What is Pilates?

Pilates is a balanced, non-impact, body conditioning holistic exercise system that can be adapted to everyone’s needs.

Are you looking to improve your strength, posture, balance, flexibility, mobility, and well-being?

Do you suffer from lower back pain? Are you looking to improve core strength?

Becki Moore teaches based on the original 34 Mat Pilates Exercises designed by Joseph Pilates.

Becki Moore has an extensive background in Gymnastics, Weightlifting, and Yoga and specializes in rehabilitation. She applies her modern knowledge to the Pilates movement to offer a variety of fun effective exercises.

Health benefits of Pilates

The health benefits of Pilates include:

  • improved flexibility
  • increased muscle strength and tone, particularly of your abdominal muscles, lower back, hips, and buttocks (the ‘core muscles of your body)
  • balanced muscular strength
  • enhanced muscular control
  • improved stabilisation
  • improved posture
  • rehabilitation or prevention of injuries related to muscle imbalances
  • improved physical coordination and balance
  • relaxation of your shoulders, neck and upper back
  • safe rehabilitation of joint and spinal injuries
  • prevention of musculoskeletal injuries
  • increased lung capacity and circulation through deep breathing
  • improved concentration
  • increased body awareness
  • stress management and relaxation.

Principles of Pilates

Joe Pilates based his work on three principles: Breath, whole-body health, and whole-body commitment; with the whole-body encompassing mind, body, and spirit.

It is in honoring the Pilates Principles that the depth of the work is achieved.

These Principles are traditionally cited as:

  • Breath
  • Concentration
  • Centering
  • Control
  • Precision
  • Flow

We could also add –

  • Pelvic Placement
  • Rib Cage Placement
  • Neck Placement
  • Scapulae Stabilisation
  • Awareness
  • Relaxation

It is encouraged to bring the knowledge from inside the studio into our daily lives to support activities.

Pilates History

Joseph Pilates was born in 1883 in Germany.

His father was a gymnast and his mother a naturopath.

As a child, Joseph suffered from asthma, rickets, and rheumatic fever, but he was determined to overcome these physical disadvantages and dedicated his life to improving his health and strength.

He focused on breathing techniques to help with his asthma and exercised outside to cure his Rickets. By the age of 14 he was fit enough to pose for anatomic charts. He loved skiing and he studied bodybuilding, yoga, martial arts, and gymnastics.

In 1912 Joseph moved to England and earned a living as a professional boxer, circus performer, and self-defense trainer.

During WW1 he was at a British enemy citizen camp. The health conditions in the camps were poor but Pilates insisted that everyone participated in daily exercise to help their physical and mental well-being.  During the flu epidemic of 1918 not a single soldier under his care died.

Pilates emigrated to the USA in the early 1920s with his wife Clara, and together they developed and taught the method in their ‘body-conditioning gym’ in New York in 1926.

The studio featured much of the Apparatus designed to enhance his rehabilitation work. It soon became very popular, particularly with the dance community, as it offered a chance to improve technique or recover from injury. Word spread quickly and many celebrities of the day visited his studio. These included dance legends such as Ruth St. Denis, Ted Shawn, Jerome Robbins, George Balanchine, and Martha Graham, as well as the actor Jose Ferrer and the author Christopher Isherwood. Originally 60% of the clientele were men.

The Pilates method encourages the mind to control muscles, and it focuses attention on core postural muscles that help keep the body balanced and provide support for the spine. Pilates exercises teach awareness of breath and alignment of the spine and strengthen the deep torso and abdominal muscles.

Evolution of Pilates

In 1932 Pilates published a booklet called ‘Your Health’ and followed this with another called ‘Return to Life Through Contrology’ in 1945. Through these writings and his students, his method was passed on after his death in 1967 at the age of 83. During his lifetime this method of exercise was called Contrology. It was only after his death that it became known as the Pilates Method.

While Joe is the man behind the method, it was his wife Clara that became the real teacher in the studio and allowed the method to be passed on to apprentices. The ‘Pilates Elders’ (the handful of people who trained directly in the first NY Studio) talk of Clara being the nurturing force behind the man; Clara established the tradition of evolving and adapting the Pilates method to suit the individual needs of clients. This is a tradition Pilates Foundation Teachers are proud to continue.

Not much was spoken in the original studio (English was not Joe’s first language), so Joe and Clara relied heavily on hands-on corrections to teach the method. “They wouldn’t talk, they would sculpt you” is how Pilates Elder Mary Bowen describes being in the studio.

As a Gymnastics coach (age 14 – 27) Becki Moore had always been a hands-on teacher and prides herself in continuing to do so. She uses clear, concise English language combined with visual aids and hands-on instruction to make sure all her students and able to follow and understand what they are doing.

Please Whatsapp me to book me for a class, cover, workshop, or teaching training.