Pilates was created in the 1920s by a man named Joseph Pilates for the purpose of rehabilitation.  Some of the first people treated by Pilates were soldiers returning from war and dancers to strengthen their bodies and heal their aches and pains.  Pilates exercises focus on six main principles.  Concentration is establishing mind-body awareness.  Centering is paying attention to the core muscles helping your bodies' muscles function and develop more efficiently.  Control is performing the exercises correctly to gain maximum benefits.  Breathing deeply helps activate your muscles and keep you focused.  Precision is essential to ensure you gain the most benefit and stay healthy.  And lastly, the movements should have a flow and be smooth and graceful.  

What's the difference between yoga and Pilates?

Pilates requires concentric and eccentric movement relaxing muscles which are tense and strengthening weaker muscles of the body.  Yoga focuses on isometric poses to strengthen and stretch.  Unlike yoga, Pilates includes the use of resistance machines called reformers, Cadillacs, barrels and chairs, in addition to mat exercises, making it much more similar to weight training than yoga is.  

Why is Pilates so good for you?

If you are looking to strengthen your abdomen as well as maintain good posture, then Pilates is for you.  Pilates has a strong mind/body connection allowing for adjustments for weak knees, bad backs, and injured shoulders.

Is Pilates good for weight loss?

Pilates is not the number one calorie burner such as running or heavy weight lifting might be, but Pilates benefits your body by changing your shape and toning your muscles without bulking you up.  The best weight loss method is reducing your calorie intake and burning more calories than you consume.  Your clothes will fit better after a Pilates workout!