Pilates / Barre

Pilates / Barre / Yoga Fusion in Weybridge, Byfleet, Chertsey & Thorpe, Surrey

Pilates from the outside can look a lot like yoga poses and indeed Joseph Pilates did study yoga as well as many other exercise modalities and so was obviously influenced by it and that can be seen in some of the exercises. However, their execution is different and most of the traditional Pilates matwork is done on the floor and doesn't have the cardio or heat building qualities that some styles of yoga have.

It focuses on the core postural muscles which help keep the spine correctly aligned as well as working on the strength, mobility and flexibility of the whole body.  Joseph Pilates developed his method, then called Contrology, at the beginning of the 1900’s.  Joseph Pilates was born in Germany in the early 1880’s and throughout his childhood, he was plagued by ill health.  To make himself physically stronger, he took up body-building and various other sports, including gymnastics and diving.  He later moved to England, but when World War I broke out he was interned on the Isle of Man.  Whilst working as a hospital orderly, he came into contact with many war casualties and it was then that he started to develop his Pilates system as a way of helping them.  He believed that imbalances in the body and habitual patterns of movement cause injuries.  He saw the links between weak areas of the body and overcompensation by other parts of the body, so he set about creating a program based on re-education and realignment.  He moved to New York in 1926 and set up an exercise studio and Pilates soon became a favourite form of exercise for dancers and athletes.

 

As with yoga there are many variations on the traditional exercises and techniques and so again it is important to find a teacher and style that works for you.

 

It is important to learn the basics of Pilates before doing an intermediate or advanced work as the fundamentals are what makes Pilates effective and safe when done in the correct order and progression. Without that, it may aggravate any existing back discomfort. 

Currently ONLINE.   At present Full matwork sequences are only available as private sessions, but some Pilates core inspirations are in most of Vernette's classes, hence their name and the Fusion Classes have even more of the Pilates fundamentals and principles to build upon (as well as Barre exercises) and the basics flows of yoga. So if you are not sure whether to try Pilates or Yoga or dont know the differences, or if you LIKE both, maybe give a Fusion class a go on Saturdays 12pm, as you get a good introduction and combination of both modalities. Click here for timetable.

Benefits of Yoga and Pilates, separate or as combined

  1. Your body will become better aligned to prevent imbalances and improve posture. This is particularly useful for sportsmen, for example: think of a tennis player constantly hitting the ball using the same arm or a golfer always swinging from the same side.

  2. You will become more body-aware and better coordinated, improving your skills of proprioception - the sequencing of movement and your body finding it's place in space.

  3. Your body will change shape for the better, giving you a longer, leaner, toned physique.

  4. The space between your vertebrae will be increased which will minimise pressure on discs and nerves.  There is no question that Pilates will prevent back problems or teach you to manage them. (However, if in an acute phase of back pain or under a therapist, you must complete treatment with them first and have had your back pain properly checked out before attedning a class, to ensure there is nothing major going on with the spine, which may be contraindicated for practice).

  5. You will build core and back strength to help support the spine and maintain good posture.

  6. All muscles are worked on so that the whole body can work together rather than one area becoming overloaded.

  7. The condition and strength of your pelvic floor will be greatly improved as the pelvic floor is part of the core, reducing incontinence problems. A huge problem and not just for women!

  8. Flexibility and mobility will be substantially improved over time so that the body can move freely, without putting undue strain on the back.

  9. Exercise increases the levels of serotonin and endorphins which promote feelings of wellbeing and meditation is now widely used as a way of dealing with depression. Yoga and Pilates are an excellent way to help you lead a happy, positive life.

  10. You will learn how to breathe correctly and efficiently so that plenty of oxygen reaches every part of the body, especially the spine. Breathing relieves stress and can reduce high blood pressure as well as increasing energy.