Pilates is a form of exercise developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century, which emphasises the balanced development of the body through core strength, flexibility, and awareness in order to support efficient, graceful movement. Originally formed by Joe during the First World War with the intention to improve the rehabilitation program for casualties, Pilates was designed to aid injured soldiers in regaining their health by strengthening, stretching, and stabilising key muscles. Joe’s background in gymnastics later lead him into the dance world where he used his exercise system to train and rehabilitate dancers.
Pilates uses correct alignment, centering, concentration, control, precision, breathing, and flowing movement (the Pilates principles) to establish a perfect working body from the inside out. It emphasises your body’s core — the abdomen, obliques, lower back and for this reason, Pilates develops much of what we need — strength, flexibility, muscular endurance, coordination, balance, and good posture — with a much lower chance of injury than with other forms of exercise. The discipline focuses on correct form and Joe preferred fewer, more precise movements, requiring control and technique over increased repetition.
Pilates teaches you to think about how you use your muscles during your workout so you use them better in daily life. For instance, because much of the focus is on good posture and body mechanics, you stand and sit taller and walk more gracefully.
Pilates can benefit many people through rehabilitation and injury management, whether it be:
acute or chronic conditions or injuries,
lower back pain or injury,
postural neck and upper back pain or
pain associated with trunk weakness and instability.
Carla’s classes aim to teach you a technique of training your body’s stabilizing muscles using the Pilates Method. These muscles are deep within the body’s trunk and pelvis and support the joints of the spine, pelvis and shoulder girdle. Carla teaches you how to use your stabilizing muscles to work first in isolation, and then as a control centre as movements in functional patterns are gradually introduced.
Carla’s focus is on muscle control and movement technique, with an emphasis on body awareness and joint position and posture. Carla encourages smooth, flowing movements at a moderate uniform speed, requiring concentration and emphasis on correct breathing patterns. There is a progression from stable to unstable positions to challenge the core muscles and postural alignment.