Where Pilates all started
Contrary to reports on how many ancient fitness activities began – like Tai Chi, swimming and even running – things are different with Pilates.
The practice began in the 1920s when physical trainer Joseph Pilates was in an English camp during World War I. He taught soldiers how to condition and strengthen their bodies, and rehabilitate injuries.
Joseph continued to teach his mat work on a daily basis, as well as meditation practice, and this developed into the use of the bunks, bedsprings and chairs – the only equipment available in the prison.
Soon his fellow prisoners realised he had discovered a transformational methodology and it became a mandatory activity for the entire camp.
How pilates has changed
More than a century later, Pilates has become one of the popular body conditioning practices today.
BodyMindLife first opened as a yoga studio in 2003 but following demand from students, expanded to offering a reformer Pilates too.
But not all Pilates classes have been created equal.
With the uptake in Hollywood and reports on how the practice can create lean, toned muscles and repair common injuries, a plethora of options around the world and Sydney have opened up.
It’s possible to book a session and show up purely for the movement – with Beyoncé up loud – but to really make the most from the science behind the practice, there are several key principles to keep in mind.
“Pilates is the complete coordination of body, mind and spirit” – Joseph Pilates
Unlike most exercise classes, Pilates has an energetics component.
Joseph Pilates taught six principles in his movement philosophy, including concentration, control, centering, flow, precision and breathing.
While we love a good soundtrack and a quick hour before or after work to move our bodies, taking time to weave in the techniques in Pilates can make all the difference to the health benefits you’ll take home and it’s a philosophy our teachers embrace.