WHAT IS PILATES?
Pilates, at the most fundamental level, is a series of very specific exercises executed on a mat or on specialized Pilates equipment. The exercises have a specific sequence, breath, and flow. There are a large number of exercises on the mat and the various apparatus that now are recognized as the 'Pilates classical repertoire'. Joe Pilates had several 'master students' who, in the tradition of their innovative teacher, went on to develop specific exercises which have now been passed down to us as valid exercises in their own right. All of these exercises have at their heart the goal of developing deep, stabilizing core strength in the abdominals and the low back. The idea of deep focus and awareness is basic to all Pilates exercises. Breathing, which unites the mind and body, is the vehicle by which core strength is discovered, developed and maintained.
WHICH PILATES WHERE?
With so many classes available, it may be hard to know which one is right for you. The best answer is to find a class you like to go to: the class you like is the class you will stick with. We hope that that might be right here at Mind and Body Pilates! And while the backbone of our Pilates program is indeed classical Pilates, we have incorporated other fitness modalities (such as Crossfit style workouts) to help complete our class structure. A Crossfit-style circuit using Pilates exercises is what you will often find in our advanced classes. On the other hand, our basic level classes move through many of the traditional Cadillac exercises (Roll-downs with springs and Leg Spring series) as a way of learning Pilates principles, Pilates awareness and Pilates movements.
We have found that many other studios are either too "Authentic" (rigidly adhering to original protocols) or too micromanaging (only moving when absolutely every muscle engages correctly). At Mind and Body, we know that Joe Pilates himself did not perform an exercise exactly the same each time; he felt free to adapt the exercises to his clients needs. Our style rejects the rigidity of the 'one way' and embraces new research from the medical community, incorporates the exercises of many of the master teachers and yet tries to stay within the tradition of classical Pilates. Our feeling is that your body is different from every other body - exercises must be modified and tailored to match the client not the other way around.
WAYS TO START A PILATES PROGRAM
There are basically two ways to learn Pilates: "Matwork" which is done in a class setting and private one on one training which is typically done on the Pilates machines. Naturally, private sessions will be more effective at targeting each client's specific needs.
Our trainers will work with you to achieve your fitness goals with challenging and unique Pilates exercises. Our studio uses traditional Pilates machines such as the Reformer, Trapeze Table, the Wunda Chair, the Ladder Barrel, and Step Barrel. Private Pilates sessions can also be taught and combined with workouts on the Gravity Training System -GTS, TRX
Generally, new clients are encouraged to take a few private sessions to understand Pilates, the principles and to gain maximum benefit whether continuing with private sessions or moving into a class setting. Sessions are scheduled with the same instructor to ensure a quality and consistent Pilates experience and are 55 minutes in length.
PILATES CLASSES AT MIND AND BODY
Pilates Mat Classes
Our Pilates classes are incredibly diverse, challenging and fun. Whereas most Pilates studios teach Mat classes with just a few 'props', the number of 'toys' we use to enhance our class workouts is vast. In addition to classic Pilates props such as the Magic Circle, we also use typical exercise tools such as foam rollers, therabands, exercise balls, soft weighted balls, free weights and even blankets and wash cloths.
Most of our classes are designed for all age and fitness levels. Increasing knowledge and body awareness in specific exercises allows you to become aware of tight areas that need flexibility and weak areas that need strength. Our studio offers a drop in rate or you may purchase a class card.
The Wall System at Mind and Body Pilates
The Wall Springs system is exclusive to Mind and Body Pilates. We were the very first to adapt the exercises from the Cadillac or Trap (Trapeze) Table to a the Wall System in 1998 (when Dana was teaching Pilates in an Iynegar Yoga Studio in West Seattle). We have since expanded the classic Pilates 'Springs' repertoire to include numerous exercises done with our 'Yoga strap' and bar including wall pushups, pull ups, oblique work and jumping pull ups. We continue to develop and expand our exercises to fit the needs of our clients at Mind and Body Pilates. In addition to 'core' work, a Springs class will typically include upper body strengthening as well as working on the articulation/flexibility of the spine and the legs. All of our classes include the use of the Wall System for many of the exercises.
The Wunda ('vunda' - Joe was German after all) Chair is a great way to build strength and control. The versatility of this Original 'home gym' works the stabilization systems of the shoulders, abs, and legs while using the strength of larger muscles groups necessary for all activities. There is enough resistance with the Chair that it would qualify as weight training (helpful for those trying to increase bone density). Mind and Body Pilates has offered 'Chair Classes' since 2001 - one of the first chair only classes in the city. We still use the Wunda Chair in every class for some of the exercises.
Gravity Training System - GTS
It was at a Pilates conference in 2005, that Dana tried out the GTS for the first time and immediately saw the power and benefits of this piece of equipment. Because of the angle of the 'Glide Board', abdominal work as well as other exercises become more accessible for many people: Pregnant women, older individuals with some limited mobility in their backs, others with any kind of rehabilitation issues. This as well as the ability to do graduated pull ups has made this an integral part of the equipment at Mind and Body Pilates.