What is Pilates?
Well Pilates was inspired by Joseph Pilates and this fitness concept was originally known as Contrology before his death in 1967. In his book Return to life through contrology (1945), Joseph Pilates presents this methods as a series of controlled exercises aimed at improving flexibility, building strength and developing control and endurance in the whole body.
Is it spiritual?
Although Joseph Pilates studied various disciplines (including yoga), his contrology method adapts some of the yoga poses for fitness purposes and doesn't refer to alignment of energy like other eastern disciplines do. So no, it isn't!
What about the breathing thing?
Lol to breathe is life! In contrology, there is an emphasis on controlled breathing to improve the uptake of oxygen into the muscles and engaging the core. It's not actually a bad thing, as the worst thing you can do when exercising is to hold your breath!! That extra breath can help the body to open up and allow the muscles to do their thing! All my mum readers will totally understand why breathing helps with giving birth!!
So how does this months challenge work?
I have taken all the original 34 mat exercises from contrology and put them all on one sheet for us to practice. According to Joseph Pilates, the sequence of exercises are to be repeated daily. He famously said;
"In ten sessions, you will feel the difference, in twenty you will see the difference, and in thirty you’ll have a whole new body.”
So let's commit to see whether we reach the outcome of a whole new body. I am excited about this challenge, as I have never allowed myself the time to be more disciplined in this area and in the nicest way possible, the classes were boring!!! Lol thank goodness for Cassey Ho who devised her Pop Pilates method which combines fun upbeat tracks (check out www.blogilates.com)
Wait, how do I begin?
The printable has a summary of the moves and I have put together a short how to video which demonstrates all the exercises (with modifications too). Now those of you who might be more flexible, feel free to extend your legs higher or lean further forward! The great thing about contrology is that you can develop everytime you practice!
Good luck and keep me posted on your progress
P.S As always, you can click on the poster and download a copy to share with others too! Sharing is caring as my kids always say! LOL