Reinforcing the True Essence of Pilates: The Benefits of Practicing the Traditional Joseph Pilates Program

Posted by on Feb 26, 2020 in Joseph Pilates

Reinforcing the True Essence of Pilates: The Benefits of Practicing the Traditional Joseph Pilates Program

To truly appreciate a concept, an idea, or a practice, we must first understand the why and how of it all. Likewise, in knowing the who behind it, we get the context and intent of its design and creation. The same holds true for Pilates—an approach to conditioning developed by its founder,Joseph H. Pilates. In this article, we will provide you with a better appreciation of Pilates to help you sustain it as a mind-body fitness habit: How Pilates Differs from Most Physical Fitness MethodsHow to Get the Most Out of Your Pilates SessionsHow the Traditional Pilates Principles Benefit You Mr. Pilates started out as a gymnast and bodybuilder, then became a self-defense instructor for police trainees (among other things). Growing up, he suffered from chronic asthma and contracted rheumatic fever and rickets. It’s no wonder why improving physical strength became both a necessity and a lifelong quest for Mr. Pilates. He believed that poor health can be attributed to bad posture, improper breathing, and a “modern lifestyle,” which characterises the sedentary, stress-riddled working professional of today. Pilates as a fitness method emerged around a hundred years ago. Its early applications included the rehabilitation of injured soldiers toward improving range of motion and managing pain. Drawing from a background in gymnastics, body-building, and the martial arts, Mr. Pilates devised a series of exercises and training techniques now known universally as Pilates. More than a straightforward workout, Pilates is about achieving mind-and-body harmony, freedom of movement, and a zest for life (which establishes the why of Pilates). It’s an activity not just for the athletically-inclined but, dare we say, everyone looking for a path to health, happiness, and new horizons. How Pilates Differs from Most Physical Fitness Methods Unlike the usual workout program that we follow at the gym, Pilates is not a collection of repetitive standalone movements. Mr. Pilates first coined the term contrology to describe his sequence of 34 exercises—each flowing to the next in purposeful succession. In its original design, the sequential flow of exercises were done on a mat using only one’s bodyweight. It’s imperative that each exercise is executed in the exact sequence, in the designated number of repetitions (usually no more than six reps), before moving onto the next exercise. The apparatus now used widely in the practice of Pilates—such as the Pilates reformer, Pilates chairs, barrels, tower, and Cadillac—evolved from the bed springs and contraptions that Mr. Pilates put together. Pilates himself engineered the first equipment and devised the specifications to teach his methods properly. We at Pilates Plus appreciate the philosophy behind the creation of Pilates. Our years of training and experience have taught us that the original method produced the intended results. We understand that, in this age where fast is the normal pace and convenience is a deciding factor, the original method has undergone changes. Some of its practitioners may...

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Workout Motivation: Famous Quotes from Joseph Pilates

Posted by on Aug 24, 2017 in Blogs, Joseph Pilates

Are you losing the urge to reach the finish line? Sometimes, no matter how intrinsically driven we are with our goals, we tend to get sidetracked. The next thing we know, we have already lost our motivation to continue. The same is also true with our fitness goals. Joseph Hubertus Pilates was a German-born physical trainer who wasn’t just well-known for having invented and promoted the Pilates method of physical fitness, he was also a deep thinker, a man known for his wisdom and influential words. Right up until his death in October 1967, this fitness guru never ceased to spur his practitioners and non-practitioners to maintain a healthy body, mind, and spirit. So let us dissect some of his famous quotes to motivate us to stay in shape: “Physical fitness can neither be achieved by wishful thinking nor outright purchase.” Echoing the infamous exercise motto, “No pain, no gain,” Joseph Pilates stressed that great results can only be accomplished if one decided to do something about it. This physical fitness coach believed that the “modern” lifestyle, bad posture, and inefficient breathing were the key causes of poor health. To solve these issues, he designed a set of physical exercises and training techniques to help correct muscular imbalances; improve posture, coordination, balance, strength, and flexibility. These exercises also aim to normalize breathing capacity and organ functions. “Before any real benefit can be derived from physical exercises, one must first learn how to breathe properly. Our very life depends on it.” In line with his idea concerning inefficient breathing, Joseph Pilates has also developed several proper breathing techniques to promote relaxation, stimulate blood circulation, and reduce cramping. These so-called Pilates respiration techniques also lower blood pressure, make you feel more energized, and activate specific muscles that aid in improving posture and endurance.    “Not only is health a normal condition, but it is our duty not only to attain it but to maintain it.” It should be noted that Pilates was sickly as a child. He suffered from asthma, rickets, and rheumatic fever. For this reason, he dedicated his entire life to improving his health and physical strength. This paved the way to his very own life-enhancing workout regimen which is now very popular worldwide. “In 10 sessions you’ll feel the difference, in 20 you’ll see the difference, and in 30 you’ll have a new body.” This quote typically sums up the Pilates method. You can’t improve your stamina after just one hour of sweating. You can’t strengthen your core after just one session, nor gain proper posture after just a few sets of workouts. Pilates promises a changed body, mind, and spirit, but a practitioner must do his part as well. After all, great things take time to happen. “The mind, when housed within a healthful body, possesses a glorious sense of power.” Joseph Pilates, the author of “Return...

