You Are Only as Young as Your Spinal Column!
Pilates is known for being a core-strengthening exercise. And while this is true, Pilates will build up your core, there is so much more to it.
I was interested to learn where Pilates had born from and Chloe Hart, a Massage Therapist and Pilates Instructor in Selby provided me with this wealth of information on this form of exercise.. Intriguing!
Joe Pilates was born in Germany in 1883. He was a sickly child suffering from asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever. He spent his childhood improving his health and strength. He practised body-building, jiu-jitsu, gymnastics and boxing finally gaining good health and strength.
Joe moved to England in 1912 earning his living as a professional boxer and taught self-defence to detectives at Scotland Yard. During WWI, he was interned with other German citizens.
After the influenza epidemic struck England in 1918 Joe was put to work on one of the medical wards. He started creating exercise equipment from the springs of the hospital beds, enabling the patients on his ward to exercise their way towards full rehabilitation. Although thousands we lost in the epidemic, not a single person on Joe’s ward died.
Joe emigrated to the United States in 1926. He met his wife Clara Zeuner on the voyage, and they opened a fitness studio in New York, sharing an address with the New York City Ballet.
Joe trained many people in his ‘Contrology’ system of exercise creating different machines to increase strength and flexibility. Some of his students went on to teach Pilates adapting his methods to create new forms of the exercises.
Today we know ‘Contrology’ as Pilates and recognise Joe’s machines as the Reformer, Trapeze Table, Wunda chair, Magic Circle, and Ladder Barrel.
The Pilates Principles give us an overview of what Pilates can do for us. The principles are: Breathing, Concentration, Control, Centering, Precision, Balanced Muscle Development, Rhythm and Flow, Whole Body Movement and Relaxation.
In describing Pilates, Joe says,
“Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness. Our interpretation of physical fitness is the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed boy with a sound mind full capable of naturally, easily, and satisfactorily performing our many and varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure. To achieve the highest accomplishments within the scope of our capabilities in all walks of life, we must constantly strive to acquire strong, healthy bodies and develop our minds to the limit of our ability.”
Pilates is a brilliant form of exercise to strengthen and lengthen your muscles for general exercise and for injury rehabilitation. There are many kinds of Pilates classes taught in gyms, studios and village halls. Each class is different and depends on the training of the teacher and their teaching method.
Improves overall health
With the worldwide pause caused by Covid-19, many Pilates teachers have moved their classes online so they can still reach their students. Consistent, regular training in Pilates can help mend injuries and improve your overall health.
As Joe says, “You are only as young as your spinal column.”
Online Zoom Pilates Classes
Chloe Hart is a Massage Therapist and Pilates Instructor in Selby, North Yorkshire. Her background is in classical ballet and martial arts. But she came to Pilates after injuring her back. Walking into her first Pilates class she was in agony from her injury. After four weeks of Pilates, the pain had reduced considerably. And there was no looking back. After opening the Good Health Clinic in Selby in 2016, Chloe trained as a Balanced Body Pilates Instructor and now teaches from the studio in her clinic. Chloe has introduced online classes on Zoom so her students can still train from their homes during lockdown.