What Makes Pilates Different?

What makes Pilates Different?

Exercise is all the rage these days and there are more types of fitness fads than cable TV programs how does one know which one to choose?  Which program works best for me?  My personal pick is Pilates and the five reasons highlighted below explain why:

 

Upper West Side NYC Mat Pilates

Pilates Mat Class

 

1) Body Awareness:  Having body awareness is crucial in any fitness program.  So many fitness classes have people jumping around with poor form and the mind is completely tuned out.  Pilates is different because when you have to focus on any given movement the form improves immensely.  Without this key component, it is virtually impossible to improve your fitness level.

 

2) Control:  Before Pilates was called Pilates it was called Contrology or the science of control.  For example, when doing a typical crunch the abdominal muscles need to contract.  The student needs to learn how to control this movement and not just overwork the neck or hip flexors.  Pilates is all about learning control so that what needs to move moves and what needs to remain stable remains stable.  This allows for great results in both strength and flexibility training.

 

3) Safety:  Pilates when done the right way is a very safe exercise.  By working with a well trained instructor who knows what to do and what not to do the student can progress to higher levels without getting injured.  Too many vigorous exercise programs lack control and safety. Students often get injured and then lose several weeks if not more of training. How many times do you hear how someone hurt their shoulder or knee or lower back in a big group class?  When an injury occurs the student is set back a long time.  Pilates prevents this from happening because it is such a focused and controlled exercise method.

 

4) Balance:  Pilates is a wonderful exercise program to maintain balance.  When a body is out of balance, it is far more prone to injury.  For example, many times people complain that one leg is longer than another and that is why they have trouble doing certain exercises.  Most of the time, one leg really isn’t longer, but one hip is tighter and hiked up giving the appearance of a leg length discrepancy.  Over time, this can become a serious problem.  Pilates allows the body to return to a balanced state.  As the student becomes more aware of his or her body, he or she can correct certain movement patterns that lead to this imbalance.

 

5) Fountain of Youth:  Nothing changes the body like Pilates.  Nothing. Not only does it make the body look longer and leaner but it also allows for a more youthful gait.  When someone can stand up tall and move with grace and control, it takes years off their appearance.  Pilates can be a real fountain of youth.

 

Pilates is a fantastic base for all forms of movement in addition to being a perfect standalone exercise program.  Once you understand how to move and how to remain in control not only do you look and feel better, but all forms of exercise and movement become easier.

 

Pilates Body NYC is the Upper West Side Pilates studio that comes to you. We make Pilates convenient!

A Good Feeling Body

How would you like a good-feeling body? Of course you would!

The idea of “success,” for most people, revolves around money or the acquisition of property or other possessions, but we consider a state of joy as the greatest achievement of success. And while the attainment of money and wonderful possessions certainly can enhance your state of joy, the achievement of a good-feeling physical body is by far the greatest factor for maintaining a continuing state of joy and Well-Being. And so, there are few things of greater value than the achievement of a good-feeling body.

—Abraham

For me and for many that I teach Pilates to, it is more than an exercise method – it is a way of life. We take the ‘body awareness’ we learn in our practice and apply it to our daily lives.  We become more aware of some of the simplest of daily activities.  How we bend down, reach up, how we sit, and stand. Our good feeling body matters and we want to keep it that way.

Do you feel you’re too old to try Pilates? Don’t let your age stop you. No matter who you are, your age or what shape you are in Pilates can make a difference, it will help you achieve a good-feeling body.

Pilates Body NYC is the Upper West Side Pilates studio that comes to you. We make Pilates convenient. Give us a call today and start your journey. I would love to share my passion of Pilates with you.

Roll Out Your Pilates Mat

OK I know I have a prejudice for Pilates mat work after all it’s what I teach, but I can list very sound reasons for you to at least give it a try! So let’s roll out your Pilates mat and get started.

 

  1. New to Pilates or are you a beginner? Pilates fundamentals can be learned more easily on the mat. All the basics can be found in the mat work.
  2. You learn to use your own inner springs. It’s your body and the mat.
  3. Mat skills will be very helpful to you if you decide you want to work out on the equipment.
  4.  Looking for a challenge. Pilates on the mat is just that!
  5. It is easy to apply the Pilates principals to your mat work. Centering, concentration, control, breadth, precision and flow.
  6. Mat classes are more affordable than equipment classes and you will still get all the wonderful benefits that Pilates has to offer.
  7. Pilates mat work goes where you go. No excuses. No matter where you go in the world your Pilates mat practice goes with you.
  8. Pilates on the mat is more than exercise it’s a practice of self-awareness that you take with you from the mat to your everyday life.

