A Pilates Instructor From West Kensington Tells Us: What Is Pilates?
Photo Credit: Unsplash
Pilates is one of those buzzwords on everybody’s lips.
You’ve probably heard it at your local coffee shop. You’ve definitely heard the mums on the school run gossiping about it. I’d even hazard a guess that you’ve spoken about it at a dinner party.
Maybe you nodded along and said that you absolutely must try it!
Whether you’re looking for private Pilates lessons or a class in West Kensington, we can help. Maybe you just haven’t yet found the perfect studio or instructor in Kensington. Either way, we’re keen to start you on a path to Pilates.
You might even be from surrounding Fulham or Hammersmith. Not to worry - La Dolce Studio can get you going in the right direction. First of all, though, you’re probably asking yourself - what is Pilates?
Let’s start with an insider breakdown from a Pilates instructor from Kensington.
What Is Pilates?
Simply put, Pilates is a form of exercise. To be more specific, it is a form that focuses on core strength. Pilates promotes mobility, flexibility, and alignment. It’s a fantastic low-impact workout that is suitable for everyone!
There are two forms of Pilates:
Mat-based - This is based on the ‘original’ exercises and is more similar to Yoga.
Reformer - This is performed with the aid of a ‘Reformer’ machine with springs and resistance bands.
Pilates these days is a cultural phenomenon. However, it wouldn’t have been without the man, the legend that was Joseph Pilates. It fact, it wouldn’t even have existed!
Good old ‘Joe’ Pilates was a practitioner who went from sickly child to skier, diver, and even boxer! With a system of exercise based on both a balanced body and mind, Joseph began to refine Pilates.
With the addition of a bed and some rigged springs and resistance bands, he created a Reformer. It’s pretty much the same one that we use for classes in West Kensington to this day!
Photo Credit: Azulfit
Throughout his lifetime, Joseph would teach Pilates classes for everyone. He taught ballet dancers and rehabilitating patients. He would take Pilates from Germany to the US.
He would also continue training clients at his studio until his death.
Leaving no will, the legacy of Pilates had to be carried on by his proteges, and by all who continue to practice it today.
How Is It Different From Yoga?
We’ve written before about the ‘core’ (pun intended) differences between Yoga and Pilates. So, go ahead and check that post out!
Essentially, Yoga is a holistic principle derived from ancient India. You might feel that Pilates is part of your life. You surely will when you find the right Pilates instructor in Kensington, or wherever. However, Pilates is mainly a system of exercise!
Yoga certainly has more of a focus on the meditative side. So Pilates is excellent for those who want a workout without impacting their joints. It’s even suitable for those with pre-existing injuries. Plus, you won’t find any Reformer machines in a Yoga studio.
There are a lot of crossovers in other equipment, however, from:
Yoga workout wear - is suitable for Pilates (but make sure to check your studio’s policy on socks).
Studios - are where you will find most Yoga and Pilates lessons.
Mats - are used in both mat-based disciplines. Although, you may want a thicker mat for Pilates.
So now we know what Pilates isn’t and a bit about its history. But what can Pilates do for you?
Pilates For Health And Fitness
Whilst Yoga and Pilates may have some fundamental differences; they’re both excellent forms of exercise!
Pilates is a ‘method’ of unique exercises, done in a specific order for a particular purpose. That purpose? The promotion of spinal flexibility and core strength. Joseph Pilates was always one to measure health by spinal flexibility.
That goes for everyone, no matter what age you are!
Pilates can be a vigorous workout, but luckily for you, it’s also a corrective exercise. By focusing on alignment (what Pilates called ‘Contrology’), we can adjust poor posture. It’s a far cry from activities like weight lifting where there’s no way to ensure this!
Pilates is a form of exercise that can be customized for everyone. Whether you’re just starting out with fitness, or you’re trying to get over an injury, there’s a perfect level just for you.
It’s no wonder that Pilates is even popular amongst top-level athletes. We’re looking at you MMA fighters!
‘Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness.’
Pilates And Wellness
Hang on, though. If Pilates can keep you fit, and it’s not meditative, how can it impact wellness? That’s a great question.
Pilates isn’t just good for your ‘powerhouse’ (abs, lower back, buttocks, and hips), although it does help it. Pilates (and exercise in general) can do incredible things. It can invigorate your nervous system and even improve your memory!
If you end up getting some abs, that’s just a bonus!
If you’re not a fan of the spiritual side of Yoga, then fear not. Opting for Pilates instead doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to miss out. Pilates can still offer a positive impact on your spiritual and mental wellness.
The benefits that things like Pilates and breathwork can have still include:
Calming your emotions. Mindfulness is about more than just spirituality. It’s about focus. With Pilates, you can focus on your body and forget about the world around without meditating.
Releasing emotional tension. Did you know that you can let a lot about personality from posture? By releasing muscles, we remove the stress hormones that they hold.
Relaxing your muscles. These stress hormones can even settle in our muscles, causing hypertension and pain.
Relieving stress and anxiety. All this can result in not only a reduction in things like stress but future taming of oncoming symptoms.
That all sounds pretty good, right? Yet, we still wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t ask one more seemingly obvious question.
Is Pilates For Everyone?
The TLDR version of this goes something like - ‘yes’. We’ve said before that Pilates (whether mat-based or Reformer) is suitable for all fitness levels. This really does mean anyone from your gran to your mate who’s coming off crutches!
What you really need to pay attention to is the instructor. That goes for whether you’re choosing a Pilates instructor in Kensington or Timbuktu. Do they have a good intake process? Did you have to let them know about pre-existing conditions and injuries?
Did they ask about your Pilates goals and seem like they listened to the answers? Many people who start taking Pilates classes have even been advised by physiotherapists. So make sure that your instructor cares about you and your body.
Photo Credit: Yell
There’s a level of Pilates for you no matter who you are. If you want to promote flexibility and strength without damaging yourself, think Pilates. We recommend starting with privates lessons first, however.
Give yourself a chance for extra attention and pointers before you join a group. Plus, what better way is there to build a good relationship with the instructor you like?
You want to figure out whether you like not only your teacher but the studio. Once you’ve got all of that settled, you can pat yourself on the back. Seriously, trying something new can be intimidating, but you’ve taken the first steps.
Now all you need to know is where to find:
Pilates Classes And Studio In West Kensington
As we mentioned earlier, all Pilates sessions were private sessions at first. Pilates himself wasn’t a fan of group classes, and so he never taught any. Obviously, this has evolved with the craft, but a one-to-one lesson is still a great place to start.
Daniela Colognesi is the founder of La Dolce Studio. She’s an instructor who can sympathise with whatever your condition. She studied Osteopathy whilst in search of a healthier, corrective mode of exercise. Then Daniela found Pilates.
She is a trained Pilates instructor and massage therapist and now runs La Dolce Studio. It’s her happy and loving space for women of all ages to become stronger and healthier.
So why not get in touch for an introductory call? See if La Dolce Studio could be your dream place for a Pilates class in Kensington today!
Written by Harry Patté-Dobbs, a content writing, and PR newbie! He's written for blogs, news, and media outlets and loves films, food, and wellness. You can usually find him either reading or writing.