The popularity of Pilates gone up a few notches in recent years. It’s gone from only being practiced by dancers to open to all fitness levels and abilities. and practiced around the world.
From Joseph Pilates’ original teachings, several schools of thought emerged, each from one of Joseph’s original students. These “first generation” Pilates instructors are known as the Pilates elders, and have carried on his teachings, each with their own individual style. Their styles have given a new take on Joe’s Original exercises that you see in studios today. Today there are two styles of Pilates: Classical and Contemporary.
The teachers at Ultimate Serenity have been trained in the Classical Pilates Method. The teachers here have a unique background ranging from Personal Trainer, Pilates Teacher and Massage Therapists. This background in the fitness industry creates a space where teachers are constantly learning and increasing their skillsets each year.
Despite our wide range in background, there are a few Pilates principles we follow during lessons at Ultimate Serenity.
- Concentration: “Concentration on the correct movements each time you exercise, lest you do them improperly and thus lose all the vital benefits of their value:” -Joseph Pilates, Return To Life, printed 1045.
- Our mind controls our body and if you perform movements correctly, you must concentrate fully.
- Centering: ” A unique trinity of balanced body, mind and spirit.” -Joseph Pilates
- The power house is the starting point of all Pilates exercises and all movement originates from the center and goes outward.
- Control: “Mastery of the mind over the complete control of the body.” -Joseph Pilates
- To master Pilates you must control the body during coordinated movements .
- Breathing: “To proper deflate the lungs is an art in itself, and this is the final step in correct breathing is least understood.” -Joseph Pilates
- Joseph Pilates understood the link between breathing in and out. Practice breathing in through the nose and out through the nose.
- Precision: “Contrology is not a system of haphazard exercises designed to produce only bulging muscles. ” -Joseph Pilates
- In the Pilates world, it is not just what you do day to day, it’s how you execute it. Working with precision helps to re-wire faulty movement patterns in the body.
- Flow: “It was conceived to limber and stretch muscles and ligaments so that your body will be as supple as that of a cat.” – Joseph Pilates
- Pilates performed properly is flowing from one exercise to the next. The transitions are part of the exercise.
Each exercise can be done on any apparatus. Joseph Pilates believe every home should have a spine corrector like that on the first picture.
Two Basic Pilates Exercises
If you want a sneak peak into the Pilates exercises we use for beginners, here are my top two. As a reminder if you have pain or a nagging injury in your spine, please check with your doctor before doing any of these exercises listed below.
Pilates Shoulder Bridge: This is a starting point that you will find in most beginners Pilates classes in Denver. To start, lay on your back with your knees bent, arms long by the hips and feet on the mat. Next, inhale to prepare and on the exhale in one piece lift the hips to the sky. Finally inhale and roll down starting at your sternum, belly button then the tail touches the mat. TIP: Keep your pelvis from tucking.
The Pilates Shoulder Bridge is great for people with low back pain.
Pilates Seal Exercise
The exercise called the seal is used at the end of the beginner series to promote relaxation and massage the spine as a cool down. It can be challenging to beginners to keep their balance and not touch the toes to the mat.
The set up: Get into a rounded position and dive your hand between the legs and catch the top of the foot. Balance on your sitz bones and hold the position. If you want to make the exercises more challenging, scoop in your belly and rock back to your shoulders and come back up to balance. Image a rocking chair that tips back and forth.
This exercise is contraindicated for people with hip replacements, Osteoporosis and Disc issues.
The seal is a great hip opener.
We hope these two basic Pilates exercises gives you an idea what to expect in the studio beginner class. If you’re new to Ultimate Serenity Pilates, contact us to take advantage of our new client special. Also check out our Instagram for new pop up classes and schedules.
Whether you do Pilates with us in Denver or online, listen to your body and focus on quality of movement over how many reps you can do. If you make Pilates part of your every day routine, we are sure you will find the mind body connection and a style of movement that does not cause pain.
If you want to try one of our free Beginner Pilates workouts, head over to our YouTube channel. There are plenty of beginner Pilates workouts and stretching videos perfect for any beginner.