Pilates / Barre

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

Pilates exercises 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. 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. That certainly doesnt mean it's an easier option than yoga! Both can be modified for beginners to advanced and it really is preference for many. some like both and find they compliment each other nicely.

Pilates focuses on the core and 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. I've had many people come to me saying that Pilates hurt they're back in the past but when asked what exercises were they doing or what sequence, they were often ones that would be contraindicated for back issues or that are in the advanced set and they had skipped the beginners course or modification. So Pilates is again a fantastic exercise but always wise to build the practice up and not skip ahead. Private sessions are often best way to learn the fundamentals and then join a class. Patience, practice, perseverence!

At present Full matwork sequences are only available as private sessions (in person or online), but some Pilates core inspirations are in most of Vernette's classes, hence their name (Core Strength / Core Flow) and the Fusion Classes have more emphasis on the Pilates fundamentals and principles to build upon (as well as occasional 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.   For Private 1-2-1 Sessions click here

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.