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What is Pilates?

“Pilates” is a way of exercising that was developed by Joseph Pilates, who died in New York in 1967 at the age of 87. He believed that mental health and physical health were essential to one another. His goal was help people train to develop their body to their most healthy potential and called it “Contrology”.

 

It is a method of total body conditioning that emphasizes proper alignment, centring, concentration, control, precision, breathing, and flowing movement (The Pilates Principles) and results in increased flexibility, strength, muscle tone, body awareness, energy/stamina, and improved mental concentration and relaxation.

 

During a class each person can work at his/her own level. The exercises always include easier options and keep presenting new challenges, no matter what level you are on. The exercises are hard – even if they look simple – but doable. It is about the journey the participants embark on, getting to know their body and how to move it in the most effective way.

Course Content

 
TERM 1: The Basics – Introduction & Review of Techniques
TERM 2: Technique further improved
TERM 3: Building on Strength, Flexibility & Stamina
 
Throughout the year will we build-up to/ follow the original Pilates exercises as developed and sequenced by Joseph Pilates. All the classes are designed in such a way that each learner can work at his own pace, capability level. This also means that is it possible to start during the course of the year, if there are spaces available.
 

Previous Experience

For the beginners/mixed ability class no previous Pilates experience to 1-2 years experience is required.
For the Improvers/advance course at least some previous Pilates experience is required.  If in doubt, please discuss with tutor, which class is more suitable.
 
Since the classes are mat based, learners are required to be able to get on and off the floor unassisted.
 

Class Format

-            Some lecture on Pilates Principles & correct posture, during which group involvement is encouraged (Concentration, Centering, Breathing, Body Awareness, Control, Precision, Fluency, Stamina, Relaxation). During the lecture, learners are doing relevant exercises.
-            Exercises; students following demos and verbal cues and incorporate principles
-            Tutor monitoring & correcting student movements by walking around
-            Tutor creating environment in which each learner can concentrate on his/her own movements
-            On-going assessment by tutor of learner outcomes

Goals & Assessment

Everyone will come to a class with some personal goals. Apart from these goals, we will all work to some specific goals together. These are:
 
- Improved body awareness (follow exercise cues, trusting body to move)
- Improved posture  (perform correct set-up positions (standing & floor)
- Control of movement  (perform exercises with precision)
- Improved flexibility & strength (correctly perform multiple sets of each exercise)
 
If you have goals that fall outside these shared goals, please let me know, so I can incorporate related exercises into the programme.
 
My classes do not incorporate any form of formal assessment. During the classes I will walk around to make sure everybody works towards the goals and performs the exercises safely and according to the best of their ability.
 

Other Information

If you are late for a class, please come anyway. You will benefit more from a part class that from not showing up at all. Just come in and warm-up. We will always warm up the same way, so after a couple of classes you will know what to do. Once you are warmed up, you can pick up from what the rest of the class is doing.
 
During a class, learners will receive a lot of information/ pointers to be implemented during the exercises. Trying to implement them all (straight away) is impossible and frustrating. Just try to do what you can and over time you will notice that you start to implement more and more. The tutor will walk around/ monitor you during the sessions to make sure that even if you do not perform the exercises perfectly (this will take years!), you are doing them safe. Pilates is a journey.
 
One of the goals of Pilates is that you learn to listen to your body. If it tells you that what you are doing does not feel right, please ask the tutor for further directions or if applicable an alternative.
 
If you are not sure, before you embark on an exercise programme, it is always a good to discuss it with your GP or doctor to get his/her advice. If you are currently treated by a Physiotherapist (or other physical therapist), please make sure the Pilates exercises are not counterproductive to what you and your therapist are trying to achieve.
 
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