Joseph Pilates

Free Pilates Class -Pilates & Co. Gold Coast Pilates Reformer & Fitness Studio

Is Pilates good for weight loss?

Pilates is known for its health benefits; from strengthening the core, back and pelvic muscles to increasing flexibility, but can it help you lose weight too?

While general mat Pilates will most certainly help you maintain a healthy weight, it may not be quite as effective in losing weight as cardio exercises such as running and swimming. However, that’s why we offer different forms of Pilates classes to try such as Reformer HIIT and Circuit Pilates which may up your calorie count more than traditional mat Pilates.

While our studio is specifically reformer based Pilates, we have some different types of classes on offer. Here’s how to distinguish the difference and decide which should be your next class:

General Reformer Pilates

Majority of our classes are beginner, intermediate or all level Reformer Pilates. Working on building strength, flexibility and balance, beginner reformer sessions will give you a full-body workout while moving your body in all planes of motion – forward bending, back bending, side bending and twisting. Building upon what you have learnt in the beginner sessions, intermediate Pilates is designed to incorporate more complex sequencing along with more challenging Pilates repertoire to have you stretching yourself physically and mentally.

Reformer HIIT

But if you’re wanting to lose the weight, we recommend the Reformer HIIT class which combines the best of Pilates reformer and HIIT in one dynamic class. It’s structured interval training where props like kettlebells, weights, and boxes are used in tandem with Pilates movements to build strength and get an amazing cardio hit. Pilates & Co Reformer HIIT classes will get you working in the afterburn effect for up to and beyond 24 hours after your session. This is why it is so important to do this session once per week. 

Circuit Pilates

The Studio Circuit class is a 16 station fast-paced lap of our studio where you will explore movements on the Cadilac, Wunda Chair, Barrel, Reformer, Spine Corrector and other props. This circuit will give you a full-body workout and certainly wipe the calories away!

Remember the key to weight loss is patience and consistency. Results don’t happen overnight. This is why we introduced our 6-week Challenge which includes classes, regular updates, special Challenge offers and a healthy food guide to follow. Our next 6-week Challenge is scheduled for October.

Just Breathe

As a Pilates practitioner, I take what I know and love about Pilates and teach that to my students. It’s with sheer excitement, that I share small discoveries and wins with my students. For me, I teach what feels good for me and vary that for students depending on their level of experience and what’s going on for them that week or day. In my day, I will work with students from a vast variety of skill and experience levels. It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes a beginner student will ask something along the lines of ‘when am I supposed to breathe?’ Absolutely no judgment from me if this was you!

While breathing is an essential tool we use to stay alive, I don’t believe that you have ever been taught to ‘do’ it or ever asked anyone other than your Pilates teacher when to ‘do’ it, have you? This belief that there is a right and therefore wrong way to breathe when practicing Pilates has always baffled me. I remember as a beginner, being told to inhale on this bit and then exhale on that bit and feeling like my lungs were going to explode if the movement was too slow and then feeling like a was going to hyperventilate if the movement was fast. I also found that when the teacher said to breathe in – I wanted to breathe out, maybe it’s the rebel in me or can you relate to that feeling too?

When starting out, just getting in and out of certain Pilates choreography is enough of a challenge of its own without adding a specific breath pattern in the mix. I remember my first Pilates teacher training where I could not for the life of me remember the breath pattern of a specific movement and I had to repeat it over and over again in front of the group until I got it right…not a fun moment! Although when I watch archival footage of Joe teaching, his 100% focus appears to be on the body in front of him making the correct shape. He demonstrates, gives hands on assists and moves their body to make the shape he wants them to be in. The movement is the most important thing – I think this is where we as teachers can confuse and maybe even discourage beginners with overcomplicated classes that focus more on doing ‘all the things’ instead of focusing on good quality movement.

As your teacher, I want to see you moving well and then you may want to try experimenting with breathing patterns to see what works for you once you’ve got that part down. If you’re an experienced Pilates practitioner, I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that you breath full and deep when the movement allows and it doesn’t enter your mind to be conscious of the specifics of the inhale or exhale – or is that just me again?

