Thursday, 13 March 2014

Pilates explained: what is and why it is good for you

Jyoti Sigouin is a Body Control Pilates instructor with 14 years of experience of the method and has recently joined Flavours Holidays as an instructor in our pilates holidays in Italy.

Here's some of the reasons why she is so passionate about it and the benefits it can bring to people.


Pilates is a form of movement, using exercises to dramatically improve strength, flexibility, balance and co-ordination, allowing the body to move as nature intended.

It is not a "quick fix" but a long term approach.  One of the wonderful things about Pilates is that it aims to re-educate you about your body and how it moves.  With this knowledge, you gain the confidence and awareness to take charge, know which exercises work best for you, and most importantly begin to bring functional movement patterns into your everyday life,  allowing you to perform your daily routines with minimum strain, and maximum grace and efficiency.

It gently corrects common muscle imbalances and brings the body into correct alignment, creating beautiful posture. It reshapes your body, allowing it to become longer, leaner and more toned. It does this by targeting the deep postural muscles, building a girdle of strength from the inside out, like a natural corset (which gives the added benefit of a flat stomach!). It is a great way to relieve stress and tension, focusing on the mind-body connection. 


The great thing about Pilates is that it is suitable for absolutely anyone, and I firmly believe that everyone would benefit hugely from joining a class! Its beauty is that it works for any age or fitness level, and it can adapt to suit your needs on that particular day. No other system is so gentle to your body whilst giving it a challenging workout!

It is frequently the next stage of referral by physiotherapists and GPs for patients after injury to continue their rehabilitation programmes, and is particularly helpful for those with back pain, whilst at the other end of the spectrum it is used by elite athletes to help guard against injury and improve their performance. It is also a great complement to cardio forms of exercise. 


It is the ideal antidote to todays stressful, hectic and  sedentary lives. All too often, our default position is hunched forward over our laptops, tablets and smartphones, and this poor posture results in many people experiencing neck, shoulder, and back pain, and weak abdominal strength. Many of the movements in Pilates specifically help to counteract this, and alleviate those niggling aches and pains before they develop into more chronic conditions. 


·        Increased muscle strength and tone in weak areas
·        Release of tension in tight muscles that have become over dominant
·        Increased Core Strength
·        Increased Flexibility
·        Improved Posture and Alignment
·        Improved Stability, Balance and Co-ordination
·        Improved joint mobility.
·        Stress relief, relaxation and improved mood
·        Improved and more efficient performance in sport
·        Clients often report they have a fantastic nights sleep after their class.

And last but not least, because it makes you feel great and inches taller as you leave your session!

For more information on Pilates holidays and how you can tone your body and feel rejuvenated in an amazing holiday in Italy check here  .

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