-ROMANA KRYZANOWSKA, student of Joseph Pilates and master of the Pilates Method
What is Pilates?
Pilates is a system of exercises using special apparatus, designed to improve physical strength, flexibility, and posture, and enhance mental awareness.
The Pilates method develops a balance between strength and flexibility through consistently practiced movements performed with accuracy and precision in a specific order on the mat and on a variety of apparatus.
Where did it come from?
Joseph Pilates was born long before Lululemon, ClassPass, and the rise of boutique fitness studios, in a land far, far away. Mönchengladbach, Germany in 1883. He was the son of a gymnast and a naturopath and devoted his life to creating a method that was far beyond it's time with true lasting potential.
Mr. Pilates opened his NYC body conditioning studio in the 1920's and practiced his method until he passed in 1967. His wife and students carried on his method and it is now performed by over 8 million people around the world.
What is the reformer?
The Universal Reformer was created by Joseph Pilates, despite it's looks it's not only for people who have been doing Pilates for a while. Quite the opposite - the reformer is an excellent place for beginners to start.
It utilizes pulleys, straps and springs to add resistance to add assistance for some movements, yet challenge to others. The reformer is so much less scary than it appears, and you are always under the supervision of a well trained instructor who will tell you exactly what to do.
In addition to the reformer, there are several other pieces of apparatus: ladder barrel, wunda chair, cadillac and more. Oxygen proudly offers more diverse apparatus than any other Pilates studio in or around Andover in our private lesson room.
Is Pilates the same as yoga?
It's not, but it's a super common question. Many Pilates instructors have spent years correcting their friends and families who always ask "you teach yoga, right?".
(Some of us just say yes at this point, it's just easier)
All kidding aside, Pilates and yoga do share some similar movements and are certainly in the same "genre" of fitness options available right now. Pilates has no spiritual component, there is no meditative aspect - one must be mentally present and focused at all times, which in itself, will help you forget about the woes of your life - you can't think about work, family, stress, or what's for dinner when you're focused on what your body is doing.
Both forms of movement will yield impressive benefits:
- increased flexibility and range of motion
- increased strength
- decreased stress and anxiety
- stronger core
- better balance and coordination