Joseph Pilates did give specific instructions on the breath in each movement however, these breath patterns are working with the natural biomechanics of the particular movement. For example, if you are rolling down from standing, the lungs are compressed from the forward flexion. I feel like this strong importance to inhale and exhale at certain times originated with the publication of the Pilates principles. Did you know that Joseph Pilates never had any written ‘principles of Pilates’? These were created many years after Joe passed in 1967 by a couple of students who were taught by one of Joseph’s disciples in the 80’s. They included the principles in their book “The Pilates Method of Physical and Mental Conditioning”, and these 6 principles ended up becoming a part of most Pilates training programs worldwide. These principles are known to be – concentration, control, centering, flow, precision and breathing.

Although these principles weren’t of Joseph Pilates devising, he did mention breath work in his books “Return to Life Through Contrology” and “Your Health”. He speaks of how your breath should be the fullest and deepest possible, of how clean air and sunshine are vital to good health. He advocated for eating healthy meals and sleeping well every night and the importance of mental calmness. Off topic: would you believe he even wrote about dry brushing??? (see paragraph below) Oh and he never mentioned strong abs (not once!).

My message here is to advocate a freedom to move that is unrestricted and not bound by too many rules. Breathing is something that we inherently accomplish without guidance all day long. We may need a gentle reminder to deepen or slow down our breath and as a Pilates teacher, that’s what you’ll get from me.

Belinda Survilla

 

The use of a good stiff brush as described stimulates circulation, thoroughly cleaning out the pores of the skin and removes dead skin too. The pores of your skin must “breathe” – they cannot do so unless they are kept open and freed from clogging. Your skin will soon respond most gratifyingly to this perhaps seemingly “Spartan-like” treatment and acquire in the process a new fresh, glowing appearance, and develop a texture smooth and soft to the touch. So brush away, merrily, and heartily too!

Joseph Pilates

Return to Life Through Contrology

 

Pilates & Co Pilates Reformer Fitness & PIlates Studio Gold Coast

Pilates Reformer vs Pilates Mat

Pilates is pretty popular right now, most big box gyms offer Pilates mat classes and some have reformers too. There are also more boutique style studios popping up all over because we just cannot get enough of this wonderful form of movement!

 

Where did all the fuss begin?

Joseph Pilates was a small and sickly child and as he grew, he taught himself how to get stronger physically and was able to overcome asthma, rickets and rheumatic fever, which he was afflicted with in his youth. He was influenced by gymnastics which he practised (his father was a prize-winning gymnast!) along with boxing, skiing, diving, yoga, martial arts and bodybuilding. These days, you’ll find a lot of traditional Pilates movements changed either a lot or a little either due to instructor creativity, modifications given to individual bodies or contemporary Pilates styles. Pilates is designed to help correct muscle imbalances, build strength, flexibility, coordination, balance, breathing capacity and organ functions. Joe continued to develop his method and create new gadgets and inventions until he passed away in 1967.

 

Matwork Pilates vs Reformer Pilates

So what is the difference between Matwork Pilates and Reformer Pilates? Traditionally, mat classes are a dynamic and challenging routine of set exercises created by Joe. Mat classes are performed on the floor and sometimes combine small props as an aid or to intensify the work.

Depending on where and who you are practising with, a mat class can have a slow, controlled class with more focus on stretching or it could be more aerobic with high repetitions. Mat classes are designed to build strength using your own body weight and require a lot of body awareness to perform movements accurately.

Reformer Pilates classes can also include props but are usually in a smaller group setting. In a clinical setting, one on one or small group sessions usually combine the use of reformer, mat and other Pilates apparatus to suit the individual. There is also the growing popularity of a larger group.

 

What is Pilates Reformer?

Pilates which is more fitness based. This style is so popular because, let’s face it, practising on the reformer is pretty damn fun! There’s something about the sliding carriage and springs that delivers a lovely gliding movement that feels amazing; can be incredibly challenging sometimes and very therapeutic at other times. Reformer apparatus styles all vary slightly however they all have:

  1. springs
  2. pulleys, ropes and straps
  3. moving carriage
  4. footbar

Movements created on the mat can also be performed on the reformer however, the feeling can be very different in the body as spring tension and a sliding carriage can challenge stability substantially, placing a different spin on the movement. Personally, I found that once I developed a good practice on the reformer, I felt more confident on the mat and enjoyed the repertoire there much more than I did initially, I’m going to be honest – matwork done correctly can be so hard!

I’ve found that sentiment repeated through my clients’ reactions to their first experience on the reformer. Every week, I hear how surprised they are at how enjoyable the reformer is to use. We have many clients who DO NOT love exercise, but they do love practising Pilates on the reformer.