 

Ready to give Pilates on the mat a try? Pilates Body NYC makes it simple and convenient. We are the NYC Upper West Side Pilates studio that comes to you. In-Home Pilates on the Pilates mat, Personal, Private, Focused & Effective. Let’s roll out your Pilates mat and get started! I look forward to sharing my passion of Pilates with you.

Workplace Posture

Many of us spend much of our day in an office which in turn makes our ‘Workplace Posture’ extra important. How you sit all day will have a direct effect on your body. If you sit incorrectly hour after hour how can you expect to stand correctly at the end of the day?! So lets take a look at how your workstation measures up.

Here is a checklist you can use as a guide

♦ Your Chair

Should support your lower back

Your feet should rest firmly on the ground (or footrest) slightly in front of you

♦ Your Monitor

Should be directly in front of you, at an arm’s length distance with your eyes at the same level as the tool bar

♦ Your Mouse

Should be positioned close to you near the edge of the desk

♦ Your Keyboard

Should be centered in front of you and near the edge of the desk

How do you know if you are sitting correctly?

Posture checklist

  • Is your back straight, maintaining all 3 natural curves of your spine
  • Is your weight distributed evenly on both hips
  • Is your head and neck aligned over your shoulders
  • Are you sitting back in your chair; being supported by the seat bac
  • Avoid sitting for long periods of time; get up from your chair often. Take a walk, and stretch.

Have you ever considered an exercise break for lunch?

Pilates which teaches you body awareness and how to move more efficiently can be your perfect answer.  Learn to use your deep core muscles – the abdominals, back, and pelvic floor – which support your posture this will allow your shoulders to relax, your neck and head to move more freely, and will relieve stress on the hips, legs, and feet.

 

Pilates Body NYC offers Pilates in your Workplace throughout New York City. Bring wellness and balance to your workplace with a Pilates break.

Posture Matters

POSTURE MATTERS

Do you have lower back pain? Suffer from sciatica? Perhaps you’re in a job where you’re sitting a good part of the day? Is your head forward, ears not over your shoulders? If you just answered yes to any of these questions than you have the first reason why ‘Posture Matters’.

At Pilates Body NYC learning what constitutes good posture is your first lesson. Anterior tilt, Posterior tilt or are you in a natural neutral spine? What does it all mean and why you should care? What muscles are tight, what muscles are weak? You will learn all about ‘your’ body and how Pilates will help you restore a natural neutral spine and bring your body back to balance. Yes, good posture can be a remedy to your pain. A Pilates program will be designed for you.

Benefits of Good Posture:

  • Pain relief throughout your body, including back and neck pain, hip pain, leg & foot pain.
  • Move more efficiently with greater ease
  • Improve your muscle function
  • Increases your range of motion
  • Takes pressure off of compressed organs
  • Improves your circulation
  • Creates a trimmer appearance
  • Radiates confidence

 

Are you convinced that attention to posture is important? Give us a call 646-382-7911 and schedule an appointment. Your body will thank you.

Pilates Body NYC specializes in Private Pilates Sessions. We are the Upper West Side Studio that comes to you wherever you are. Pilates made convenient!

 

Off the Pilates Mat

Off the Pilates mat and into the world you go…..

Perhaps you’ve heard it said that Pilates is more than just exercise. I know that I have said it many times.

A Pilates practice has the power to make every activity you do in your everyday life better. Think of your Pilates mat session not only as a workout, but a body lab. Take the sensations of the movements, body awareness, and postural cues you learned in your session out into the world. Incorporate it into your daily life. The lessons learned on the mat can help you with something as simple as walking taller with correct posture, sitting without slouching, to your golf game, tennis, skiing, biking, and even running. Whatever your sport Pilates will be your friend. Your practice will also help you avoid back pain on long car trips and neck pain from spending too much time at a computer.

These are some of the reasons we say that Pilates is more than exercise it is a practice for life! Give Pilates on the mat a try and see for yourself.

Pilates Body NYC is the Upper West Side Pilates Studio that comes to you wherever you are. Pilates made convenient!

Pilates Concentration

What is Pilates concentration & why it makes a difference.

If breathing is the physical key to attaining mind-body awareness, then concentration is the mental key. Concentration can be thought of as the conscious control of a movement or exercise which concurrently enhances body awareness. Proper concentration allows you to do a Pilates movement as you simultaneously focus on other variables of that particular movement/exercise – like being in the right position, having your shoulders in the right place or making sure your back feels OK. Concentrating on the full movement and all of its components.

