Pilates is a system of over 500 exercises that engage the mind and condition the entire body. It is a balanced blend of strength and flexibility training , that improves posture, reduces stress and creates long, lean muscles. Pilates works the entire body through smooth, continuous motion, with a particular emphasis on the intrinsic core support of breath for the body's "powerhouse" - abdomen, back and pelvic girdle region.
Pilates is distinct from most fitness regimes because it's low impact and addresses the body as whole. Pilates takes a balanced approach so that no muscles group is overworked and the body works as an efficient, holistic system in sport and daily activity. The emphasis is on quality of movement, rather than quantity, which makes one feel invigorated, rather than depleted after a session. Pilates is perfect for any age, body type or fitness level.
Joseph Pilates was inspired by both Eastern and Western forms of movement while developing his method, so there are many similarities between Pilates and Yoga. Attention to breath is the foundation with both Yoga and Pilates. More and more Pilates teachers are adopting the nasal breathing that is integral to Yoga. This type of breath 'control' is more efficient, centering and healing, which creates deep support for the spine without over-stabilizing. Some forms of Yoga emphasize the holding of a posture for an extended period of time, others, a continuously flowing format. Pilates is more similar to the Yoga forms that practice a continuously flowing movement, such as Vinyasa Yoga.