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How Pilates Can Unlock a New Way of Exercise for your Body and Mind

by Alice Scott on Monday 15 March 2021

In this day and age, you’re probably familiar with the term Pilates. Perhaps you’ve even heard of Reformer Pilates and Mat Pilates, and even tried a class (or more). Here Alice Scott, our Head of Pilates at Virgin Active Australia, talks about how Pilates can change your life: both body and mind.

Continuously growing in popularity, Pilates isn’t just gaining traction because it’s a great workout but also because it’s accessible to newbies, great for building resilience and also can improve mental health. 

Let’s start with what Pilates exercises are. Pilates exercises, originally developed by Joseph Pilates, are specially designed to work the body in a wide range of motion meant to improve endurance and stability. 

There are no pre-requites to try Pilates, which makes it great for beginners. The best part is it can truly be adapted to suit anyone’s capability. Movements mimic each other; the way your body moves through a certain seated exercise can be the exact movement pattern in another exercise. Even if you can’t do a movement in a certain way, there’s always an alternative. It builds confidence and a feeling of accomplishment even at the beginner level. An incredible feeling!

Take for example, the exercise known as The Hundred. This exercise is seen in both Mat and Reformer Pilates classes, and strengthens all the muscles of the front of the body: abdominals, hips, thighs, arms, and neck. Beginners are encouraged to stay in the exercise for 20 beats, and then build upon that number to reach the full 100 beats. What this exercise teaches, Joseph Pilates said, is not only building physical strength but also mental endurance. So, if you start at 20 beats and then work your way up to 100 beats, practicing the exercise with consistency, this will not only improve your ability to persevere physically but also mentally. A win, win! 

So, as a person becomes more familiar with the exercises and overall movement, what starts to happen is a newfound sense of body awareness and confidence. Even in daily life, a person who practices regular Pilates will start to notice a change in their body: standing with improved posture, and being able to move with greater ease. Joseph Pilates believed that if you kept up your Pilates routine, it would ultimately attribute to a longer life of being active and better mental health.

Ready to feel empowered both in your body and mind with Pilates? Come check out what we have to offer. With both Reformer Pilates and Mat Pilates included in the cost of your membership, you have lots of options to take your Pilates practice to the next level. 

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