How to Change Your Body With Pilates

“In 10 sessions you’ll feel the difference, in 20 sessions you’ll see the difference, and in 30 sessions you’ll have a whole new body”. Joseph Pilates

You probably started Pilates because you want to change your body somehow; the way it looks, moves, or feels. But whatever your goals are, they cannot be achieved with an unstructured Pilates program. If you truly want to change your body, it requires a consistent Pilates practice that is taught progressively and systematically. As much as we all love the idea of instant results, the lasting benefits that come from making Pilates a regular part of your self-care program, are far more gratifying. So what results can you expect?

  • full-body strength & flexibility
  • joint stability & mobility
  • improved posture, alignment, & balance
  • injury prevention/recovery
  • chronic pain management
  • increased energy
  • more efficient breathing
  • enhanced sports performance
  • increased self-confidence and well-being
  • weight loss with increased muscle tone, & definition

How Change Begins

“Through Contrology you first purposefully acquire complete control of your own body and then through proper repetition of it’s exercises you gradually and progressively acquire that natural rhythm and coordination associated with all your subconscious activities.” Joseph Pilates

Pilates will change your body because it’s a method designed with the end goal of optimal physical function and mental acuity. It’s far more strategic than picking and choosing exercises on a whim or simply exploring movement possibilities on the equipment. Instead, it’s an intelligently designed system of neuro-muscular reeducation based upon cohesive learning progressions. That system trains your body to adapt to healthier postural and movement patterns over time.

At the foundation of the Pilates Method is the Beginner System; a set sequence of exercises on the Reformer and Mat with additional exercises on the Cadillac, High Chair, and against the Wall. The Beginner System teaches you “how to acquire complete control of your body”.  For example, do you remember how deceptively challenging the Footwork Series or The Hundred was on the Reformer when you first started? Especially if you already considered yourself athletic or fit. But beginner exercises like those helped you to experience the difference between adrenaline-driven force, and the controlled strength that comes from a mind-body connection. It taught you how to use your “powerhouse” (aka core) as the control center for all movement. And just as important, repetition of the beginner exercises made them progressively easier and even nuanced. You started to “feel the difference”.

Everything you learned thereafter was built upon that solid foundation. The Intermediate System progressively introduced you to new movement patterns and challenges. You practiced and reinforced those challenges by using all of the apparatus in the studio including the Reformer, Mat, Cadillac, Chairs, Barrels, Pedi-pole and props. Not only did you feel the difference in your body, but I’m sure you were able “to see the difference” too!

Why Changes Happens

“Correctly executed and mastered to the point of subconscious reaction, these exercises will reflect grace and balance in your routine activities. Contrology exercises build a sturdy body and sound mind fitted to perform every daily task with ease and perfection as well as to provide tremendous reserve energy for sports, recreation, emergencies.” Joseph Pilates

Mr. Pilates’ Method has a clear sense of purpose and progression that will change the way you look, move, and feel. There’s nothing haphazard about his work. For example, when you repeatedly practiced the Beginner Reformer and Mat series, you were able to refine your technique until the point of proficiency. Then, as you began learning exercises from the Intermediate system, your brain instantly tried to associate them with movement patterns you’d already achieved. You used those previously understood movement patterns as building blocks for more complex exercises that required more strength, control, balance, and coordination. And when your brain made those new connections, your neurons created new neural pathways to accommodate the new information. And the next thing you knew, your mind and body were ready for Advanced level work.  Just as Mr. Pilates stated, “Contrology begins with mind control over the muscles.” 

Experience the Change in Your Body

One of the things I love about training with a clear methodology is the tangible markers it provides for your own progress. I’m sure you remember when inhaling for 5 and exhaling for 5 during the Hundred felt like an asthma attack. But now you’re breathing effortlessly while pumping your arms vigorously against the resistance of four springs, with your legs at extended in front of you at a 45 degrees.  Or, remember when you couldn’t do the Roll-Up, even with your feet braced underneath the strap? It felt like every single vertebra had somehow fused together. But now you can do the Roll-Up smoothly and without the strap. Or, remember when Going Up Front on the High Chair made lunges at the gym feel wimpy? But now you have the strength, balance, and control to do it on the Wunda Chair with your hands stacked behind your head!

That is YOU with “a whole new body”! And that is how you change your body with Pilates.


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