…an exercise system that combines strengthening the body with mindful movement (connecting the mind’s focus and the breath to the body), increasing flexibility (range of motion in the joints and long, lean muscles), and bio-mechanical alignment (optimally moving the body and improving posture). It has great application to aid rehabilitation of both acute injury (such as a shoulder/rotator cuff injury) and chronic pain (such as low back pain).
The system was designed by Joseph Pilates beginning with his exercise routine on a mat, and soon using apparatus to work specifically on rehab with injured patients during WWI. His system (originally called “Contrology”) developed further and gained a broader application following his move to New York City in the 1920s. Happening to open his first studio in the same building as New York City Ballet (then under the direction of George Balanchine), Pilates & his system quickly drew attention from the dance world. This connection to dance has continued—you’ll find that many professional dancers add this to their conditioning routine or use it to rehab from injury.
Its popularity and appeal have expanded beyond the dance world over the years. Nowadays, you’ll often here people say it’s their favorite workout, or more likely, that they do Pilates in order to enhance their performance in other forms of exercise, sport or physical activity. After she began doing Pilates regularly, Rachel quickly experienced its positive effects in her own body through greatly enhanced core strength, the gradual correction of postural misalignments, and effective recovery from acute and chronic injury she sustained from years of dance and yoga. At age 50, Pilates keeps her dancing and enjoying a wide-range of physical activities. She completed her instructor training through Balanced Body® Pilates.
Rachel teaches exclusively at PilatesPlus, 1210 South Gilbert Street, Iowa City.