Let’s talk about Pilates

Pilates is the fastest-growing exercise in the world. It is my passion and teaching it is my job. Welcome to the world of Pilates!

I consider myself very lucky to have a job I love so much. I am a fully qualified Pilates instructor, which means I can work in any gym and my certificate is recognised worldwide.

I also have a qualification in common orthopaedic conditions, I have completed courses on small equipment use and I am currently completing my pre and ante-natal courses. As a Pilates instructor, you never stop learning and are always looking to increase your knowledge and skills.
I did not come into this industry just for the money but to share the benefits that I found when I started doing Pilates. I have the greatest pleasure in helping my clients to achieve their goals and working with them to improve their fitness.

So what is Pilates, why is it the fastest-growing exercise in the world and what are the benefits to you? I like to describe Pilates as a unique method it is a gentle form of exercise. However, gently does not mean easy, it just means there is no impact and no jumping.
Pilates has not been designed to be easy. Its creator Joseph Pilates used to say, ”If it is easy you are not doing it right”. Nowadays, the 34 exercises that Joseph Pilates created can be modified and adapted to suit a larger number of the population than a rigid form of exercise created for dancers and executed in a specific order. Modification is the key to Pilates exercise success, which makes the workout safe and challenging for a person of any age and level.

All the exercises I teach are done on the mat, working through several repetitions of each exercise.
Occasionally small workout equipment will be used like fitness circles, small weighted balls, blocks, flex-bands and foam rollers, otherwise, the work is done with your own body using your own body weight.
The six Pilates principles are essential ingredients in a high-quality Pilates workout: concentration, centering, control, breathing, precision and flow. No muscles are neglected; you work your body as a whole. Focusing all times on core strength is the foundation of all Pilates exercises. The deep internal muscles of your abdomen and back will be developed in tandem with more superficial muscles.

By developing torso stability, many people can overcome existing issues with back pain. The pressure on the lower back is relieved and your body will be more functional.
So many benefits can result from so few Pilates sessions. Joseph Pilates said, “in 10 sessions, you will feel the difference, in 20 you will feel the difference, and in 30 you will have a new body.”

Pilates will improve your body’s alignment, which can help prevent future injury and improve your posture. Practising Pilates regularly increases the flexibility of your joints and range of movement, improves blood circulation, neuromuscular control, increases energy levels and awareness, as Pilates is a mental workout too.

With so many benefits, it is obvious why Pilates is one of the fastest-growing exercises in the world. So why not give it a try?
Valerie Raphael is a fully qualified Pilates instructor, who teaches private individual or group sessions at her home studio located in Bushey, and is also available for mobile sessions.