In everyday life

By using concentration in order to make a strong mind-body connection, you become more focused on where your body is in space in relation to what is physically going on around you. This leads to more balanced, graceful movements and reactions.

Let’s be practical.

Say you’re standing while riding on a crowded subway or you’re in a mall that’s packed with shoppers. Creating that inward focus will affect your outward movement. You’ll find that you are able to withstand the bumps and jerks of the subway car without being thrown off balance or pass by other shoppers without being jostled as much.

Pay attention. Concentrate.

 

Pilates Body NYC is the Upper West Side Pilates studio that comes to you wherever you are. Pilates made convenient.

Forever Young


Regular exercise is the only well-established fountain of youth.

Did you know that Pilates is for people at every age who want to look and feel their best?

You can actually erase years off your body. Chronologically you may be 50+, but with PILATES and healthy nutrition, people are going to do a double-take and not believe your age. Imagine how awesome you’ll feel, when you not only feel younger, but to other people you look younger.

Why Pilates? So glad you asked!

  • Pilates presents a remarkable opportunity for an aging population to perform a series of exercises that are both safe and effective. The exercises are gentle, progressive and performed slowly with good postural alignment at all times.

 

  • Pilates can provide people with the tools and techniques they need to age with dignity and a sense of well being.

 

  • As we age flexibility becomes much more critical and so Pilates works especially well in this area for people who are middle aged and up.

 

  • Pilates is a corrective, rehabilitative form of exercise developed to improve our body’s functioning by bringing it back into a natural state.

 

  • Pilates can be performed at a pace dictated by the strength and stamina of the individual.

 

  • Regular Pilates practice can lead to a stronger, leaner body, while developing body awareness – awareness of how you sit, stand and move. You will be able to relate those habits to the aches, pains and injuries you have now or had in the past, and most importantly change them.

 

  • Pilates improves the connection between your mind and your body.

 

Joseph Pilates was ahead of his time. His philosophies on health and exercise hold true to this day.

 

“I must be right. Never an aspirin. Never injured a day in my life. The whole country, the whole world, should be doing my exercises. They’d be happier.”

~ Joseph Pilates

Pilates Body NYC is the Upper West Side Pilates Studio that comes to you. Pilates made convenient.

What will Pilates Exercises do for you?

What will Pilates exercises do for you?

Before & After

Before & After

 

Are you looking to get fit and have a better quality of life? Pilates is the answer.

 

“I must be right. Never an aspirin. Never injured a day in my life. The whole country, the whole world, should be doing my exercises. They’d be happier.” — Joseph Hubertus Pilates, in 1965, age 86

All different types of people, at different fitness levels who have begun doing Pilates exercises say they’ve seen improvements in range of motion, flexibility, posture and abdominal strength. My clients all say they stand taller and they all have become more aware of their bodies.

So you ask what can Pilates do for you, read on and I will tell you more.

 

Pilates Exercises are Adaptable to Many Fitness Levels

Whether you are 50+ or just starting to exercise, an elite athlete or somewhere in between, the foundations of Pilates movement apply to you. Building from core strength, focusing on proper alignment, and a body mind approach make Pilates accessible to all. Pilates exercises can be tailored to individual needs.

 Body Awareness

The creator of Pilates, Joseph Pilates was adamant that Pilates, was about “the complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit.” This is one of the differences of Pilates exercise: we practice each movement with total attention. When we exercise in this way, the body and mind unite to bring forth the most benefit possible from each exercise. The Pilates principles — centering, concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow — are key concepts that we use to integrate body and mind.

Whole-Body Fitness

Pilates trains the body as an integrated whole. The Pilates exercise workouts promote strength and balanced muscle development as well as flexibility and increased range of motion for the joints.Attention to core support and full-body fitness — including the breath and the mind — provide a level of integrative fitness.

Creates Strength without Bulk

Long, lean muscles are the name of the game here. In Pilates, we are not looking to build muscles for show. We are building toned muscles that work perfectly within the context of the body as a whole, and needs of a person as they move through life.

Increases Flexibility

In Pilates, we work toward a safe increase of stretch and range of motion. A body that can stretch and bend to meet the flow of life is a very realistic goal.

Develops Core Strength

Pilates and Core strength go to together like Love & Marriage, Horse & Carriage. The core muscles of the body are the deep muscles of the back, abdomen, and pelvic floor. These are the muscles we rely on to support a strong, back, good posture, and efficient movement patterns. When the core is strong, the frame of the body is supported. This means the neck and shoulders can relax, and the rest of the muscles and joints are freed to do their jobs — and not more. A nice side benefit is that the core training promotes the flat abs that we all want.

