What is Pilates?

A unique form of body conditioning performed through a series of exercises that aim to strengthen your entire system with emphasis on the core. The purpose is to control and work your body from the core to the periphery. Pilates helps to correct muscular imbalances in the body and to develop symmetry for posture, general fitness, sports performance, and well-being. It can be performed on the mat, with small apparatus or on specialist equipment.

When was Pilates invented?

Joseph Hubertus Pilates, born in 1883 near Dusseldorf, Germany developed the Pilates method of exercise, believing that the modern lifestyle, poor posture and inefficient breathing were the roots of ill health. He was ahead of his time in recognising that mental and physical health are inextricably linked. Taking elements from the various disciplines, he formulated his own method know as ‘Contrology’, which was re-named ‘Pilates’ after his death.

Who is Pilates for?

People of all ages, ability levels and fitness backgrounds can benefit from Pilates. Fundamental exercises and infinite modifications of the classical repertoire allow the technique to be appropriate for all. Contemporary/Fitness Pilates can be applied to sport-specific training and everyday life. Specialised Pilates equipment can help provide support for those with injuries or mobility issues as well as challenging the most advanced client.

How did Pilates originate?

During World War I, Joseph Pilates was interned in a camp on the Isle of Man where he created a ‘system’ from bed springs to provide a resistance for bedridden soldiers. This mechanised system is reflective in today’s equipment known as the Cadillac and Reformer.

After the war ended he immigrated to America where he met his future wife and they set up a studio in New York. The studio attracted the New York City Ballet and athletes who recognised the importance of flexibility and strength without bulk. He continued to develop his system and created the’ Barrel’, a piece of equipment constructed from a beer keg, and he used the metal hoops from the keg to make the ‘Pilates Magic Circle’.

The benefits of Pilates:

  • Promotes postural awareness, balance and proprioception.
  • Improves muscle strength, flexibility, posture and coordination.
  • Aids joint mobility and stability.
  • Increases breathing capacity and organ functioning.
  • Reduces stress levels, incidences of back pain, headaches (where postural related) and the risk of injury.
  • Complements elite athletes and sports specific training.

Sarah follows the Principles of the Polestar Pilates Method:

  1. Breathing
  2. Axial Elongation/Core Control
  3. Spine Articulation
  4. Organisation of the Head, Neck and Shoulders
  5. Weight-Bearing and Alignment of the Extremities
  6. Movement Integration