That says a lot to me – if you enjoy the movement, no matter what it is, you will do it consistently and that is what is important. So the moral of the story is if you love matwork and/or reformer Pilates – do more of it! They were both created by the same cool guy who was passionate about living life to the full and improving body and mind to be all you can be.

 

Want to learn more about the classical style? Come along to our workshop on April 21st 2018 – Deconstructing the Movements with Rafael and me! Click here for more details and to purchase tickets.

For a more in-depth look at the beginnings of Pilates check out this post by Jillian Hessel

 

Belinda Survilla is the Pilates & Co. studio manager and takes regular classes at the Miami studio, including orientation.

Pilates & Co. Gold Coast Pilates Reformer & Fitness Studio

8 Benefits of Pilates

Pilates can be summed up in three words – Stretch, Strength and Control – and the incredible benefits of Pilates are plenty. Pilates & Co. instructor Rafael shares his top eight…

I truly believe that movement is magical and can transform our lives. As long-time student and instructor of the practice or Pilates, I want everyone to know and understand the benefits.

“Good Posture can be successfully acquired only when the entire mechanism of the body is under perfect control” – Joseph Pilates, The Master

As Joe so often said to his students: “Pilates is not only about strength and flexibility, Pilates is about control”. I believe we must first understand our movements, joints, muscles from inside-out, so we can move them gracefully to perform controlled and completed movements.

“You can say what Pilates is in three words – Stretch with Strength and Control. And the control part is the most important because that makes you use your mind.” – Romana Kryzanowska, Joe’s student.

Pilates is a mind-body method, which challenges not only your body but also your mind and that’s where the magic lies.

It takes every part of your mind to be aware of where your body is in space. At the end of your Pilates session, you say hello to a calm and mindful you.

Sometimes in my classes, I like to ask my students to close their eyes and visualize their body, connections, opposition movements and powerhouse to get the better engagement of their whole body and also improve awareness of body, which in my opinion one of the most important fundamentals of Pilates and the key to progress.

Not convinced of Pilates’ magic yet? Here are my top eight reasons it is the best exercise to practice…

 

Benefits of Pilates

#1 Pilates is whole-body workout

You are only one, not divided into parts, so why not activate your whole-body to do one single movement? That’s what Pilates does.

#2 Pilates suits everyone

You could be 7 years old or you could be 90 years old.

#3 Pilates improves strength

Long, lean muscles are created to move through life.

#4 It builds core strength (or the powerhouse)

The powerhouse, or core, can be described as the area from the bottom of the rib cage to a line across the hip joints in the front and to the base of the buttocks in the back. When the core is strong, the frame of the body is supported.

#5 Pilates promotes flexibility safely

In the practice of Pilates, flexibility is safely increased in lengthening and stretching the muscles and through a range of motion within the joints, using opposite movement to get better length.

#6 Pilates improves posture

Using the deep core muscles of the powerhouse – the abdominals, back, and pelvic floor – to support our posture allows the shoulders to relax, the neck and head to move freely, and relieves stress on the hips, legs, and feet.

#7 Pilates increases energy

Pilates gets the breath and circulation moving, stimulates the spine and muscles, and floods the body with the good feelings one gets from exercising the whole body.

#8 Pilates increases your awareness of body

The Pilates principles – centring, concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow – are key concepts that we use to integrate body and mind.

Did you know? Pilates method was originally called Contrology, “the complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit.”

 

More reasons to do Pilates

They were eight great reasons, but here are a few more just to seal the deal. Pilates can be a wonderful way to help you change poor habits. Everything that you learn about your body with the Pilates Method can be applied to both your everyday life and other fitness activities. Pilates is a fabulous complement to any sport or method of movement because it balances the body and strengthens stabilising muscles.

As an experienced Pilates Instructor I can say that Pilates Method is fluid, so take your time. It is not a competition. It is a gradual way to progress and challenge your body. Everyone has their own challenge and pace to control the movements. So always trust on your Powerhouse and you will be more confident in your life and everyday activities. I would love to see you in one of my classes to experience the magic that classic Pilates is all about!

 

Rafael is a classical Pilates instructor, teaching nearly a decade and most of his professional background was developed in Brazil, his home country. He experienced the introduction of Pilates in Brazil and helped to spread the word of its benefits and success. His passion for Pilates grew so much as he accompanied the development of his students as they improved their movements with grace and control.

Catch Rafael teaching the classical Pilates method on Tuesday and Friday mornings.