Who can do Pilates?
The benefits of Pilates
Pilates includes many different movements and a wide range of levels of difficulty, so Pilates can suit anyone. Teachers advise first becoming familiar with the main principles of Pilates before engaging with the deep postural muscles, concentration and breathing.
Joseph Pilates himself began his exploration of physical potential through having suffered a range of debilitating conditions himself in childhood years, including rickets, asthma and rheumatic fever. He embarked on a spirited and determined quest for achieving his own peak physical condition, and in time it seemed a natural progression that he would begin to take responsibility for helping others to realize theirs too.
Pilates practice first gained popularity with dancers, then more widely among sportspeople, and now, available to all. Joseph Pilates left Germany for New York in 1926, where he began to be highly valued among the New York dance community, by 1956 it was reported that 'virtually every dancer in New York had meekly submitted to the spirited instruction of Joe Pilates.' The Pilates method has attracted a celebrity following including Jodie Foster, Madonna, Jennifer Aniston, Kim Catrall, Hugh Grant and tennis player Pat Cash.
Currently Pilates is enjoying a surge of popularity and is becoming familiar in the ‘mainstream’. It has something to offer everyone, whether their lifestyle is largely sedentary and office-bound, hectically energetic or physically demanding. It requires some patience to learn and is less likely to appeal in itself to younger children, though as an ‘as well as’ exercise to be used in schools or sports clubs, the principles of Pilates could save young people from ever getting into the bad postural habits that some adults spend many hours learning how to undo.
Sufferers of posturally-based back pain, sports injuries, repetitive strain injuries and stress
Pilates is especially helpful in offering ways to prevent and change problematic postural habits that can lead to experiences of occasional or even chronic pain. Osteopath Piers Chandler, writes that the Pilates method “can genuinely complement treatment and accelerate recovery. Some patients who are referred to Pilates teachers never need any further regular treatment.” Pilates can also contribute greatly to a supportive recovery program for people with sports injuries. The practice of Pilates is also known to help counter anxiety and stress.
"Pilates develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind and elevates the spirit." Joseph Pilates