Pilates: the workout for the body and mind

April 7, 2009

Exercise & Fitness

From the start of human evolution there has been a constant struggle for a healthy body and mind. Thru the ages there have been several attempts at separating the body form the mind and the soul.

Recently the global thinking has changed and many recent research results sustain the idea of a close bond between the mind and body. Physically this relation between the mind and body can be explained by the fact that physical exercises produce chemical changes in our blood. These changes influence the functions of the brain ant those of other parts of the body.

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Today many psychologists believe that physical activity or fitness is a great way not just for letting some steam out but also for stimulating creativity. A more healthy self-respect and more independence can be achieved by the individual by means of working out. These attitude had a radical effect on the people that took up Pilates classes. A dynamic process that involves thinking, breathing, isolating and forming more powerful muscles intervenes. Concepts like “stability” have sprung up in our modern culture and in the fitness classes. As an example Pilates teaches the principles of relaxation, concentration, alignment, breathing, centering, coordination, movement fluidity and the power of the mind.

Joseph Pilates, born in 1880 in Germany, was the one that pioneered the Pilates movements. Thus the name . He created this system when he was imprisoned during the First World War. He realized that the prisoners need to train their mind, body and soul. Pilates used to say “The mind is the body builder”. The Pilates program does exactly that: it’s a mental and physical improvement that aims at training the mind to function in a balanced manner with economy and grace with the purpose of attaining a high degree of harmony and, physical and mental health.

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