Not 100% sold on reformer Pilates? No worries! Did you know that Mat Pilates is just as challenging as it’s equipment counterpart and will help you when you are ready to tackle the equipment later on? I’m sure you’re wondering how can that be, but trust me if you follow our 6 things to think about and read about WHY we do it, you will be feeling Pilates strong in no time.
Joseph Pilates created his method in the 1920s as a way for bedridden hospital patients injured during WWI to keep up their strength. It was during this time that he began dabbling with the bed frames and springs to create the equipment, but he also developed the mat work. After opening his studio in New York City, he published a book “Return to Life Through Contrology” which outlined all of the original mat work. Pilates also would assign the mat work to clients of his studio as homework so that they were prepared for new challenges that they would face on the equipment.
In the book, Joseph Pilates talks about the exercises and the WHY behind them. For Pilates, exercise wasn’t just about mindless movement. The exercises are set up in their original order to help you gain strength, progress your practice, and delve deeper into the mind+body connections. Remember, it’s just you and your mat. Keep it simple and do the work.
6 Things to Think About
Pilates is rooted in six principles that when being mindful of can deepen your practice. We suggest picking one principle to focus on during your workout. After all, you still have to execute the movements and that is a lot even for a seasoned multi-tasker.
- Concentration – By focusing on your mind-body awareness, the better connection you establish with your body, and the more benefits you gain from your workout. It’s better to do each exercise slowly and precisely, than with incorrect form or posture.
- Centering – Ignite your powerhouse! By paying attention to the muscles of the core (the Pilates Powerhouse), you will help all of your bodies’ muscles function and develop more efficiently.
- Control – In Pilates, slow and steady wins the race. Control, rather than intensity or repetition, is key to performing the exercises correctly.
- Breathing – Inhale, Exhale…it’s that easy! Controlling your breath with deep exhalations as you perform each exercise helps activate your muscles and keep you focused. It can even help you go deeper into those abs!
- Precision – Practice makes perfect. Proper form is essential to ensure you gain the most benefit and keep your body healthy.
- Flow – Each Pilates motion should be smooth and graceful. Channel your inner ballerina, and try to transition smoothly from one exercise to the next.
Ready to dive into class?
Although we offer primarily reformer Pilates classes, all Studio Verve classes incorporate elements of mat work in them as well as the principles. Check out our classes here.
Really interested in the Mat?
Our Mat Hybrid class is a perfect place to get the best of mat and equipment Pilates. Schedule your class today here.
No clue where to start?