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[Programs] The Intent of Joseph Pilates part 2

Posted by on Jun 15, 2015 in Joseph Pilates

Reawakening the purpose of practice Over the years, the Pilates community in Singapore has evolved rapidly that it seemed many Pilates practitioners are not made aware of or have forgotten the original purpose of the Joseph Pilates method. The intent sets directions and many current classes do not seem to lead the practitioners to the original sequence which will probably wake Mr. Pilates from his graveyard! How many of the practitioners today are able to execute the Jack-knife, Corkscrew and Crab effortlessly, gracefully and safely? or even know what they are called or what they work on? We are now frustrated that the Pilates method has been diluted to fit the masses that the true original intent seems to be “lost in space”.  Indeed, exercise programs are meant to be adjusted and customized to the fitness level of the trainees, but it should not just stop at that level. Instead, it should be a starting point towards reaching the original goal — which is to able to move through the sequence of 34 exercise movements. That is our main reason why we have decided to roll out our traditional Joseph Pilates program. We understand the challenges involved, and hence we decided to break the learning process into six progressive levels –– starting with the Fundamental course. Pilates Plus wishes to revive the original spirit of Joseph Pilates. Our Traditional Joseph Pilates Fundamental Program is clearly designed, and purposeful program — it does have a clear final destination to which all students will get to reach. In fact, without them realizing, their bodies will soon begin to understand and appreciate the true value of the original Joseph Pilates sequence. What will our traditional Joseph Pilates Fundamental program do for you? Each session should be a strong full body and mind workout ( read – it is a workout) that centres around the abdominal strength, maximizing the fullest potential in you in every session. Thus you will soon notice progressive improvement in your physical potential as you become more consistent with your practice sessions. Noticeable areas of improvements will include : Increase in Stamina, Increase in Strength, Increase in Suppleness and Increase in Stability Why learn the traditional Joseph Pilates sequence from PilatesPlus? You may wonder why can’t we redesign the program to “make it better”? After years of practicing and teaching, we can only say that Joseph Pilates is a true visionary and a genius in what he does. His sequence is too good that one can only copy. As much as we adore creativity, we do appreciate the fact that if an approach is so effective and good, why change it? ( in this case yes, the original sequence is a cookie-cutter approach to the intended purpose of Joseph Pilates) Besides this is a 100 year old method that has been used so extensively by medical professional, fitness professional...

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[Pilates Plus] The Intent of Joseph Pilates part 1

Posted by on Mar 5, 2015 in Joseph Pilates

[Pilates Plus] The Intent of Joseph Pilates part 1

DID YOU KNOW IN PILATES, THERE IS A SEQUENCE OF 34 EXERCISES , JUST LIKE IN BIKRAM YOGA?  If you are a current Pilates practitioner or teacher, and have been self-practising on the mat or on the range of Pilates equipment ( reformer, ladder barrel, chair and Cadillac), take a minute to stop and reflect: ” What am I doing?” We urged you to question the intent of each movement or the entire sequence as a whole. Intent — is important, and purposeful. Without intent, the practice of any skill will eventually be stale and, in some cases, deteriorate. This is also how many are not able to stay motivated and consistent in their fitness program. The intent of Joseph Pilates’ Contrology method is to craft the mind and body into balance In his book ” Return to Life” — he wrote, ” Contrology (Pilates) develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind, and elevates the spirit. ” – Joseph Pilates   The original design compromises a flow sequence of 34 mat-based exercises, using only one’s bodyweight. When performed in the exact same original sequence,  with prescribed repetitions (usually no more than 6, except the 100s) before moving onto the next, it challenges the body enough for a lifetime worth of workout – restoring true health, happiness and joy. ( Do take note that the Contrology method is a flow sequence, not a collection of standalone independent movement. What this means is that in order to reap the maximum benefit, one should perform the workout exercises in its entirety! ) It is like having a hundred-year old recipe of perfect bread-baking, and you will not want to miss any step or ingredient such as the flour or the kneading of the dough to produce the best bread. The idea of Pilates’ 34-sequence hence is such that it progressively warms the body up, challenges and cools it down.  The flow sequence also strengthens, stretches the torso, arms and legs in all planes of movement; with and against gravity. [ read on for part 2 of the article] — Here at Pilates Plus, we don’t just aim at getting you moving. We actually customize a systematic program for you to get fundamentally strong. All of these benefits for you to tackle on life’s unexpected situations or even to complement your current fitness goals in a realistic and happy way, of course. We don’t just stop at Pilates, we Enjoy Life through Fitness!  ...

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