When we talk about the benefits of Pilates, sometimes our cultural biases such as flat abs and a longer, leaner look -- what I sometimes think of as Pilates side effects -- get favored over the practical benefits of Pilates like being able to move better in daily life. But Joseph Pilates was interested in creating a system of exercise that resulted in bodies that moved gracefully and efficiently throughout life -- not just in the studio, on the mat, or in a sport setting.
The following photo essay is a brief introduction to how Pilates improves regular life moves, making them safer and more balanced and graceful. By comparing three examples -- walking, stepping up, and reaching -- and then turning to three foundations of Pilates movement -- hip differentiation, shoulder stability, and stabilized rotation -- you will learn how Pilates builds strength, flexibility, and balance into everyday moves.
Awareness is one of the most powerful tools you can bring to any aspect of your life, including exercise. My hope is that these brief examples will increase your awareness of how Pilates exercises integrate real-life movement -- and that will lead to a much greater experience of all the benefits of Pilates.