Improves Posture

Good posture is a reflection of good alignment supported by a strong core. It is a position from which one can move freely. Pilates exercises, train the body to have both strength & balance.

Increases Energy

It might seem like a paradox, but the more you exercise, the more energy you have and the more you feel like doing. Pilates gets the breath and circulation moving, and floods the body with the good feelings, the ones you get from exercising the whole body. After a workout my clients always feel rejuvenated & refreshed.

How long does it take to feel the effects of Pilates?

30 Sessions to a whole new body!

“In 10 sessions, you will feel the difference. In 20, you will see the difference. And in 30, you’ll be on your way to having a whole new body.” ~ Joseph Pilates

You don’t need fancy equipment, just grab a mat and start your journey.

 

 Pilates Body NYC is the Upper West Side Pilates studio that comes to you wherever you are. Pilates made convenient!

For the Love of Mat Work

For the Love of  Pilates Mat Work by Neal Healey

Say hello to Neil Healey from across the pond. He loves Pilates mat work! Read on and he will gladly tell you why. By the way we agree I love Pilates mat work too!.

I love Pilates Mat Work!

Neil Healey

How did Neil start his love of Pilates Mat Work?

I had a bulging Lumber disc so my Physiotherapist sent me to Pilates classes.  I have enjoyed weight training for many years so I thought that Pilates would be a waste of good training time so I asked her not to send me! I am obviously extremely happy she did not listen to my protest. My instructor was brilliant. In just a few lessons I was in considerably less pain and moving more freely

I formed Neilpilates when I qualified through Michael Kings Pilates Institute (London) on 31 October 2004 and I am now working as a freelance assessor jointly delivering a Level 3 Pilates Instructors course for Fitness Northern Ireland. So far I have handpicked five of the instructors who I have taught on the Level 3 Pilates Instructors course to become Neilpilates Instructors.  I have released a Pilates for beginners DVD and have been interviewed on View TV and Radio Ulster as well as providing exercise instruction for a Northern Woman magazine summer special. I have a studio where I mainly teach one to one but I also teach a small equipment and two Antenatal Pilates classes each week. At the moment I teach thirteen mat classes per week in various venues in Belfast.

I just love Pilates mat work!

“Contrology is not a fatiguing system of dull, boring, abhorred exercises repeated daily “ad-nauseam”. Neither does it demand your joining a gymnasium nor the purchasing of expensive apparatus. You may derive all the benefits of Contrology in your own home” Joseph Pilates

The above quote is taken from Joseph Pilates book ‘Return to Life through Contrology’ and, to me, it clearly shows that Mr Pilates was of the opinion that his mat work exercises were rather important. He said that all the benefits of his exercises could be derived from these exercises so how can you do anything other than love mat work when it gives you so much?

Pilates Mat work allows the maximum number of us to have access to the benefits of Pilates for less of a financial outlay. Surely that was Mr Pilates dream was it not?

I teach contemporary Pilates so I have hundreds of modified exercises to choose from which equips me with the tools to give my clients a complete, total body workout in a class environment. To me there is no better ‘payment’ than when a client who has been in chronic pain come to me and tells me they’ve had their first pain free day or week for years! What a buzz! What a feeling when you are given the vindication that what you do really works and really improves peoples quality of life!

Mat work is a beautiful thing that we should cherish and develop. I personally would recommend all contemporary teachers to go and be taught the original exercises by a quality ‘classical’ teacher. The exercises we do, obviously, are largely modified forms of or based on the original exercises and I believe we always need to know and keep sight of our roots. I found that when I attended a Classical Mat work Weekend taken by the Jay Grimes trained Amy Kellow it completely changed how I taught the contemporary exercises to my clients/classes. I was able to make the classes so much stronger and was able to cue connection/engagement to so many more muscles in each exercise. My clients just loved it! Maybe it’s just me but I love it when I see my regular clients walk into their class with a smile on their face and then tell how they felt their last class in all the right places for a couple of days after the class. The mat work gives you everything you need to retune your body to make it an efficient machine that allows you to get on with the important things like, working, playing sport enjoying family time or just round all that up and call it what it is – living your life.

So get out there and enjoy your Pilates mat work classes and reap all of the many benefits they can give you and don’t be afraid to tell your teacher how good it makes you feel, there is nothing that your teacher will appreciate more!

To learn more about Neil and his Pilates classes please visit his website NeilPilates

‘Like” on Facebook

“Follow” on Twitter