Pilates is a method of achieving and maintaining physical fitness. It involves moving the body through its full range with active strengthening, stretching, release, and muscular sequencing. Pilates movements are done on both floor mats and specialized equipment.
One hour sessions are conducted in Carol Banquer's studio. Carol designs a custom program for each client. She starts each session with a needs assessment and condition evaluation, then decides which movements will best aid the client and in which—optimal—order. She then teaches the client the individual movements and checks their response.
- significant joint and muscular pain reduction
- greater ease in stance and movement
- rehabilitation from acute or chronic injury
- injury prevention.
Joseph Pilates often quoted the philosopher Friedrich von Schiller: "It is the mind itself which shapes the body." The goals of the practice are far reaching—balance, flow, ease, and spaciousness in mind and body. The process, demanding consistent attention, fosters discovery and curiosity. You continually refine your ability to sense your body and determine its position. You discover muscles you didn't know you had. You recruit all your muscles as you move your body through its full range. Strength and flexibility balance.
The process starts with the breath, the release of chronically held muscles, and coming "home" to a relaxed center. As you let go of over-used muscles (ones not intended for support), you find the most efficient "stabilizers," the muscles intended to support the trunk. You discover how to engage pelvic floor, deep abdominal, and back muscles in a coordinated way to develop a strong, flexible core, your foundation for movement.
Performing the Pilates repertoire, you move your body with control through its full range. Articulating the spine through its ranges restores its normal curves and flexibility. Spinal extension, rotation and side-bending balances flexion, our habit. You balance side to side, front to back and deep to superficial. Balanced muscle recruitment allows long, lean muscles, easy, efficient movement, and preservation of the joints.
Improved coordination and control transfer directly to your posture and day-to day movements. You control your body to restore and maintain alignment on your own. Your balanced body is more resilient and resistant to injury. Pilates and a form of aerobics make up a complete conditioning program.
A Brief History of Pilates
The Pilates method was developed by Joseph Pilates (1880–1967) in the 1920s. Inspired by childhood sickness, he dedicated his entire life to improving his physical strength. He eventually devised a series of exercises and training techniques, and engineered and patented all the equipment required to teach his methods properly. His method was very popular with the dance and the performing-arts community of New York City, where his studio was located.
There is a video of Joseph doing arm circles with stretch cords on YouTube.