Pilates 101 - All You Need To Know!

Breaking the assumption Pilates is more than just 'elevated yoga', Steph, founder of Live And Breathe Pilates, drops by to give us the low down.

Two women taking part in a Pilates class sit on a mat stretching their legs into the air

While we’re now into the second month of the new year, many are still looking to make new positive changes and take that step towards fitness they’ve been putting on the back burner. Steph, one of the awesome teachers at Live And Breathe Pilates, spoke to GCN about the benefits of Pilates and dispelled common myths.

“Lots of people assume it’s like yoga,” Steph tells us. “People say I want to join your advanced class because I’ve done yoga for a few years, but Pilates is a very different form of exercise so it’s always important to start with the basics”.

So what is Pilates? In a nutshell, it’s a method that was put together by Joseph Pilates which uses a variety of exercises on the mat and some specially designed apparatus. It creates a balance of strength and flexibility in the body, it also helps the emotional side of things too, like reducing stress. Mainly, it’s about connecting with your body and moving well.

Some people also assume Pilates is so low impact it would have no major affect. Not so, explains Steph – “Joseph Pilates was a boxer and a gymnast, so it’s not just lying on the floor breathing! Pilates is a workout”.

At the beginning it’s about helping people to reconnect with their bodies, before progressing on to the more advanced exercises. The foundation movements can be very challenging in themselves – if they’re done well. It’s like the difference between a marathon runner and a sprinter – we want to get to the muscles that are more about endurance than explosive force, it goes deeper rather than superficial.”

A Pilates instructor helps a class member to perform a stretch

Rather than just weight loss or keep fit, there are as many reasons people choose Pilates as there are benefits. “It caters to a lot of people in different ways – some people use it to tone up, other people find the mental health aspect helps – connecting to your body and being in the moment, other people use it to recover from injury- taking themselves out of pain and taking an active role in organising their body.

“Even having that hour of time just for yourself – we get a lot of new mums in who are very stressed, and having that hour of time for themselves helps them calm down their nervous system, and get back to normality. We have other people who would use it for cross training for their chosen sport, or occupations where your posture or body could be affected by how you hold yourself.

“Our clients include footballers, professional musicians, 80 year olds, hairdressers, new mums and mums to be, office workers and those who haven’t exercised in years”.

For newbies, or even those more experienced with Pilates, Live & Breathe is a refreshing and welcoming studio with small, friendly group classes. “All of our teachers are certified and are still very invested in their continued education to help our clients get the most from their Pilates practice”. Most of all we want to build a supportive community resource where clients come to move well and feel better.”

Those interested are welcomed to visit for a chat, see the studio and discuss options. After that, there’s an initial assessment to measure how best Live & Breathe Pilates can help each specific individual. So while it’s not quite the New Year, it’s never too late to start on the path towards a new you. Check them out here!

© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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