilates. Because Joseph never trademarked his name or method, there is no "regulation" over the Pilates method. Many health clubs and studios offer their own interpretation of Pilates training. Joseph's original protégée and the proud caretaker of the Pilates's legacy is Romana Kryzanowska. Sean Gallagher led a court battle to win a trademark on the term "Pilates." In November 2000, the judge deemed "Pilates" a generic term, allowing any method of training - be it "classical" or "inspired by" - to be termed Pilates.

What can I expect from using the Pilates reformer?

You can expect an extension of the mat work which allows the client to work on strengthening and realigning the body in a non-weight bearing situation with graduated resistance and progressive challenges. The Pilates reformer helps a person establish torso stability and strength as well as postural alignment. The adjustable springs allow for progressive resistance, which helps to lengthen and strengthen the muscles, rather than building bulk. This is an effective, no-impact stretching and toning workout that is gentle on the joints but can be challenging and most definitely, strengthening.

What is the Pilates Jumpboard/springboard workout?

The jumpboard or springboard workout is an energizing and progressive reformer workout that is packed with aerobic moves that build overall strength and burn calories. This is a total body cardio and core program that features innovative yet simple combinations that add variety and intensity to a reformer workout. The jumpboard / springboard adds variety to your reformer workouts, boosts your metabolism, and increases strength and overall flexibility.

Is Pilates good for knee surgery recovery?

Pilates is excellent for knee surgery recovery. It is important that you receive clearance from your doctor and physical therapist before beginning your Pilates training regime. This will allow your instructor to develop a safe and effective exercise program tailored to your needs.

What are the health benefits of Pilates?

There are several benefits from practicing Pilates:

  • postural improvement
  • increased flexibility
  • overall body awareness
  • amplified energy
  • core stability and strength
  • increased length & muscle tone
  • balance & coordination
  • injury prevention & rehabilitation

Can Pilates replace strength training?

Pilates is strength training. All of the Pilates apparatus utilize resistance training. Even a good mat class entails upper body work as well as isolated leg work. So yes, you can absolutely replace traditional weight lifting with Pilates and still gain muscle tone evenly.

What about children and Pilates?

Joseph Pilates based many of his exercises on the movements of babies and children. Pilates can be especially appealing to children because it is fun and generally speaking, they do not have the limitations that we as adults have! Pilates encourages children to develop all muscles evenly, thus developing overall strength, flexibility and coordination. This instills poise, confidence and balance. Like any exercise regiment, it should first be discussed with your child's pediatrician. And of course, your child should be interested and excited to learn!

What do I wear to Pilates classes?

You should wear clothing that is comfortable but form fitting. Nothing that is too loose or restrictive. Yoga pants and a slim-fitting T-shirt or tank top are good options. Socks are mandatory for hygiene purposes. Toezies and Toesox (toe-less socks) are available for sale in our retail section. We suggest that long hair be tied back, and remove any jewelry for safety purposes. A dressing room is available to change in, and we provide complimentary lockers to safely store your valuables.

How many times a week should I commit to Pilates?

Initially, two to three times a week is ideal, especially for the first six to eight weeks. It is important to gain familiarity with the chosen method of exercise and its vocabulary. You must invest your time and energy to learn it. There are certain expressions that are repeated time and again. Your goal is to imprint these phrases into your mind and your body so that the words themselves become movements that infiltrate your workouts.

How long are Pilates sessions?

Sessions are 55 minutes in length.

What is the difference between Pilates and GYROTONIC®?

Pilates is linear and two-dimensional. It teaches the student how to safely work with in the frame of the body. Pilates can be compared to moving on land while GYROTONIC® can be compared to moving in water. GYROTONIC® is three-dimensional, unique for its circling, spiraling and undulating motion patterns which help strengthen all of the body's internal support structures. Both teach you how to move with connection and fluidity to create greater awareness of your body.

Do I develop large muscle with Pilates?

No. Long lean muscles are developed without adding bulk.

Can I lose weight by taking Pilates?

In conjunction with a proper diet, you may lose weight. Primarily, you will lose inches, which promotes a lean and graceful appearance.

Is Pilates a cardiovascular workout?

Once you have gained familiarity with the chosen method and its vocabulary, you will be able to move through those exercises with continual fluidity.

What age group should use Pilates?

Any age group from 10 years and up.

What about pregnancy and Pilates?

Pilates is the perfect regime to prepare your body for pregnancy and to remain flexible and strong while you are carrying. If you are not already training prior to conception, it is not recommended that you begin after you get pregnant because of the extreme focus on the abdominal wall. However, it is ideally suited for post-natal recovery regardless of prior experience. Be sure to check with your doctor before starting.

If I'm a senior citizen, can I do Pilates?

Yes, with your doctors approval. Joseph Pilates practiced his craft well into his 80's and many elderly people in their 70's and 80's workout several days a week.

What is meant by Pilates-based exercise program?

These programs use some techniques based upon those developed by Joseph Pilates, but do not accurately reflect his method. Like any other physical system, Pilates is vulnerable to interpretation and embellishment that reflect the experiences of the practitioner. There are infinite styles and breeds, from rehabilitative Pilates to Pilates on the ball. What matters most is that you enjoy your workout and you get results. At Mind 2 Body™, we teach using the classical method in respect to the anatomical ideals of today. There have been minor changes over the last 30 years as science advances our understanding of the human body, but the brilliance and simplicity remain intact and available to everyone who comes to our studio.

How can I learn more about becoming a Pilates instructor?

Information regarding the Pilates teacher training certification program can be obtained by calling Mind 2 Body™ or visiting the Teacher Training section of the website.

Can you suggest any books and/or DVDs to complement my training and further my understanding of Pilates?

Absolutely. Contact us for more details.