What is Pilates?

Pilates is a strength training program that creates both stability and flexibility to promote optimal movement for your body. Created by Joseph Pilates (1880-1967) in the 1920s, this exercise program was originally Matwork and then, using the springs of a hospital bed while working at a British health camp following World War I, Joseph Pilates added resistance to the exercises he created. Those bed springs became the springs we still use today on the reformer, cadillac (or trap table) and wunda chair.

In 1926 Pilates moved to the USA, he opened his first studio in New York City along with Clara, his wife and assistant. His new method was an instant hit, particularly among dancers such as Martha Graham and George Balanchine. They found the Pilates method the best way to recover from injuries and improve technique. 

During his lifetime this method of exercise was called Contrology. It was only after his death that it became known as the Pilates Method.

Pilates practices low impact and intelligent movement based on 6 principles:

  •  Breath
  • Concentration
  • Centring
  • Control
  • Precision
  • Flow

Both Pilates Studio Apparatus and Pilates Matwork use whole body movement targeting specific muscle groups facilitating profound changes in the body and mind.

“Through the Pilates Method of Body Conditioning this unique trinity of a balanced body, mind and spirit can ever be attained. Self-confidence follows.” -   Joseph Pilates

What is Yoga?

Patanjali, the author of the classical Yoga text, The Yoga Sutras, defines Yoga as, “complete control over patterns or modifications of the mind.”

Derived from the Sanskrit word "yuj" which means "to unite or integrate”, the union is made between the self and the spirit. Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years in India and, over the years, many different interpretations have developed about what yoga means.  

Yoga is most often associated with the physical practice of asanas, however, this is only one aspect of yoga as asana practice is just one of the "eight limbs" of yoga as listed in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, a key sacred text on the philosophy of yoga. These eight limbs are:

  •  Yama - Ethical Standards.
  •  Niyama - Personal Standards/Self-Discipline.
  • Asana - Posture. 
  • Pranayama - Breathing Techniques.
  • Pratyahara - Withdrawal of the senses.
  • Dharana - Concentration, introspective focus and one-pointedness of mind.
  • Dhyana - Meditation, reflecting on whatever Dharana has focused on.
  • Samadhi - Pure Consciousness.

"Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self" - The Bhagavad Gita