The Pilates Method


Mention 'Pilates' to most people and they imagine just another exercise routine, albeit one with a more glamorous image than, say, step or body pump. Gilded by its association with celebrity fans such as Madonna, Barbra Streisand and Uma Thurman, Pilates has become hugely popular worldwide as a surefire way to tighten flabby abs and streamline the body.


Pilates, however, is much more than an exercise routine. Taught correctly, it is both an art and a science; a philosophy of movement dedicated to achieving the perfect balance of body and mind.


Originally known as 'Contrology', the method was developed in Germany by Joseph Pilates in the early twentieth century to counter the effects of modern living on the human mind and body. Even in Pilates’ day, increasing stress, unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyles were beginning to take their toll. His approach — laid out in two small books — was deliberately holistic, embracing posture, body mechanics, proper breathing, spinal flexibility and physical education.


To underpin his advice, Pilates devised a series of physical exercises known as “the matwork”. These exercises form the core of Pilates teaching today. Taught progressively under close supervision, they help students to improve posture, movement skills and overall wellbeing. Not bad for “just another exercise routine”!




Pilates classes are run by Jane Meek on Monday 12.15 pm and Thursday 6.00 pm in the Millennium Hall. For details, call 07759 182236 or e-mail Jane.