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open quotesPilates is a thinking person's discipline and exercise. Whether you try it for health or beauty the formula works --You gain the body awareness connecting your brain to your muscles, which will then synch with the overall way you carry yourself, leading to not only a healthier but a more attractive posture.

As a practicing neurologist, Pilates taught me tips that I could pass on in my practice to help people with diseases that affect their balance and walking. Also, Pilates works better than a face lift for maintaining the look of youth because how you carry yourself is the first thing that others see. The two grand dames of this studio, Karen and Shelley, have the dedication, experience, and teaching abilities to change your life. They are world class in Pilates and you won't find better.close quoteAudrey Stein Goldings, M.D.

What is Pilates?
Joseph Pilates at 57
Joseph Pilates at 57.
Joseph Pilates
Pilates is a system of exercise developed by Joseph Pilates nearly 100 years ago. He devised a system of pulleys attached to hospital beds, which assisted in the rehabilitation of injured World War I veterans. In 1926, Pilates and his wife, Clara, opened a fitness studio in New York where the dancers of the New York City Ballet and others trained. By the 1960s, it was extremely popular among dancers throughout the U.S., but still a fairly esoteric form of exercise. However, when celebrities, such as Madonna and the San Francisco 49ers got hold of it, this little-known approach to body conditioning became all the rage.

Pilates might have gone the way of most exercise fads if it weren’t so remarkably effective for such a wide range of people. It is ideal for every body, every level of fitness, and every age. It’s an exercise system that develops core strength as it dynamically works to both stretch and activate muscles, restoring the body’s natural grace, power, and balance.

The Work
Joseph Pilates at 57
Joseph Pilates guiding handstand on the barrell.
Pilates exercises develop core strength, and this is extremely important. However, even more critical is developing an awareness and understanding of how to engage and work the deep muscles of the core. This is the foundation of Pilates. The core muscles are the deep, internal muscles of the abdomen and back. When these muscles are balanced, support for the spine is maximized and overall movement becomes more productive.

Beyond the core, Pilates works to educate all your muscles improving flexibility, mobility, and strength.

Pilates exercises can be performed on a mat or on special equipment that is still fundamentally identical to Pilates’ original designs. The workout equipment generally utilizes springs and straps and resistance from the participant’s own body weight.  The mat work creates resistance within the body for the same or similar effects. The mat work may also include props such as bands, balls, bricks, blankets, straps, and magic circles.

Joseph Pilates doing Star on the Reformer.
Joseph Pilates doing Star on the Reformer.
The Pilates method has always emphasized quality over quantity. In other words, it’s not about the repetition, it’s about the precision. Doing each exercise with complete attention to how, not how many, yields significant results in a remarkably short period of time.

This approach to exercise requires focus. Consequently, the mind has to be engaged along with the body. Every exercise is performed with attention to the breath, form, and efficient movement patterns. The exercises are safe, low impact, and appropriate for every level of fitness and every age. The result is a body that works better, plays better, and feels better.

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